Carlos "Carlinhos" Gracie, Jr 7th Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Founder and Head Instructor of Gracie Barra Academy, Rio de Janeiro “It is with great honor and satisfaction that I’m writing these lines, because among a lot of disciples and students that I had, you are the one that I can always mention as a role model. Your behavior and attitude during the years that we were together , only make me say great things about your personality. You have always been an example of hard work and discipline, and the great results that you are having right now in your professional life is not luck at all, but a result of a positive choice and open mind for new options and ideas. Congratulations! It is very fulfilling for a Professor to watch the moral victory and professional success of a student like you.”
Flavio Almeida – 1st Degree BJJ Black Belt – Economist
"It is always hard to gather the requiredinspiration to talk about great men as they deserve. To do that, I have to detach from the brotherhood relationship and see him by the eyes of the people. Most men do what’s possible professionally and personally. Great men focuson beyond possible. They reach high level of success in all dimensions of life. To teach jiu-jitsu is possible. To use it as a mean for student’s self-improvement and achievement of greater levels of development as a human being is an art dominated by few. Being an excellent fighter is possible. Fighting with honor, in victories and losses, and still be a great father, brother, son, husband and teacher is definitely much more then possible. Having a Jiu-Jitsu academy is possible. To build a Jiu-jitsu temple where people go to study, learn a new lifestyle and build a enhanced self-concept that delivers a better attitude towards life, is a wonderful task that can be undertaken only by someone with those unique characteristics. I could spend many paragraphs organizing sentences in order to express loyally the meanings of great men; the meanings of my brother. I am very proud of you. You were and will ever be the best example for me.Congratulations to you and all those involved with RABJJ."
Gene Dunn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Head Instructor – Dunn’s Dojo and Brooklyn BJJ "I feel a measure of difficulty expressing all of the important lessons that I have learned through the Sempai/Kohai relationship. If I had to sum it up it would be to say “There is no problem so great that principle can not overcome”. As the junior student, it is very humbling to realize that for many years now Ricardo Almeida has been sincerely interested in my progress both as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner and as a productive person. It’s my sincere wish that all serious students of Jiu Jitsu around the world experience the same level of transformation, but I know with full confidence that each student at the Almeida academy receives these benefits every time they step on the mat."
Martin Rooney Physical Therapist and Performance Enhancement Specialist Managing Director of the Parisi Speed School “When I was first introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1998, I really didn’t know much about the martial art. I thought it was solely a ground-based art, but quickly learned that it is a comprehensive self defense system as well. After my first training session, I was captivated by the strategy and simplicity of the art. BJJ has since become an integral part of my life both professionally and personally. As a trainer of hundreds of professional athletes, I easily recognized the physical benefits of BJJ training like increased strength, speed, flexibility and endurance. I also understood that learning BJJ would also help me defend myself during a hostile situation. The improvements that occurred that I did not expect were in the areas of self discipline, respect for others and strength of character. Not only did I toughen myself physically and mentally as a result of my BJJ training, but my professional career was enhanced through increased focus and confidence. All of my hard work, coupled with Ricardo Almeida’s commitment to excellence for his students made this possible. After 8 years of experience in the martial arts, I believe that the integrity of the instructor is the most important criteria for choosing a school. Of the hundreds of practitioners I have met over this time, there is no one man I could recommend more highly to have as a teacher than Ricardo Almeida.”
Marcio "Marcinho" Feitosa 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Head Instructor, Gracie Barra USA “It’s been around 15 years since we trained together for the first time. Ricardo has never stopped studying hard. He is now and always has been an example of discipline for all of us. I have watched Ricardo through his dedication to Sport Jiu Jitsu grow successfully into a Mixed Martial Arts Champion. It was also inspiring to see Ricardo do some serious research about physical training and the philosophy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ricardo is today a very rare and unique source of knowledge. It is a privilege to have a Professor of his caliber on the team.”
Roger Gracie Black Belt – Jiu Jitsu World Champion ADCC 98kg and Absolute Champion "When I first met Ricardo he was getting ready to compete in the Mundials at Gracie Barra, in Rio. He already lived in NY at that time, so we lost touch after that.A few years later, I went to NY to spend some time with my cousin Renzo, and that’s when we resumed our friendship. He was getting ready to fight, I helped him train for a couple of his fights and both times I watched him show much superior performance over his opponents. During the time we trained together, not only I learned a lot about the technical aspect of fighting but I was also very impressed with his dedication and discipline. That helped me have a different view not only in my own training but also in my lifestyle as a whole. Ricardo is someone I still look up to until this day. Ricardo, It’s a real pleasure for me to have you as a friend, my brother!"
Rafael "Gordinho" Correa 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Instructor, Renzo Gracie Academy NYC "It is very hard for me to describe Ricardo’s strong influence in my life. Great friend, great father, extraordinary Jiu Jitsu Professor. I’m not at all surprised at his capacity of changing the history of a Martial Art. Ricardo Almeida, thank you for your friendship and inspiring lessons."
Jeff Bregman President & COO Delta Paper Levittown, PA “I am truly blessed to be a part of the Ricardo Almeida Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu Academy. The new academy is clean, safe and very well organized. You have created the ultimate atmosphere for learning and personal growth through hard training. It is through this hard training that Professor Almeida makes you reach down deep into to your soul and figure out how to bring out the true greatness that lies deep within all of us. Since I started training with Professor Almeida, I have become a better husband, father, leader, and person. You have no idea how much your thoughtful lessons, hard training sessions, constant encouragement, and wisdom have affected my life in such positive ways. You have forced me to leave my comfort zone numerous times to reach new heights that I never thought were possible before. Thank you for helping show me the way by using Jiu Jitsu as a metaphor to improve my life!”
Chad Beatty Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Publisher – NJBIZ “As a student at the RABJJ academy I have grown both personally and professionally over the years. Some of the many benefits I have realized are improved fitness, confidence and respect for others. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t about who is the toughest or strongest, it is about who has the desire and commitment to study the fundamentals of the most sought after art on the planet. Although Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was forged in the streets of Brazil and has a long history of challenge matches, professor Almeida has shown me that the biggest challenges lie within each one of us. He helps each student to overcome their obstacles and breaks Jiu-Jitsu down to its essence. Whether you are fourteen or 40, looking for fitness, fun and great Jiu Jitsu I highly recommend the RABJJ Academy."
Luca Atalla Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Editor In Chief – Gracie Magazine "Ricardo is what I consider closest to a perfect human being. As a fighter, I don’t need to say anything, his performance speaks for itself. What I may add is that he is focused in training in a way a cyborg wouldn’t rival. As a teacher…well, his upcoming graduates will say it better than me, since what I learned from him (and it was a lot!) was watching and/or sparring, so I can figure what more I would had improved if he was my teacher. But when I said he’s close to perfection, I meant much more than his awesome qualities as an athlete and professor. I was talking about much more important things such as his behavior and character. Ricardo is as loyal as his nickname (Big Dog) would presume, honest and altruist. Besides that, he is one of the most intelligent people I know. Actually, I believe his intelligence made him the man I described before. I hope I lived alongside with him time enough to learn to be like that, at least a little."
Steve Kim Villanova Law School Student "At the RABJJ Academy, I am learning much more than the world’s most efficient martial art – I am constantly learning a method through which we strive for self-improvement, and achieve our true potential."
Dan Arnwine RABJJ Student "Since I’ve been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu my energy level and physical fitness have never been better. From the first time I walked in for my intro I was very comfortable, you made me feel at home. Professor Almeida,you said that you have a black belt at home for everyone. I can’t speak for everyone but I do know that you have mine. I enjoy coming to classes,it is an adult martial art and nothing discourages me from coming back. Once you open the door to the academy you can feel the energy. Professor Bongiorno, Coach Brian and all the other instructors are great. I continue to get better with each class and this will only increase towards my goal of becoming a black belt. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has helped me not only physically but mentally. My wife has noticed a big difference in me. A difference for the better. Your teaching of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is outstanding and keeps me wanting to come back. For that I thank all the staff at RABJJ."
Kevin Eaton Director of Technology The Pennington School
I didn’t think I had the time or energy to start training in Jiu-Jitsu.Between a busy job and two lively toddlers at home, I didn’t feel like I had an ounce of energy to spare.I came to that training day just to do something different for one afternoon.Seven weeks later, I have lost 22 pounds and have more energy than ever.
What made me decide to join?When I arrived at Professor Almeida’s school, I was duly impressed with the teachers, students, and the program.The atmosphere is professional, friendly, and down-to-earth.The people really work together to help each other learn and offer support.Professor Bongiorno and all of the instructors are very talented teachers, helping students quickly grasp techniques.Further, the school schedule is flexible enough that I easily found a few times a week that would work with my schedule.My wife has really noticed my higher energy level around the house.She has even commented that she does less housework now; since I come home from my job with more energy, I readily help more with household tasks.As a father I enjoy my time with my girls more than ever and have more energy to be actively engaged with them rather than looking for time to recoup.
If you want to take steps to get in shape, increase your energy level, lose weight, meet great people, learn new things, and boost your confidence, I highly recommend Professor Almeida’s program."
“Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”