Professor James "M1" Markle
 Head Coach
 Fuji Sponsored Pro Athlete


Originally from Millstadt, IL . James is a lifelong martial artist (TKD, Judo, Sambo, Aikido) and competitive grappler since 1989. Markle played soccer and also trained in judo and wrestling before being introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu in 1999.  After a whirlwind tour around the globe working as an engineer and training with various schools along the way, James found his way to the great state of Texas, ending up in Houston, TX in 2005 where he settled down at Miletich Fighting Systems earning his blue belt in 2010 under former UFC Fighter Sam Hoger. 
It didn’t take too long training in the gi to make it apparent that more mat time was necessary and after being introduced by a mutual friend to Jorge “Macaco” Patino , Markle began cross training at Macaco Gold Team.  Markle eventually made the move full time to train under Macaco and great friendship was born.  With much blood and sweat, in 2015 James became the first American to earn his black belt under Jorge "Macaco" Patino.

IBJJF Black belt 1st Degree under Jorge "Macaco" Patino


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In Memoriam 
Professor James "Fajita" Farinas
Asst. Coach
DECEMBER 7, 1990 – NOVEMBER 15, 2020

Progessor James Ryan Farinas a dual black belt (BJJ/Judo) was born and raised in Houston, Texas in the Alief area. His Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey started from a friendly spar with an ex-girlfriend who was well versed in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After being repeatedly arm locked and choked he knew he had to be verse on ground fighting and grappling.

Due to the changing demographics of the area, because of Hurricane Katrina, he found himself in constant trouble. Due this he was sent to Hilo, Hawaii in 2006 which was a blessing in disguise. He was able to train with legendary figures BJJ in Hilo under the Carlson Gracie/ Andre Pederneiras lineage. In 2010 for his spring and fall semesters James studied in Japan at Tokai University where he learned Judo and continued practicing BJJ with the Paraestra Team also under the Carlson Gracie lineage. Upon returning to the mainland, he would begin training at his home with friends due to loyalty to his team not having local associates to join. However, in 2012 he had an injury in competition which would cause a halt in training due to major surgery. Fate would have it while working at a sporting goods store he met Professor Jorge “Macaco” Patino who encouraged him to get stronger and continue his BJJ journey.

Professor Macaco would always encourage him while seeing him at a local fitness gym in Sugar Land, Texas. In 2017 after being nearly 5 years of the mats he would meet and reconnect with Macaco Black Belt Professor James Markle through mutual friends Kyle Richey and Team Boxing Coach Mack Perez. He knew that the team because of their lineage would be a fit with him due to the toughness of sparring partners and detailed instruction. He teaches the fundamentals classes due to his belief that many of the basics are often overlooked for the use of newer techniques that many do not have the ability to do. Since joining Markle Gold Team, he has comeback to the competition scene and picked up where he left off. Aside from BJJ and Judo, James has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is a avid competition shooter in IPSC and USPSA.

David "DC" Cabrera
Asst. Coach

Sgt. David Cabrera served as a USMC close combat instructor for 8 years prior to studying BJJ. It was in the Marine Corps that he learned the significance of ground fighting and how important of a role it plays in creating a well-rounded fighter.

He was instantly hooked on BJJ and never looked back, he holds a brown belt awarded March 2020 by Prof James Markle.  After training for almost ten years it has gotten him in great shape but, more importantly he feels that it has added so much to his character as well.  David is a firm believer in the basics and drilling fundamentals before getting too fancy and committing costly mistakes.


“Markle BJJ has been the best place I’ve ever trained, we train like a family. I’m honored to be here and always help anyone that needs guidance” -DC

 Chris Hill
 Asst. Coach

Chris Hill grew up in Arlington, Texas where he wrestled all four years in High School and 3 of those on Varsity until he was injured his Senior year. After High School he attended Texas A&M University where he completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial & Systems Engineering.


After College he was looking for something to help him get back in shape. He tried other fitness programs, but they didn’t quite work for him. In 2013 he tried out a BJJ class and was hooked immediately.After starting training he moved to Houston and floated between gyms for about a year until he joined Gold Team in 2014. He was most attracted to Gold Team’s mat culture which challenges the body while stimulating the mind, and building a supportive community. In 2015, he was promoted to Blue belt where he competed regularly and won in several local tournaments; he also began teaching classes for both Children and Adults. February 2020, Chris was promoted to Brown belt and expects to compete and teach regularly.