Warren’s passion for grappling started when he began wrestling at 8 years of age. In high school, Warren won a PIAA regional title, a junior freestyle state 2nd place finish, and was a two time PIAA state runner-up. Warren continued his wrestling career at Lehigh University under former USA Olympic coach Greg Strobel and NCAA assistant coach of the year award winner, Pat Santoro. Warren was a part of some of the best teams in the storied history of Lehigh’s NCAA Division I wrestling program. Individually Warren was nationally ranked, a EIWA runner up, and a national qualifier.
Warren’s association with the Gracie family and Renzo Gracie started just after graduating form Lehigh in 2002. Rolles Gracie chose Warren out of many applicants to help him with his wrestling training in Brazil. Warren traveled to Brazil where he lived and trained with Rolles Gracie. “I was extremely lucky to have Rolles as my first teacher, the more I learn about jiu jitsu the more I understand this” says Warren. His training continued at the main Renzo Gracie Academy under John Danaher, Shawn Williams, and Renzo himself. “Renzo is very welcoming and open minded”, says Warren of their first meetings. “Renzo leads by his example,” he adds. Warren later moved to Costa Rica continueing his training under Mauro Sergio (Ryan Gracie black belt) and the continued guidance of Shawn Williams (head of Renzo Gracie L.A. and one of world champ UFC fighter George St. Pierre’s grappling coaches).
Warren taught jiu jitsu in Costa Rica and also organized MMA events and jiu jitsu competitions. Later, to further his knowledge of jiu jitsu and compete at top level events, Warren moved to Hollywood, CA to train under Shawn Williams. Shawn recognized Warren’s talent for teaching and made him an assistant instructor at his academy. Warren continues to travel to NYC and other places regularly to continue to his learning of grappling and Mixed Martial Arts with the worlds best teachers and competitors. Some highlights of his competitive bjj and grappling career include (all middle weight class or absolute/open):
3rd place blackbelt adult division pan american no-gi 2011, 3rd place absolute adult blackbelt ibjjf miami open 2011, Grappling Industries NYC Adv No-Gi 2018, Check these results here ( www.ibjjf.org ) and on Grappling Industries site . Warren also has had experience competing in Mixed Martial Arts and holds a 3-0 amature record including a title at WKA MMA tournament in 2010.
Warren says about his experience in BJJ: “Jiu Jitsu changed my life for the better, it is the camaraderie, the intricacy of the technique, the healthy lifestyle, the continuing personal growth; It is really an extraordinary thing. It is so much more than just a sport or even a martial art.”
Warren works with all levels of jiu jitsu students and also coaches competitors and MMA athletes. You can find him on the mats in the Strip District, Zelienople, or Monroeville almost every day, teaching and rolling with jiu jitsu students, and/or sparring with members of the MMA fight team.
“Jiu Jitsu is something you never stop learning. Teaching and training are part of the ongoing process for me that I engage in with my students, training partners, and friends.”
Warren has been consistently training and competing in fighting sports for 3 decades. He received his black belt from Renzo Gracie in 2010 and was awarded his second degree by Renzo in 2017 and third degree by Shawn Williams in 2019.