Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro Head Instructor

Vitor Ribeiro is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) specialist and mixed martial artist (MMA). He holds a professional MMA record of 20 wins and 2 losses.

Widely regarded as one of the most gifted grapplers of all time, the Nova Uniao product earned his black belt while still a teenager and went to on to win the CBJJ Mundials (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship) four times, once as a purple belt in 1996 and three times as a black belt in three consecutive years (1999, 2000, and 2001). He competed in the ADCC World Championship, the most prestigious no gi grappling competition in the world in 2000 and 2003.

"Shaolin" is considered one of the best lightweights in MMA. He has fought several organizations all over the world, including Shooto Japan, Shooto Hawaii, Rumble on the Rock (Hawaii), Cage Rage (England), and K-1 HERO'S (Japan). He has held the Shooto welterweight (154 lb) title, as well as the Cage Rage World lightweight championship. FIGHT magazine recently named Shaolin as one of the fighters they'd like to see on the Brazilian team if MMA ever makes it into the Oympic Games.

With his academy, Shaolin's focus now turns to sharing his vast knowledge with his students and building their skills through a solid Jiu Jitsu foundation.


Q: I have never done anything like this before and am so out of shape. Can I still do BJJ?

A: Absolutely. For complete beginners, we have perfected our tryout process so that you get the one on one attention that you deserve and need for what is required without any fear of intimidation or injuries. By coming to class on a consistent basis, your cardio and endurance will improve as you spend more time on the mats. We have a very systematic basic curriculum that we employ our instructors to work with you on upon your first couple of weeks to months to ensure the retention of knowledge and practical application to gain the most out of what BJJ can do for you.

Q: Do I need any special equipment?

A: All you need is a gi and a belt! (Don't have one? No problem. Our VIP program includes a trial uniform.) If you are a seasoned practitioner but don't have a gi, we have them for sale or rental. Other optional equipment includes mouth guards and rashguards which we highly recommend. For women, it's suggested that you bring sportswear similar to sports bras, high neck tanks or shirt, and yoga short or leggings.

Q: What can I expect in my first class?

A: Upon arrival, about 15 minutes before your scheduled class time, you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff members who will have you fill out a waiver and show you to the changing rooms. The classes follow a simple flow: a warm-up which includes stretching, cardio, and conditioning, followed by the drill and technique of the day, and ending with what we call "rolling" or sparring. (Don't worry if you are not comfortable rolling the first day, it is not required!) Once the class is done, you will be directed to schedule your second class ideally within the same week, so that comprehension and application of what you learned is not interrupted.

Q: I heard BJJ is a good workout. Will I lose weight?

A: The movements of Brazilian jiu jitsu recruit all muscle groups, giving you a total body workout. There is a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular conditioning that is unlike any other workout out there and gives you a type of endurance that only comes from mat time. some of our students have even quit their gym because this is all the workout they need! The more you put into the mat, the more you will get out of it.

Q: How does the belt system work?

A: For adults, the belts ranks start at white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Kids will vary depending on the school, but the usually color progression is white, grey, yellow, orange, and green. Not all schools will follow a striping system, but those that do follow a 4 stripe system as they advance between belts. Getting from one belt to the other contains a more subjective component, rather than a cookie-cutter one. The timeline depends on several factors, but it can range between 1-4 years between each belt. Ultimately, the goal of any Martial Artist is Black Belt, but getting there takes a lot of time, patience, and endurance. And we invite you to take that journey with us!