Claudio França Pires
Claudio França pioneered the teaching of BJJ in Santa Cruz, California – coming to us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1995. He has studied BJJ since the age of seven and holds a 5th degree Black Belt from Master Francisco Mansor, who is a 9th degree red belt certified by the Confederation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Rio de Janeiro. Professor França also holds a black belt in Judo from Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro.
Professor França has more than 30 years experience teaching and competing in BJJ. He took a Silver Medal in the 2001 Mundials (World Championships), in Rio de Janeiro, and was a two-time Pan-American Middleweight Champion (’97, ’98), four-time Lightweight Brazilian Champion, and three-time Lightweight State Champion.
Claudio has coached several students who have won in the Mundials and Pan Americas. Since 1995, Master França has hosted one of the most lauded international Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in the country, held right here in Santa Cruz: the U.S. Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament.
Matt Slatter was awarded his Black Belt in December of 2011 under Master Claudio França Pires. Matt began BJJ at the age of thirty three. After signing his kids up for classes and hanging around the Dojo for six months he decided to give it a try and has never looked back. Matt and his son have been training in BJJ for over seventeen years. Matt has won gold, silver and bronze medals in the US Open and Silver and Bronze medals in the Pan Ams. “Jiu Jitsu is not just about self defense, fitness and competition though those are important aspects for me. Jiu Jitsu is about family. It”s about life. It is a great environment to raise my family in and I want to share that with others. There are many lessons I have learned in training that I apply everyday to life and to business.” Matt also owns a successful local construction company in Santa Cruz.
Rafael “Rafa” Eboli
Rafael pictured with professor Claudio Franca (right) and Master Mansur (left). Rafael teaches adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. He started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Claudio Franca in 2004. He earned his black belt in 2013. He was a very active competitor at purple and brown belt earning 2nd place at the 2008 US Nationals in the purple belt middle weight division, 2nd place at the 2008 US Open in the purple belt open weight division, 2nd place at the 2013 IBJJF Panamerican brown belt middle weight division, 2nd place at the 2013 US Nationals in the brown belt master middle weight division, and 1st place at the 2013 US Open in the brown belt open weight division. His favorite submissions are armbars and wristlocks. Along with his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he is also a purple belt in Judo.
Ramiro Camacho is one of our adult BJJ instructors. He has been living, training, and practicing Martial Arts competitively since 2002. Throughout his career, he has earned a black belt from instructor Raul Castillo and has over 20 Submission Grappling titles. Some of his many accomplishments include first place titles in Battle of the Bay, American International Championship, Never Tap, Joe Moreira International Submission Grappling Championship, and the California Open. Ramiro has taught all over the bay area including teaching classes at Raul Castillo Martial Arts, Farley’s Kickboxing Academy, and he also started a Jiu-Jitsu club at San Jose State University that is still active today.
Ramiro has also spent time participating in amateur mixed martial arts competitions with a record of 4 wins 0 losses.
Shane teaches adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes and no-gi classes. He started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2009 and has been wrestling since he was in 6th grade. He is the multiple time IBJJF national champion, multiple time Panamerican medalist, multiple time BJJ Tour US Open champion, and the American Cup and Allstar champion. He has many years of experience working with both kids and adults. Along with teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he has been the Soquel High School wrestling coach since 2012.
Thomas Rumsey was awarded his Black Belt in November of 2014 under Master Claudio França Pires. Thomas began BJJ at the age of thirty eight. A similar story to Matt Slatter, after he signed his three daughters up for classes and was hanging around the Dojo for a year he decided to sign up and join his daughters. By Claudio’s continued determination that BJJ can be the only sport required to get you into physical shape, from then it’s been a permanent part of his life. He has been training in BJJ for over thirteen years and was awarded his Brown Belt in December of 2011. Thomas has won Gold & Silver medals in the US Open and Silver medals in the Panamerican along with tournaments in Southern California like Copa Pacifica Jiu Jitsu Tournaments. During his travels in the United States, Thailand and the Philippines he has pursued meeting and training BJJ with great people. At the age of 53 he is determined to share what he has learned and to teach others how to apply these simple aspects of BJJ for conditioning, self defense and confidence. His goal is to use and share his knowledge and life experiences to make children and adults better people in the world we share.
In his travels for work and life he has also trained with Tim Cartmell. Tim is a second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Eighth Degree Black Belt (Master) in Kung-Fu San Soo and holds black belts in several other styles, and is a lineage holder in the Chinese Internal Systems of martial art. While in the Philippines he trains with Stephen Kampuis. Stephen trained and received his Black belt from Anthony Lange and John Will, (Will-Machado Australia 2004) and seventh Degree Red and Black Belt Master Fabricio Martins of Equipe Fabricio of Brazil also in 2004, thus giving him the rare distinction of being one of a select few non Brazilians to earn Black belt degrees in Brazil.
Austin Fraley began his Jiu-Jitsu career at the age of 13. For about a year, Austin trained in the CFBJJ kids program, where he quickly found his passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the age of 14, Austin achieved his goal of becoming the kids world champion in his respective weight division. After this experience, Austin began to fully commit his focus to the sport, balancing high school with his training. Throughout high school, Austin spent much of his time assisting with the Jiu-Jitsu kids program. Now, at just 18 years old, after graduating Aptos High School as salutatorian of his graduating class, Austin has fully committed his life to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in an effort to achieve his goal of becoming a black belt world champion while also inspiring the next generation to understand how Jiu-Jitsu can shape their lives in a positive way. On top of becoming a world champion at 14, Austin has also, over his 4 years of training, earned the title of U.S. Open champion, American Cup champion, multiple time Jiu-Jitsu by the Sea champion, San Jose Open champion, Las Vegas Open champion, Jiu Jitsu expo champion, and All Star champion, while also earning gold, silver, and bronze medals in tournaments such as the Pan Americans, BJJ Tour Nevada, Jiu Jitsu by the Bay Open, Tahoe Classic, among many others.
Austin was promoted to purple belt in November 2016, and he is one of our main kids instructors. He brings charisma and excitement to every one of his classes, and has been working with kids of all age groups for many years. Bring your kid in today to see how their life can be changed by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in ways similar to how it’s changed Austin.
Saul is the head of our striking program teaching both the kids and adult striking and Muay Thai classes. He started his marital arts career at 6 years old and received his black belt when he was 12 in Taekwondo. He was ranked #1 in his weight division from 2006-2009 in both Taekwondo forms and sparring. He currently holds a 2nd Degree Black belt in TKD, a black belt in American Kickboxing under Francis Farley, and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Saul has consistently been teaching both children and adults martial arts since 2009.
Brad is the Muay Thai Strength & Conditioning instructor. Brad started training Muay Thai under Jason Murphy and Ricky Aguilera at Santa Cruz Muay Thai in 2007, and began teaching in 2009. He has a strong interest in human performance and enjoys helping students prepare for the physical rigors of competition. His approach to training is rooted in 2 philosophies, Mundis Ex Igne Factus Est, and, Plus Est En Vous. He also started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2011 and became a purple belt in 2015. He enjoys the community and family groups that form around martial arts as people come together as a group to support each other through, what is ultimately, an individual pursuit. When not in the gym he spends many hours exploring on long distance cycling rides.
Lisa is the office administrator and the first person you’re likely to meet when you walk into the dojo. She will introduce you to your instructor and get you all set for your first day on the mat! Lisa has 3 sons and a daughter who all train brazilian jiu-jitsu.