Full Name: Ricardo Miller Chagas Ribeiro
Nickname: “Franjinha” means fringe. The nickname originated when Ricardo started training at Romero Cavalcanti’s gym in Rio de Janeiro. Miller had straight hair, and always had a bowl style haircut which resembled a comic book character from “Turma da Monica” books and TV show. That character was named Franjinha.
World Champion (1996 brown belt);
5x Pan American Champion (2010 Senior 2weight & absolute, 2007 , 2006 Senior 1, 2003 Master);
2x World No Gi Champion (2008, 2007 Senior 1)
Weight Division: Peso Médio (82kg-181lbs)
Academy/Association: Paragon BJJ
Ricardo Miller was born on the 30th of June, 1969, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.He grew up on one of the most famous burghs of Rio, the Leblon which neighbors Copacabana. The last name Miller comes from Ricardo’s American origins, his great grandfather was from the USA. It is said that his family owned a Mill a few generations ago, thus the name “Millers” which later turned into Miller. Another peculiarity of Ricardo Franjinha Miller is that unlike many of the athletes in BJJ today who had very humble upbringings, Miller came from a middle class family in Brazil and had a chance to study in a good school. He found Jiu Jitsu in his late teens (when he was 19) and straight away started training with his one and only mentor, Romero Cavalcanti at the Jacaré academy in Ipanema – Rio de Janeiro.
At Jacaré’s place Miller had the opportunity to train with and under many of the big names of his time. People likeFábio Gurgel, Traven and “Telo” Mendes. All this hard training paid off in 1996 as “Franjinha” took gold at the Mundial (World Championship) in the meio-pesado brown belt division. He was awarded his black belt by master Romero Cavalcanti shortly after his World title (February 1997) combining a total of 8 years between the time he first stepped on a mat and his black belt ceremony.
In 1997 Franjinha decided he needed a new challenge in life. Ricardo was already one of the coaches at the prestigious Alliance academy in Sao Paulo (Fabio Gurgel‘s Headquarters), but after a brief stay in Santa Barbara, CA for the 1996 BJJ Pan American he fell in love with the place and moved to the US, seeing great potential for BJJ in the country for Jiu Jitsu.
In California Ricardo Miller founded the Paragon Academy, this academy has flourished throughout the last decade having become a testament to it’s name, a true model of excellence to all BJJ academies over the World, with great fighters coming out of it’s camp. Paragon today is famous for it’s technical prowess that has graduated names such as Jeff Glover, Bill Cooper and Tyrone Glover (who was Franjinha’s first black belt), but another of Paragon’s most successful competitors is also it’s founder, Miller is still a very active competitor in many top level events such as the Pan American the Nogi World Championships and many others.
Jeff Glover: Paragon BJJ Blackbelt
A Paragon Black Belt, Jeff has dominated the tournament scene unlike any other american fighter to date. Jeff has competed in some of the most prestigious events submission grappling has to offer.
Bill "The Grill" Cooper: Paragon BJJ Blackbelt
A Paragon Black Belt, Bill has been a terror in both National and International Competition for over 10 years.
Rodrigo Antunes: Paragon BJJ Blackbelt
A Paragon Black Belt, Rodrigo is the Owner/Instructor at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. An avid competitor, Competing often, he claimed 20 Golds, 1 Silver, and 2 Bronzes in 21 tournaments from 2014-2015.