Our School

Experience the benefits of a Jiu-Jitsu brotherhood at Gracie Barra. We believe Jiu-Jitsu can be for everyone, including you. Come join us in Dripping Springs, Texas to get in the best shape of your life.

A picture of Robert “Max” Bookman and Alexandre “Dande” Santos

Gracie Barra Drippings Springs was founded in 2021 by Professor Alexandre “Dande” Santos and Professor Robert “Max” Bookman.

GB Dripping Springs is one small part of the larger Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu network, Gracie Barra, led by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and his team of world renown black belt instructors. Gracie Barra has 900+ schools spanning 6 different continents and is recognized as one of the most dominating and successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teams of all time, dating back to 1986.

Our Mission is Jiu-Jitsu For Everyone (TM) and we offer Gi and NoGi classes for beginners, experienced grapplers, competitive fighters, children, and people of all ages and abilities. As a member of Gracie Barra, students have the benefit of training at any Gracie Barra location in the world, including 8 locations in the greater Austin area alone. You will never run out of new training partners or quality instructors.

Nestled in the Texas Hill Country on Highway 290, our facility is beautiful and well air-conditioned, with a large mat area, spectator seating, showers, and a wrap around deck, perfect for absorbing the hill country views.

Meet our Team

Professor Alexandre “Dande” Santos

Professor Alexandre Ferreira Santos, “Dande” has been a professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor for over 10 years, both in Brazil and The United States. As a competitor he has achieved prestigious titles at Worlds, Pan-Ams, Brazilian Nationals, and the Brazilian State Championship. Professor Dande’s dedication, skill, and passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (combined with his back ground in physical therapy) make him one of Gracie Barra’s most sought after instructors.

Professor Dande was born and raised in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, where he founded one of the city’s first Jiu-Jitsu schools. Since then, he has overseen the growth of many academies around The United States (GB South Austin, GB Buda, GB West Lake, and GB Drippings Springs, naming only those in the greater Austin area). Currently, he receives students from all over the world to train with him at his primary academy Gracie Barra South Austin.

Professor Robert “Max” Bookman

Professor Max grew up in Santa Monica, California. He moved to Austin in 2001 to attend the University of Texas where he was a letter winner on the NCAA Swimming & Diving Team and graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology. In 2005 he began his career as a professional performance coach under mentors Todd Wright (LA Clippers) and Logan Schwartz (University of Texas) catering to a wide variety of amateur, professional, and Olympic athletes. Starting his own company in 2011, Max worked closely with Longhorn Aquatics, Austin Swim Club, and the West Lake High School Mountain Bike Team where he volunteered as head coach for 3 years.

While Max was first introduced to martial arts at a young age by his father, Bruce Bookman (Chief Instructor at Tenzan Aikido and Gracie Barra Black Belt), it was not until 2012 that he met Professor Alexandre “Dande” Santos and started training at Gracie Barra South Austin alongside his younger brother, Keith Bookman. Max competed with great results from white to black belt under Professor Dande and has stood on the podium of some of the IBJJF’s biggest tournaments. Upon receiving his blackbelt in 2019, Professor Max began working for Professor Dande as a full time Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Gracie Barra South Austin until the two opened Gracie Barra Dripping Springs together in 2021 (Professor Dande naming Max as the Chief Instructor).

  • Coach Ben Gamon

    Born in Paris, France, Coach Ben moved to California in 2003 where he worked as a gym manager and concierge trainer in Malibu and Hollywood. He is an NASM certified performance coach specializing in corrective exercise, behavioral change, and MMA conditioning. In 2017, he began training Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Northridge where he received his blue belt from multiple-time World Champion, Professor Romulo Barral. Coach Ben relocated to Texas in 2021 where he was immediately hired to work at GB Dripping Springs. Today he is a purple belt and proud father of three; a combination that enables him to teach an amazing kids class. He and his wife live in Dripping Springs where they enjoy hiking, biking, and paddle boarding in their free time.

  • Coach Aryan Douglas

    Coach Aryan was born in Atlanta, GA. He wrestled in high school and started in the tight-head-prop position for the division one Rutgers Rugby Football Club (RRFC) from 2006-2011. In 2011 he moved to Texas by way of New Jersey and started training at Gracie Barra South Austin in 2016. Coach Aryan quickly earned the nickname, Bud Spencer after the popular spaghetti western actor, who in addition to looking exactly like Coach Aryan, also has a grumpy, strong-arm exterior and a heart of gold.

    Earning his brown belt in 2021, Coach Bud Spencer serves as our primary mat enforcer as well as the official handyman who literally built the walls of Gracie Barra Drippings Springs. He can be found at home (aka The Softer Side of Sears) swinging kettlebells and smoking meats in Austin, Texas with his wife and two kids.