Professor Andre Galvao dropped some serious knowledge during his seminar with us this month. Here is a highlight video of the weekend.
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Coach Jason is a blue belt under Professor Tony Passos. Being a fan of MMA, he loved the submissions and grappling the most. Realizing how effective the ground game is led him to try out Jiu Jitsu and he has been hooked every since.
A encouraging team player is how we would describe Coach Jason. He also demonstrates the tremendous power of what showing up and working hard accomplishes. He is studying full-time in college, often wakes up by 4:00 am to work at his job at Starbucks, and makes it to the academy to train and coach in the evenings. And, he balances all of this with a upbeat and friendly attitude that is contagious.
Coach Jason shares that: “Jiu Jitsu has been a catalyst for my personal development and I am a much better human being today because of Jiu Jitsu and the great team I am surrounded by. My favorite part of coaching is the opportunity to positively influence the students — the same way I have been positively influenced through training and access to a great team. I wholeheartedly believe that Jiu Jitsu can change someone’s life. Everyone at Team Passos will welcome you into the family with open arms as soon as you walk through the doors and will work with you to achieve all your goals both on the mat and off.”
Coach Dave Lee is a brown belt under Professor Tony Passos. He began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2007. While searching for more exciting form of exercise, he discovered BJJ and never looked back. He joined Team Passos in 2015 and began coaching due to his passion for BJJ and his desire to share that with other students.
Coach Dave is an example of what the power of consistently showing up to class can accomplish. He is an extremely dedicated student of the art of Jiu Jitsu and also extremely dedicated in helping with our Intermediate program. He is always with a smile on his face and willing to give of his own time for the benefit of others.
Coach Matt is a pillar in our Fundamentals program. Coach Matt began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2017. He grew up doing martial arts, and was looking to try something new after a few years hiatus. After searching the web for local BJJ academies, he found Team Passos and tried a class. His interest turned into a passion and he has been training consistently ever since.
Coach Matt welcomes and partners with newer students on the mat to help them learn proper Jiu Jitsu while also making it a fun experience. He is a hard worker and is always willing to chip in to help at the academy wherever he sees the need. Coach Matt is extremely focused on the growth of his Jiu Jitsu and embraces the process of getting out of his comfort zone in order to learn the art of Jiu Jiu and grow both on and off the mat.
Coach Jimmy is a black belt under Professor Tony Passos. He was one of the first Team Passos students well over a decade ago. He is a true example of what consistency in training can accomplish while also being a husband and dad and building a career. Coach Jimmy has always been a great source of encouragement to everyone at the academy. His quick wit and the jokes he brings to the mat make the process of learning the art of Jiu Jitsu even more fun.
Coach Andrew Potocko is a purple belt under Professor Tony Passos. He began training Jiu Jitsu in 2011 while working and attending college part-time. Coach Andrew played multiple sports growing up, including soccer, ice hockey, lacrosse, and golf. The transition to Jiu Jitsu came after high school as “a way to exercise and stay healthy in a structured and disciplined environment.”
In 2013 he competed in the IBJJF World Championship, placing third in his division. Also during this time, he began teaching Jiu Jitsu as an Assistant Coach in the Kids “Zoo-Jitsu” and Adults Fundamentals programs. It was Coach Andrew’s experience as a coach inspired him to study education and earn a degree in kinesiology at the University of Maryland.
Coach Andrew is extremely consistent in his own training and approaches all he does with a high level of excellence. He wears multiple hats at the Team Passos. As Academy Manager he makes sure everything runs smoothly and is always a friendly face to greet everyone when they walk in. As an Instructor, he has an ability to explain the details of each position very well and is able to tailor his teaching style to the student. He enjoys helping the students understand the basic concepts and skills to provide them with a foundational knowledge of the sport.
As a purple belt under Professor Tony Passos, Coach Paul assists in teaching the Kids’ “Zoo-Jitsu” program. Having spent years learning Jiu Jitsu, he enjoys teaching the kids as a way to give back and to ensure that the knowledge of Jiu Jitsu gets passed on. Coach Paul is also a second degree black belt in karate. His inspiration to train Jiu Jitsu came from the way it applies basic principles to great effect.
Coach Paul truly gets the vision that our Jiu Jitsu program is a means of investing in our students and providing the tools to succeed in life. For him, the most fulfilling aspect of teaching the kids class is to see how quickly the kids learn and apply the art. His teaching methodology emphasizes both mental and physical skills. He encourages the kids to think through their decisions of what technique to choose and why and then the correct method to implement. Coach Paul believes that by learning BJJ, the kids are able to gain a mental framework to succeed in school and life while maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
“Those kids on the mats are the future of Jiu Jitsu, and they are the future of the world. My hope is that I can take the investments that others have made into me, and multiply it by sharing what I’ve learned with each of those children. Not just reciting techniques for them to memorize by rote, but shaping their environment and giving them the input, challenges, and encouragement needed to cause them to grow into good people, to make mental connections, to develop good habits, to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle – and maybe, just maybe, put them in a position to one day do things that will amaze everyone. We hear ‘it’s not about Jiu Jitsu’ a lot, but it’s true: Jiu Jitsu is a vehicle for investing in others.” – Coach Paul
Professor Joshua Pike is a black belt under Professor Tony Passos. He began training Jiu Jitsu at the age of thirteen in Team Passos’ Kids “Zoo-Jitsu” program. At that time, Professor Josh’s little sister had wanted to try Jiu Jitsu so he and his brothers accompanied her so that she would not be alone. He is now a huge part of our team today.
Professor Josh began teaching in the fall of 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania while attending school at Penn State University. He realized quickly that he had a passion to help others grow and succeed in life through Jiu Jitsu. Professor Josh loves to train because “it can allow us to achieve anything in life.” Professor Josh graduated with a degree in kinesiology from the University of Pennsylvania and wishes to continue training to become a World Champion while attending graduate school.
He has not only become a fantastic Instructor and Coach but he has proven himself as a top competitor on the BJJ stage. He is extremely dedicated to ensuring that each student progresses in their understanding of Jiu Jitsu and improves in their own BJJ journey. Professor Josh loves being able to see the joy that students experience while they are learning the art. His commitment to his dreams, the academy and student, and the art of Jiu Jitsu inspires us all.
Below are the most recent competitions Josh has competed and placed in:
2019 CBJJ Brasileiro Championship – 3rd Place 2019 Chicago Spring Open – 3rd Place Fight 2 Win Pro 82 Winner Fight 2 Win Pro 70 Winner 2018 Atlanta Winter Open – 2nd Place Fight 2 Win Pro 53 Winner – Submission of the night Fight 2 Win Pro 42 Winner 2017 Atlanta Winter Open – 1st Place 2016 Miami Winter Open – 2nd Place 2016 Long Beach Winter Open – 1st Place 2016 IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open – 1st Place 2015 IBJJF Seattle Open – 1st Place 2013 IBJJF New York Open – 3rd Place 2011 IBJJF New York Open – 2nd Place 2009 IBJJF World Championships – 3rd Place
Professor Tony Passos is one of the few Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts under Ricardo de la Riva. He is currently an IBJJF certified third degree black belt and a proud member and coach of Team Atos Jiu Jitsu.
Professor Tony started training Jiu-Jitsu at 18 years old in Recife, Brazil and began teaching in 2002. He has trained with and learned from world champions such as Andre Galvao, Guto Campos, Claudio Calasans and many others.
Tony has won and medaled in many prestigious competitions such as:
IBJJF Chicago Open 2013 IBJJF Chicago Open 2012 IBJJF Pan American Championships 2011 Abu Dhabi Pro 2010 IBJJF Pan American Championships 2010 IBJJF Houston Open 2010 IBJJF US National Championships 2009 BJJF Miami Open 2009
Having retired from competing to pursue his passion of teaching and coaching, Professor Tony coaches some of the top world Jiu Jitsu athletes on the biggest world stages of Jiu Jitsu. He brings the skill and experience of an accomplished BJJ practitioner and world-renowned coach to his local students and affiliates. His passion for teaching the art of Jiu Jitsu is undeniable. When he is coaching or even teaching class you can hear Professor Tony a mile away. He brings a sense of humor to the mats and as well as an unsurpassed work ethic.
Professor Tony has dedicated himself to the development of his students both on and off the mat. He works closely with all of his students on goal settings and developing personal training plans and competition strategies. His gift of teaching and exceptional knowledge of Jiu Jitsu allows him to break down a complex position in a step-by-step, easily understood manner. His teaching style consists of explaining a position from various angles while tailoring the instruction to best suit the student’s learning style and body style.
Professor Tony also works with each of our coaches and affiliates to pass along this holistic approach to Jiu Jitsu and comprehension of the art so that our students will be able to understand and apply the art of Jiu Jitsu at the highest level.
Above all, Professor Tony believes that Jiu Jitsu allows anyone to improve and transform their own lives through focus and consistently putting in the work on the mat while enjoying the journey together.