Michel “Tarzan” Fernandez has been a member of our academy since 2008 and an instructor since 2009. He has been an inspiring role model for many young kids as he is also a brown belt in Judo. His judo gives him an exceptional advantage in the standup game allowing him to win many tournaments throughout his BJJ career.
Raymond "ceviche" Fundora
bjj bLACK belt
conditioning & BJJ coach
BJJ BLUE BELT
Michael "Tarzan" Fernandez
bjj bLACK belt
Jorge, who was born and raised in Miami, has been an active member of our Academy since 2013 where he developed a deep passion for BJJ. He has been an assistant instructor for the past 2 years, helping in the kid’s class alongside John “JP” Rickling and Michael “Tarzan” Fernandes. On his spare time he enjoys sparing and rolling with his friends where he is quickly advancing in the sport.
John Peter Rickling
BJJ BLACK BELT
Kids Head Instructor
John Peter, known by everyone as JP, half Chinese/Jamaican, half German/Irish, was born in 1982. He grew up in Miami, and was familiar with the Gracie legacy and the effectiveness of BJJ and its supremacy as a self defense system. One day driving down SW 120th street in December of 2008 he saw a Carlson Gracie BJJ sign and turned in right away. Upon meeting Master Michel "Buiu" Porfirio Pereira, he initially thought he was just a college student that was hanging around the school and asked to meet the professor. Perplexed by his youthful appearance, to his surprise that was the professor and Head instructor. He arranged to come back the next day to register and checked Master Buiu's credentials, only to find out he was world renowned, the first black belt of the most prestigious academy in Rio de janeiro. One out of five men in America certified under the American Bjj Federation to teach under Carlson Gracie. And a highly revered member of the IBJJF. He signed up immediately. Master Buiu gave JP the mat-name "Jamaica" due to his heritage and love for reggae music, which is equally shared by Master Buiu. What was initially motivated by self defense interests, became his lifestyle. Master Buiu transformed his life like he has so many others. JP started working with the children in 2009, and has helped train countless world, state and regional champions. Transforming the children in the same way his Master Buiu did for him, he considers the children a privilege and an honor to work with. They are the heart of the academy and the future of the art.
Michel Porfirio Pereira (Buiu), Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, he began judo at the age of 5.His family moved often and after a few years he could not continue Judo classes. In 1989, his family moved into a safer area and he found a karate school that offered Martial Arts - Shoto Kan. His karate master, Paulo Goes, gave him an opportunity to teach beginners, with great success he eventually began giving students private lessons and quickly became friends with everyone in the area of Leblon, a neighborhood in Rio. In 1992, two of those friends, Francisco Albuquerque (Toco) nova geracao bjj and Rodrigo Medeiros bjjrevolution team were Carlson Gracie students and they invited him to learn a new martial art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In 1994, now a Purple Belt at Nova Geracao Jiu Jitsu, Buiu became a new instructor with a new mission to help new students become champions, He helped Thiago Asfora, Rafael Nogueira(Batata), Diego Asenjo, Bruno Nahom, Alexandre Pimentel (Pulga), among others to build up their respect as top competitors on the world stage.
In 1999, all of the hard work paid off as he became the 1st Black Belt from Nova Geracao.He received invitations to teach in others cities and spent 3 months in Minas Gerais, teaching in Manhuacu, then at Santa Catarina for 6 months also in Joinville, where he trained and developed champion Ricardo Toscano.
But two of the greatest opportunities came from his hometown. Ricardo Liborio a Black Belt under Carlson Gracie, invite him to teach in his school in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. Liborio is a World Jiu Jitsu Champion and nowadays he is the principal coach of American Top Team, so their friendship started since he was a white belt. His duties: were to teach and sign up Liborio's school in tournaments, promotion material, payments, and advertising’s. It gave him a chance to teach his techniques to all of their students and build a strong relationship as well.
The next great opportunity to come was when he began teaching Jiu Jitsu in the slums of Dona Marta in Botafogo. Some of his students were characters in the movie "City of God" and "City of Man", Darlan Cunha and Douglas Silva. In 2001, he started the project Educating Children for the Future. The impoverished children would train Judo and Jiu Jitsu for free everyday (300 children). Gama Filho College paid for the children’s apparel and reimbursement for his time.
The project suddenly stopped in 2004 when the government cut funding but he continued to teach due to his love of jiu jitsu and continued desire to help the children. He changed their young lives by taking them off the streets and away from the drug trafficking.
Although he continued to teach, without the financial backing from the government, his financial situation became bleak and was forced to stop going to Dona Marta.
Two years later he finds himself in the US looking to share his Jiu Jitsu knowledge in the United States. His first stop was at the Spear Jiu Jitsu Academy in Germantown, Philadelphia in 2006 with his close friend and student a Jiu Jitsu World Champion Noah Spear. In June 2007, he moved to Miami Beach to change adolescent and adult lives teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with friendship, discipline, respect, education and peace, eventually, develop a similar project here. Some of the places he taught at were:
October 2007 ( 8 months) taught at Spirit In Motion. November 2007 (1 year) taught at American Top Team South Beach and finally he opened his own School, Carlson Gracie Miami