Categorized as:

Tony Passos

Tony Passos is one of the few Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts under Ricardo de la Riva. He shares this distinction with such greats as Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Moacir “Boca” Oliveira. He is currently an IBJJF certified third degree black belt. Tony Passos is a also proud member and coach of Team Atos Jiu Jitsu.

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

While his love for competition is strong, Tony’s true passion lies in teaching and coaching. He has dedicated himself to these two arts since early in his career, focusing on the development of his students on and off the mat. Professor Tony’s exceptionally high level of understanding of Jiu Jitsu and of the underlying mechanics has led him to currently coach the top world BJJ athletes and competitors.

Tony brings this skill level of an accomplished BJJ practitioner and world-renowned coach to the mat for his own students. He works closely with all of his students in setting goals, developing personal training plans, competition strategies, scheduling, as well as approaching BJJ from a holistic point of view. Whether you are seeking a professional career in the sport, are a weekend warrior, or are simply looking to try a new hobby, Tony strives to work with you to ensure that your goals and desires are met by his teaching and coaching, and pushes you to maximize your potential.

His gifting in teaching and knowledge of Jiu Jitsu allows him to break down a complex position in a step-by-step, easily understood manner and explaining the position from various angles. He focuses on tailoring instruction to best suite the student based on their method of learning and body style. His ability to see the details and clearly explain positions allows the students to better understand and apply the art of Jiu Jitsu at the highest level.

Above all, Tony believes that Jiu-Jitsu allows anyone to improve themself through hard work, discipline, and focus. No matter your age, whether you are male or female, strong or weak, Jiu-Jitsu will change your life.


Coach Josh

Joshua Pike is a brown belt under Tony Passos. He began training Jiu-Jitsu at the age of thirteen. Josh’s little sister wanted to try Jiu-Jitsu so he and his brothers accompanied her so she would not be alone. Josh loves being able to see the joy that students experience while they are learning.

Below are the most recent competitions Josh has competed and placed in:

  • 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

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. Josh loves to train Jiu-Jitsu because “it can allow us to achieve anything in life.” Josh recently graduated with a degree in kinesiology and wishes to continue training to become a World Champion while attending graduate school.

Coach Paul

As a purple belt under Tony Passos, Coach Paul assists in teaching the kids’ classes. Having spent years learning Jiu jitsu, he likes teaching the kids as a way to give back and to ensure that the knowledge of BJJ does not get lost. Coach Paul is also a second degree black belt in karate. His inspiration to train BJJ came from the way it applies basic principles to great effect.  The most fulfilling aspect of teaching the kids class is to see how quickly the kids learn and apply the art. His teaching methodology includes focusing both on mental and physical skills. He emphasizes and 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 gaining a mental framework to succeed in school and life while maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

Coach Jesse

My wrestling background and passion for grappling lead me to pursue Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for myself and my kids. In 2008, my kids and I were blessed to find and enroll in Tony’s BJJ academy. Overtime, as I witness the positive impact Tony and BJJ had on the kids in his program, I found myself wanting to contribute as a Coach in support of their positive development and maturity through BJJ. It is truly a blessing to work with the kids.

Coach Andrew

Andrew Potocko is a blue belt under Tony Passos. He began training Jiu Jitsu in 2011 while working and attending college part-time. 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, Andrew competed in the IBJJF World Championships and placed third in his division. During this time, he also started teaching Jiu-Jitsu as an assistant coach in the Kids “Zoo-Jitu” and BJJ Fundamentals programs. He enjoys helping  the students understand the basic concepts and skills to provide them with a foundational knowledge of the sport. Andrew’s experience as a coach inspired him to study education in college and pursue teaching as a career. He is currently attending the University of Maryland, studying Biology and Education.

Coach Rafaela

Coach Rafaela (a.k.a Rafa) started a Jiu Jitsu journey in Brazil when a friend introduced her to the martial art. In 2012 she acquired her blue belt from Liga Jiu Jitsu under Osvaldo Alves school at Sao Jose dos Campos / São Paulo state. When she moved to the United States, Coach Rafa competed in local tournaments such as Copa Nova and New Breed, placing first and second place. Jiu Jitsu played a crucial role in Coach Rafa loosing weight and achieving a healthy lifestyle. This inspired her to study nutrition.

Coach Rafa finds much joy in being surrounded by the students during Zoo-Jitsu classes, sparring with the girls, motivating the students, and being a role model for other females on the mat. She is grateful for the amazing opportunity to share the mats with all of our teammates.

Coach Dave

Dave Lee is a brown belt under 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 Thatcher

Coach Thatcher is a blue belt under Professor Tony Passos. With a wresting background, his transition to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was a natural fit. His love for learning the art and dedication to teaching and helping his teammates makes him an invaluable part of our BJJ family.