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.
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
As a brown 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 Andrew Potocko is a black belt under Professor Tony Passos. He began training Jiu Jitsu in 2011 while working and attending college part-time. Professor 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 Professor Andrew’s experience as a coach inspired him to study education and earn a degree in kinesiology at the University of Maryland.
Professor 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.
Professor Megan is a black belt under Professor Tony Passos. She started her Jiu Jitsu journey in November 2012 while living abroad in China. After moving home to the U.S. she began training at an affiliate gym, The Winchester Jiu Jitsu Academy, which led her to join Team Passos HQ in 2018. Professor Megan enjoys the challenge of competition but is most driven by her passion to share Jiu Jitsu through coaching. She is also dedicated to building women’s presence on the mat and leads women’s training events at Team Passos.
Coach Jason is a purple 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 Noel is a purple belt under Professor Tony Passos. From a young age, Coach Noel was fascinated by martial arts. He learned about jiu jitsu and the concept of a “ground game” when he watched the original UFC 1 back in 1993. It wasn’t until July 2015 when Coach Noel took his first steps toward his martial arts journey by joining Team Passos.
Just a few months after beginning his training, he began helping coach in the Kids Zoo-Jitsu classes and continued for several years. He believes his experience assisting in the kids' classes helped him transition into teaching classes as a lead instructor. Currently, Coach Noel leads the morning All-Levels Program and finds it to be a truly fulfilling and satisfying experience.
“Coaching is truly an art; I admire Professor Tony and Professor Josh's ability to effectively convey concepts and techniques in a way that students can easily understand. I try my best to emulate them in my coaching. While challenging, I enjoy helping and motivating students to understand concepts and techniques. Jiu-jitsu has truly helped me to see that I'm more physically and mentally capable than I thought I was. This is what motivates me in my time coaching and what my goal is for the students: to help students realize that while Jiu-Jitsu is hard they can get through it and be a better person for it, on and off the mats.” - Coach Noel
Coach Bear is a purple belt under Professor Tony Passos. He started training jiu jitsu in 2010 at the age of 5 years old in the Kids Zoo-Jitsu Program. It was in the kids program where he gained the nickname “Bear” as his chosen animal name. When his dad tried enrolling him in wrestling, they realized he was too young for that program. That’s when he came upon jiu jitsu at Team Passos. He has always been interested in martial arts and immediately feel in love with the challenge of jiu jitsu.
A natural competitor, Coach Bear participated in his first competition just 3 months after starting his training journey. Taking 1st place at this tournament ignited a passion in him to become a great competitor and learn all that he can about the art of jiu jitsu. Not only is Coach Bear an avid competitor, he also enjoys helping others learn the art of jiu jitsu. Seeing students grow and improve their skills motivates and inspires Coach Bear to teach.
“I love to compete but I also have a passion for coaching jiu jitsu. It brings me great joy to help people accomplish their goals both on and off the mats. Seeing the students come to class and better themselves is a true inspiration. What really draws me to coaching is the people. I really enjoy meeting new people at the academy. The relationships I have made with people in the community have been life changing. “- Coach Bear
Below is a list of recent competitions he has won:
2021 - IBJJF Pan-American Championship – 1st place
2021 - IBJJF World Championship – 1st place
2021 – IBJJF New Orleans Open – 1st place division and open-class
2021 – IBJJF Orlando Open – 1st place
2020 – Fight 2 Win Promotions record of 3 wins – 0 losses
2019 – IBJJF Kids’ International Championship – 1st place
2018 – IBJJF KIds’ International Championship – 1st place
2018 – IBJJF Chicago Open – 1st place
Coach Matt is currently a purple belt under Professor Tony. He 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 Rob is a blue belt under Professor Tony Passos. He had been training martial arts since he was a young kid and first began training jiu jitsu in the summer of 2019. With a passion for teaching and a life goal of opening his own martial arts academy, Coach Rob decided to add the study of jiu jitsu to his skill set.
He currently assists in both the Kids Zoo-Jitsu program and Adults Fundamentals program. Coach Rob is a gifted teacher and is passionate about seeing others grow and develop their martial arts skills.
“My favorite part of being a coach is the ability to help others get better at jiu-jitsu and watching students grow. I’m motivated by seeing students become proficient in the areas they once found challenging and witnessing them have those lightbulb moments. My passion for coaching comes from my underlying love for martial arts and sharing that with others around me.” - Coach Rob
Coach Olivia is a purple belt under Professor Tony. She began training jiu jitsu in August 2016 at the age of 12 years old. She sought out jiu jitsu as a way to build her self-confidence, be mentally and physically challenged, and have a positive outlet. She knows what a positive impact Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has had on her life and truly wants to share that with others.
Coach Olivia’s favorite part about being a coach is seeing the progress and growth of the students. The people in Team Passos and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu itself have helped her tremendously through her struggles on and off the mat. She loves to help people, see them meet their goals, and watch as they overcome obstacles. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a daily part of Coach Olivia’s life and she couldn’t imagine spending her days any other way.
Coach Olivia is a frequent competitor and has recently won or medaled in the following competitions:
2021 IBJJF Worlds - 1st place
2021 IBJJF Pan Ams - 1st place
2021 IBJJF Orlando Summer Open - 1st place
2021 IBJJF Charleston Open - 2nd place
2021 IBJJF New Orleans open - 2nd place division and open-class
2021 IBJJF Orlando Open - 1st place
2020 IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open - 1st place
2019 IBJJF Worlds - 2nd place
2019 IBJJF New York Fall Open - 2nd place division and 1st place open-class
2019 IBJJF Atlanta Summer Open - 1st place division and open-class
Coach Jason is a purple belt under Professor Tony Passos. He first began training jiu jitsu in 2010 while living in California. He was inspired to begin training by his security guard friend who demonstrated his jiu jitsu skills of control, self-defense, and discipline. His favorite part of training jiu jitsu is the healthy lifestyle changes it has allowed him to embrace. Coach Jason loves the positive environment, both physically and spiritually, that the Team Passos community provides.
He currently assists in our Kids Zoo-Jitsu classes and works hard to inspire the students in their training. Coach Jason finds the most gratifying part of being a coach is watching the positive effects jiu jitsu has on the kids and his fellow training partners. He sees the great benefits of consistently pursuing something challenging, to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally.
“Coaching is a great way to help the kids but really, they are helping me. I get a chance to articulate jiu jitsu moves and concepts which in turn help me increase my own understanding. I’ve realized you don’t truly understand jiu jitsu until you’re able to teach it to someone else. I hope to continue coaching and training at Team Passos for many more years to come.” - Coach Jason
Benefit from personal attention and tailored instruction from Professor Tony Passos and our carefully vetted coaching team. They’ll share insights and strategies from over two decades of training, teaching, and coaching to guide you along your BJJ journey.
Our instructors take the time to meet each student and learn their individual training goals. We work with you to identify your goals, set metrics, and offer accountability for you to achieve results that will spur your personal development and strengthen your Jiu Jitsu.
Emphasizes concept over technique. Incorporating techniques with an understanding of body mechanics and principles of leverage and positioning. Techniques are thus tools to learn these mechanics of the body. By understanding how it works together with the technique, self defense skills are developed in a safe and effective manner.
Curriculum is designed in cycles that vary between 6 to 8 weeks to allow students to better understand the positions being taught and how to apply the mechanics they learn with the technique for a particular position. All teaching follows a three-step system approach.
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