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Instructor Flavio Almeida Gracie Barra Scottsdale AZ

Professor Flavio Almeida

BJJ Rank: 4th Degree Black Belt

Professor Flavio Almeida started training martial arts when he was 12 years old, through karate. He followed in his brother, Ricardo Almeida’s footsteps and began practicing jiu-jitsu under the Gracie Barra family. He has had the privilege of receiving coaching from many jiu-jitsu legends, such as Renzo Gracie, Marcio Feitosa, and Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Professor Flavio Almeida competed in the late 1990s and late 2000s. His achievements include World Champion (1999 Brown Belt, 1997 Blue Belt), ADCC Silver Medallist (2007), Pan American Silver Medallist (2009, 2007), Brazilian National Silver Medallist (1999 Purple Belt, 1998 Purple Belt), Word Bronze Medallist (2007, 2001, 2000), and European Bronze Medallist (2009).

Professor Flavio Almeida is the founder of Gracie Barra Dana Point and Gracie Barra San Clemente and is a co-founder of Gracie Barra Scottsdale, AZ. He is also the Executive Director of the Gracie Barra Association.

Instructor Ricardo Almeida Gracie Barra Scottsdale AZProfessor Ricardo Almeida

BJJ Rank: 4th Degree Black Belt

Professor Ricardo Almeida, founder of the Ricardo Almeida Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy (RABJJ) in Robbinsville, New Jersey, began training Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in 1992. He was the first to receive a Black Belt under Master Renzo Gracie of the Renzo Gracie Academy, where he also served as an Assistant Instructor.

Professor Ricardo Almeida is a world renowned coach, training world champions in sport jiu jitsu, submission wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA). Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar is a brown belt at the RABJJ Academy.

Professor Ricardo is a veteran of the UFC and Pride FC and was recently named an Official MMA judge for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.

His achievements are include Brazilian National Champion (Medio – Purple Belt 1996, Pesado – Brown Belt 1997), Pan American Champion (Pesado – Brown Belt 1999), ADCC Silver Medallist (1998 88-98Kg and Absolute), ADCC Bronze Medallist (2000 Absolute), and former Pancrase Champion.

Professor Ricardo Almeida is a co-founder of Gracie Barra Scottsdale.

Instructor Felipe Guedes Gracie Barra Scottsdale AZ

Professor Felipe Guedes

BJJ Rank: Black Belt under Professor Flavio Almeida

Professor Felipe Guedes began training jiu-jitsu in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under Roberto Laje when he was 18 years old. He became a Blue Belt under Leje, but then had to abandon jiu-jitsu to study dentistry, which was his chosen profession, until he moved to the U.S. in 2002 to learn English. Laje connected Professor Felipe Guedes with the Orange County jiu-jitsu pioneer, Joe Moreira.

Four years later, Professor Felipe Guedes started training at Gracie Barra Lake Forest, home of Marcio Feitosa and Master Carlos Gracie, Jr., where he spent two years as a Blue Belt. Professor Felipe met Professor Flavio Almeida in 2007, and the two became best friends. Professor Flavio invited Professor Felipe to be the Program Director at Gracie Barra San Clemente, where he learned to manage a school and take care of his students, on and off the mats. He went on to become the General Manager of both Gracie Barra San Clemente and Gracie Barra Dana Point, and get his Purple Belt, Brown Belt and Black Belt.

Prof. Felipe also plays a important role inside the Gracie Barra Association, helping schools all over the world to reach success. He has led/contribute with many projects, such as school software, Future Champions Program, school management, sales, Women’s Jiu-Jitsu, GB Entrepreneurs Club, GB Ethics Counsel, GB Anti-Bullying system, GB webinars, and many others.

His achievements include Pan American Absolute Champion, 4x American Champion, and 3rd Place at No-Gi World Championship.

Instructor Dave Weber Gracie Barra Scottsdale AZProfessor Dave Weber

BJJ Rank: Black Belt under Professor Flavio Almeida

Professor Dave Weber grew up in Newport Beach, CA where he played football and was an accomplished wrestler in high school. He went on to the University of Southern California to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a specialty in its prestigious Entrepreneur Program. Professor Dave Weber started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the Los Angeles area in 2003 and later, met Professor Flavio Almeida at the old Gracie Barra headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. when he moved back to Orange County.

Professor Dave and Professor Flavio quickly formed a close bond, so when Professor Flavio opened his first Gracie Barra school in San Clemente, CA, Dave did not hesitate to follow him there to continue to be his student. Professor Dave received his Black Belt from Professor Flavio in February of 2014 and has the honor of being the first American born student to receive a Black Belt from Professor Flavio.

Professor Dave’s professional goal has always been to combine his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for martial arts. When asking Dave about his love for jiu-jitsu, he stated, “Besides my family and few close friends, jiu-jitsu is the most important part of my life! I feel blessed to be on a team with Flavio Almeida, Felipe Guedes, and Ricardo Almeida, and that I can be a part of bringing Gracie Barra to Scottsdale!”

Professor Dave has found success in competition and has taken home medals in Gi and even more in No-Gi. These days, he’s spending the majority of his time as an instructor to make sure as many students as possible can benefit from Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

gbs prof. diogo pic

Professor Diogo Ferreira

BJJ Rank:Black Belt

What BJJ means for me: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu means living a better quality life and achieving the goals you set for yourself. Ultimately if you live a higher quality life, you will be able to show others how to live a higher quality life. Jiu-Jitsu teaches you how to respect your limits and have self control over your attitude and how others affect you. In turn these things make you a better person for your family, friends and community. Life has a lot of obstacles and challenges but today I can overcome these with great balance.

Favorite Quote: “To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind”. – Carlos Gracie

Hobbies: Jiu-Jitsu, Biking, Running, Movies and Music.

Background: I was born in Belo Horizonte – MG – Brazil and lived there until I was 30. Three years ago, I moved to the United States to follow my dream of living the life of Jiu-Jitsu. I played a lot of sports growing up, but it was the art of Jiu-Jitsu that fascinated me and ultimately changed my life. In Brazil I graduated with a degree in Physical Education and worked in different places; gyms, as a personal trainer, and as a teacher of Physical Education in school. After that I found my calling while teaching Jiu-Jitsu classes at school. After a long journey of finding my calling, today, I’m sure that I want to make a difference in people’s lives through Jiu-Jitsu. There’s only school I would teach Jiu-Jitsu with, that’s Gracie Barra. Gracie Barra holds itself and its schools to higher standards that I too hold myself to.

Join me at Gracie Barra Scottsdale this fall and experience Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for everyone!

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