Grappling caught Richie’s attention back in 2011. After watching his brother Geo (who was 3 months into his training) tap every opponent at the Gracie Nationals tournament in the blue belt division, Richie decided to join his sibling at the 10th Planet Vista academy. The classes being taught by Sean Bollinger.
During his first year of training jiu jitsu, Martinez lived in Los Angeles, too far from the academy to pay regular visits. Instead he would travel to the Bollinger’s gym once per week and spend the rest of his free time drilling the positions learnt in class with his girlfriend at home, an unusual method that paid dividends by taking Martinez to a blue belt standard.
Richie started training directly under the guidance of 10th Planet head coach Eddie Bravo, at the team’s headquarters. Bravo developed Richie’s game tremendously for grappling and mixed martial arts (MMA) a sport in which Martinez debuted in 2013, competing for the Xplode Fight Series.
The two brothers (Richie and Geo) became known in the grappling circuit as the “Freak Brothers” due to their B-boying association. Their recognition in the jiu jitsu world would lead them to open their own 10th Planet Freaks gyms, Richie in San Diego and Geo in Oceanside – California. It was at the grand opening of the San Diego academy, on January 3, 2015, that Richie would be awarded his black belt by instructor Eddie Bravo.