Our Instructors

Head instructor and owner Joao Luz is a registered first degree IBJJF black belt under legendary Marcelo Garcia, a long time friend and training partner. After twenty plus years of training, Professor Joao has accumulated a wealth of practical knowledge that he passes down indiscriminately to his students. It’s easily said that a team is nothing without it’s leader, and that is what Professor Joao represents on the mat; a constant presence, guiding and shaping everyone who steps into our building into competent Jiu-Jitsu practicioners and generally better human beings.

Joao Luz - Head Instructor at Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut

Meet the Team

Ricardo Costa - Student Instructor at Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut


Student Instructor

Ricardo Costa has been apart of the MG family for the past four years, in which he has dedicated himself to not only his own training — earning a purple belt in the process —, but in the development of everyone else around him. His degree in Exercise Science, continuing education in EXS at Southern Connecticut State University, and two decades of personal athletic experience makes for an outstanding coach for our adults and youth.

    David Oliveira - Student Instructor at Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut


    Student Instructor

    David Oliveira, yet another vital component of our team, is our youngest instructor and a fourth degree purple belt. After arriving at our doors at sixteen years old, he’s spent the last six years devoting his life to Jiu-Jitsu as an active competitor and teacher. Ceaselessly entertaining, David’s lighthearted nature makes him easily approachable to our students, while his experience and wide array of techniques helps mold them into complete and modern Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.

      Leone Silva - Student Instructor at Marcelo Garcia Jiu-Jitsu Academy Connecticut


      Student Instructor

      Leone Silva is a valued member of the team, dedicating his time to assisting in instructing some of our more advanced classes. He earned his brown belt under Professor Joao Luz after just over 5 years of training, but with notable success in competitions in the lower ranks. His natural ability, competition experience, and eagerness to improve translates well into teaching as he pushes everyone to leave it all out on the mat.