Professor Jim Thrift (2nd Degree Black Belt) is a Self-Defense / Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor and a co-owner of the Calvert MMA Academy (Lineage BJJ & T.A.G. Muay Thai). Professor Jim’s passion for the martial arts dates back to the early 80’s when he started training in Moo Duk Kwan / Tang Soo Do / Hapkido / Tae Kwon Do, under the lineage / coaching of Ki Wang Kim, Mike Warren, and Amos Johnson. After earning his black belt, Jim Thrift began training in Japanese Kempo, Judo, and Aikido to expand his martial arts skills. From 1984 – 1998, Jim often competed in local, state, and national fighting competitions to include point fighting tournaments, full contact kick boxing, USTU, AAU, and Judo tournaments. In the mid 90’s at the recommendation of one of his co-workers at the United States Secret Service, Jim took his first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu class and he has been hooked ever since. Jim Thrift is a graduate of the Gracie Academy’s G.R.A.P.L.E.® course (in 1999) which is now referred to as “Gracie Survival Tactics (GST)”® for Law Enforcement by the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. Jim Thrift is also certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission (MPTC) as a law enforcement Defensive Tactics Instructor. Jim Thrift is a 2nd degree black belt professor in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu directly under Grand Master Relson Gracie. Jim Thrift recently retired (March 31, 2018) from a career in law enforcement that spanned over 25 years with the U.S. Secret Service. During his time with the U.S. Secret Service, Jim Thrift was a member of approximately 250 protective advance teams around the globe. While traveling as a member of these protective advance teams, Jim was able to train with some of the best martial artist in the world, to include Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Aikido, Judo, and Taewondo practitioners. Jim Thrift is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of the University of Maryland.