Heriberto Lopez, our Head Instructor has over 12 years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training experience. He is also a combat veteran with four combat tours and over 20 years of active duty in the US Army, as a US Army Paratrooper and Logistics Manager. While serving in the Army, he was also a Modern Army Combatives instructor.
His Jiu-Jitsu journey has provided him the opportunity to share the mats with some of the best instructors and practitioners all over the world. Due to the nature of the military lifestyle and military assignment requirements, he had to change Jiu-Jitsu schools and/or affiliation every couple of years, but he still kept training and creating his own path on his Jiu-Jitsu journey. Some of his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors throughout his journey are; Prof. Ted Stickle, Prof. Eric Burdo, Prof. Mike Crawford, Prof. Klint Radwani, Prof. Jeff Vigil, Prof. John Frankl, Prof. Kris Kim and now he is a member of “Team Passos”, under Prof. Tony Passos.
Heriberto, was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he graduated from college with a BBA, majoring in Accounting from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. He also completed his Masters in Aeronautical Science with dual specializations in Management and Safety Systems from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Some of his accomplishments in Jiu-Jitsu competition are:
2009 - Army Post-Combatives Champion / Team Coach Gold
2011 – SouthWest Grapplefest Bronze
2012 – SouthWest Grapplefest Silver (GI) / Bronze (NO GI)
2013 – UGF Arizona State Championships Silver (GI) /Gold absolute (GI) / Silver (NO GI)
2013 – SouthWest Grapplefest Bronze (Gi)
2013 – Gracie Barra Inter-School Tournament Silver (Gi)
2013 – Jiu-Jitsu Asso. of Korea (JJAK) Bronze (Gi)
2013 – Seoul, Korea International Open Bronze (Gi) / Silver absolute (Gi)
2013 – De La Riva BJJ Cup, Seoul, South Korea Bronze (GI) / Silver absolute (Gi)
2014 – IBJJF American Nationals Bronze (Gi) / Silver (NO GI)
2015 – Arizona International Open Gold (Gi)
2016 – Arizona International Open Bronze (Gi)
2017 – IBJJF Washington DC Open Silver (Gi)
After wrestling throughout highschool, Chris' passion for grappling continued so he turned is attention to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While training Jiu-Jitsu Chris was recruited to coach highschool wrestling and it was during this time that Chris really discovered his love for helping others succeed. He has always had a passion for physical fitness so Chris decided to couple his love for helping help others with his passion for physical fitness by becoming a certified IKFF (International Kettlebell Fitness Federation) instructor. Chris uses his IKFF knowledge to increase his client's work capacity, core strength and flexibility. These are also important attributes on the matts adding a certain uniqueness to Chris as a Jiu-Jitsu Instructor.
Some of the benefits of kettlebell training that add to Chris' unique Jiu-Jitsu style:
Incredible work capacity (strength endurance)
Enhanced athleticism – flexibility, coordination, balance etc.
Lean & functional muscle mass
Strengthening of the entire posterior chain
Sport and combat applications
Professor Tony Passos
Team Passos Head Instructor
While his love for competition is strong, Tony’s true passion lies in teaching and coaching. He has dedicated himself to the arts of teaching and coaching since early on his career, focusing on the development of his students on and off the mat. 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. 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
Head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Instructor Professor Tony Passos is one of a 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 second degree black belt. Tony started training Jiu-Jitsu at 18 years old in Recife, Brazil. Since that time he has trained with and learned from world champions such as Andre Galvao, Guto Campos, Claudio Calasans and many others.