Kingston Jiu Jitsu is affiliated to the Mauricio Gomes Legacy Team.
Mauricio began training in Jiu-Jitsu at just four years of age. His father, who was a brown belt, started his journey and took him to classes at João Alberto Barreto’s academy.
As a teenager, Mauricio began training with the legendary Rolls Gracie. Under Rolls’ guidance, he became a highly successful competitor and won the absolute division of the Rio de Janeiro State Championships in 1981. Shortly after this victory Rolls would award Mauricio his black belt. Mauricio continued training with Rolls until his tragic death in 1982.
Through his close ties with the Gracie family, Mauricio met Reila Gracie, the daughter of Carlos Gracie Sr. The two married and, although their relationship didn’t last, they had a son, Roger Gracie. Roger would go on to become a ten-time World Champion and is widely recognised as being the greatest Jiu-Jitsu competitor of all time.
In the late 1990s, Mauricio came to the UK and established the very first Gracie Barra gym there. Through his teaching, many new gyms would open and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now the fastest growing martial art in the UK. Mauricio is affectionately known as the ‘Godfather of British Jiu-Jitsu’ because of his efforts to grow the sport in the country.
Mauricio acts as a mentor to Kingston Jiu Jitsu Head Instructor, Marc, and regularly visits the club to teach classes, seminars and take gradings.
Marc is a lifelong martial artist, starting at a young age with ninjutsu, and then Shotokan karate in his late teens. He trained in this for many years, achieving a 2nd Dan black belt. Karate also inspired travel to Japan where he trained at the Shotokan Headquarters in Tokyo for three months in 1999.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu became a new focus in 2006 when he discovered the Roger Gracie Academy in London. Ten years later, Marc was awarded his black belt at the Roger Gracie Academy in December 2016. Marc is one of a small number of black belts personally mentored by the legendary Mauricio Gomes, who introduced BJJ to the UK in the early 2000s and is the father of the legendary Roger Gracie. Marc was promoted to 2nd-degree black belt by Mauricio in December 2022.
Marc now runs Kingston Jiu Jitsu and teaches many of the classes. He has also introduced a highly successful kids programme in Kingston and has loved the chance of introducing jiu jitsu to his children. Marc is also a qualified doctor and was recently appointed as the medical officer for the UK governing body for Jiu Jitsu, the UKJJF.
Yiyang is a martial arts enthusiast, a medical doctor and a certified personal trainer. Before discovering Brazilian JiuJjitsu and grappling, he spent his younger years training in various striking disciplines namely Taekwondo, Kungfu and Kickboxing. After almost 14 years of training, Yiyang was promoted to black belt in December 2022.
Besides martial arts, he is an advocate of body weight and movement-based workouts and he has developed his own training program based on this that is available here. He teaches a weekly fitness for BJJ class that is based around this program and helps out teaching jiu jitsu classes on an ad hoc basis whenever he can also.
Andreas came to Jiu Jitsu via training in Muay Thai and grappling in his early thirties in 2003. Due to work commitments, he took a break for a few years but returned to Jiu-Jitsu in 2015 in order to get in shape for his wedding. He hasn’t left us since, and apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks as he won a Gold medal in the NAGA No-Gi competition, as well as Silver and Bronze medals in IBJFF, NAGA and the Surrey Open Gi. Andreas is our competition team captain and organises our extra pre-competition preparation classes. He was awarded his brown belt by Marc in July 2018.
Andreas’ attention to detail style of teaching helps our beginners get up to speed quickly and understand the basic concepts of BJJ. He also very much enjoys stretching and yoga and emphasises it in his warm-ups, having learned the hard way how important flexibility is.
Graham started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at age 58 when the Kingston club was first founded and now teaches adult lunch sessions on Tuesdays. He also actively supports the kids club programme as an assistant instructor. Now in his late-60s, Graham has almost 50 years of martial arts experience and in addition to a brown belt in BJJ, he is a 5th Dan in Shotokan karate and a Tai Chi practitioner. Graham is a testament to the belief that BJJ can be safely practised at any age to promote self-confidence, fitness, self-defence and well being.
Dan is a highly skilled and experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner who was promoted to brown belt in December 2022. He is known for his relaxed and smooth style of jiu jitsu and for his attention to technical details, which makes him a popular instructor with students of all levels. Dan is dedicated to helping his students improve their techniques and reach their full potential and teaches the Tuesday evening no-gi class regularly.
Clare has been practising martial arts for over 20 years, starting with Shotokan karate whilst at University in 1997 and gaining her 1st Dan black belt in 2001. She also travelled to Japan with Marc to train at the Shotokan Headquarters in Tokyo for 3 months in 1999.
Clare started her jiu-jitsu journey in 2014 after constant nagging by her kids, taking part in the first Kingston Jiu Jitsu beginners course. She fell in love with the art and has continued training ever since. Clare was awarded her purple belt in February 2019. She loves teaching children and is now a vital part of the kids coaching team. Clare also organises and helps to teach our ladies only classes and is our Designated Safeguarding Officer.
Our Muay Thai kickboxing classes are taught by Charlie Villaroman. Charlie began his martial arts training in 2005 with Taekwondo, in which he is currently a 2nd Dan black belt. After competing in several tournaments, he became an assistant instructor in 2008. Charlie started training in Muay Thai kickboxing at Roger Gracie Academy in London in 2015, and this quickly became his main focus. Charlie has gained considerable experience coaching Muay Thai and kickboxing since then. He became a personal trainer in 2018, and most of his clients also train in Muay Thai kickboxing with him. In addition to his considerable experience in the striking arts, Charlie has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2011 and currently holds the rank of purple belt.