Professor Flavio Almeida
BJJ Rank: 4th Degree Black Belt
Professor Flavio Almeida started training martial arts when he was 12 years old, through karate. He followed in his brother, Ricardo Almeida’s footsteps and began practicing jiu-jitsu under the Gracie Barra family. He has had the privilege of receiving coaching from many jiu-jitsu legends, such as Renzo Gracie, Marcio Feitosa, and Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Professor Flavio Almeida competed in the late 1990s and late 2000s. His achievements include World Champion (1999 brown belt, 1997 blue belt), ADCC Silver Medallist (2007), Pan American Silver Medallist (2009, 2007), Brazilian National Silver Medallist (1999 brown belt, 1998 purple belt), Word Bronze Medallist (2007, 2001, 2000), and lastly, European Bronze Medallist (2009).
Professor Dave Weber
BJJ Rank: Black Belt under Professor Flavio Almeida
Professor Dave Weber grew up in Newport Beach, CA where he played football and was an accomplished wrestler in high school. He went on to the University of Southern California to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a specialty in its prestigious Entrepreneur Program. Professor Dave Weber started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the Los Angeles area in 2003 and later, met Professor Flavio Almeida at the old Gracie Barra headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. when he moved back to Orange County. Professor Dave and Professor Flavio quickly formed a close bond, so when Professor Flavio opened his first Gracie Barra school in San Clemente, CA, Dave did not hesitate to follow him there to continue to be his student. Professor Dave received his black belt from Professor Flavio in February of 2014 and has the honor of being the first American-born student to receive a black belt from Professor Flavio.
Professor Dave Weber’s professional goal has always been to combine his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for martial arts. When asking Dave about his love for jiu-jitsu, he stated, “Besides my family and few close friends, jiu-jitsu is the most important part of my life!” Professor Dave is a co-founder of Gracie Barra Scottsdale.
Professor Dave Weber has found success in competition and has taken home medals in gi and even more in no-gi. These days, he’s spending the majority of his time as an instructor to make sure as many students as possible can benefit from Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Professor Fernando Nassif
BJJ Rank: Black Belt
For Professor Fernando Nassif, jiu-jitsu is more than a martial art with a philosophy that can bring everyone together; it is a way of life that, when he started training, became apart of him. Professor Fernando sees jiu-jitsu as a journey that never ends with no attainable level that you can reach and say, “I know everything. My jiu-jitsu is complete.” He has become stronger and confident in all areas of his life, driven from the jiu-jitsu lifestyle of passion, honor, challenge, loyalty, and family.
Professor Fernando started training jiu-jitsu at the end of 1995 in São Paulo, Brazil, when he was 16 years old. He dedicated himself to training jiu-jitsu 2-3 times a day. Then, he began competing at national and international jiu jitsu tournaments. His last tournament was the 2004 Pan Ams in California, as a purple belt. Professor Fernando’s first daughter was born in 2003, and he put aside his jiu-jitsu training to take care of his family.
Seven years later, he took the opportunity to move to America and start to pursue my BJJ dreams again. He is thankful for the opportunity to work and learn from one of the best minds – if not the best mind – of team Gracie Barra and the jiu-jitsu world today, Professor Flavio Almeida. Professor Fernando loves teaching jiu-jitsu, and it is priceless being able to change people’s lives through jiu-jitsu. He admires the philosophy that Master Carlos Gracie taught, which makes the team stay strong and unified. He is proud to be part of the Gracie Barra team!
Coach Vivi Almeida
BJJ Rank: Purple Belt
Coach Vivi Almeida grew up in Barra Da Tijuca, Rio De Janeiro Brazil, which is also where Gracie Barra was founded. Jiu-jitsu has always been a major part of Coach Vivi’s life. She studies Brazilian jiu-jitsu for more than self-defense purposes.
After getting her degree in Physical Education, she had many different opportunities to experience and study many different sports. Coach Vivi found that, in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, she could train her mind, body, and spirit, so she can face the challenges on and off the mats that surpass her personal limits. For this reason, she choose to dedicate her life to jiu-jitsu.
She is very proud to be a Gracie Barra Instructor and intends to be here forever. She plans to continue to improve and commit to herself and others for the rest of her life.