About The Academy

Bruno Tostes, Black Belt in BJJ under the legendary Renzo Gracie

He moved to the US in 2001, and began training under Master Renzo Gracie in New York City. In 2005, he opened up his own school in the Capitol District under the Renzo Gracie name, and in 2009 received his black belt from Master Renzo.

Professor Bruno has been responsible for the BJJ instruction and training of UFC fighter Matt Hamill, and has been Hamill’s corner man for 11 UFC fights. Matt Hamill has just hired Professor Bruno on as his head coach. Professor Bruno also helped prepare welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre successfully defend his title on July 11, 2009.

Professor Bruno frequently participates in professional-level grappling events, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships, Pan American Championships, Grapplers Quest, ACOM Ironman Superfight, and many others.

Bruno is an amazing grappler and excellent instructor. He has really opened my eyes to submissions” – Matt Hamill (UFC Star)

Our Instructors

Professor Bruno – Head Instructor

Professor Bruno is a 1st degree Black Belt under Master Renzo Gracie. Professor Bruno was introduced to BJJ because, at the age of 16 when he used to practice Muay Thai, his friends would take him down during MMA practice and choke him out. He has been practicing BJJ since 1998. When not on the mats, Professor Bruno likes to go snowboarding or skateboarding, watch soccer or Brazilian TV. He instructs BJJ because he wants to inspire others to discover the same passion he possesses for Jiu-Jitsu.

Chad Ahr – Mixed Class (Friday, Sunday)

Chad is one of two students who have been with Professor Bruno since 2005, but the road for Chad has not been easy. In 2008, he took an unfortunate knee to the head in which required emergency surgery to remove an ommaya reservoir that was emplaced as part of treatment for childhood Leukemia. Chad was forced to take a hiatus from Jiu-Jitsu for six months. He had his first grand mal seizure in 2009, and a tumor at the base of his neck removed in 2010. Chad, however, kept his hopes up by thinking about getting back on the mats as soon as he was healthy enough to do so, and in 2013 he earned his black belt from Professor Bruno.

*Sean Mulligan

Sean earned his black belt under Professor Bruno in 2013, after about 8 years of training. He also holds a brown belt in Judo. After wrestling and Judo, Sean believes that BJJ was the ideal sport to continue as an adult. Off the mats, Sean works as a mason, and he likes to snowboard, cook paleo dishes/food, and play video games. He teaches BJJ because he loves to help people who have the same passion: BJJ.

Dave Mantei

Dave was always interested in BJJ, but it wasn’t until a friend called him in November of 2006 and introduced him to Professor Bruno that he began training. Dave earned his Brown Belt in July, 2013. He enjoys teaching because it ensures that his own game remains sharp.

*Jonathan (Yoni) Eldor

Yoni has been training BJJ since 2008, and has earned a Purple Belt in BJJ and also holds a Yellow Belt in Judo. He started training BJJ because of the growth in popularity of MMA. When not on the mats, Yoni is a surgical resident at Albany Medical Center; practices yoga; enjoys hiking, snowboarding and surfing; and is very passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Yoni has expressed that, by practicing BJJ, he has improved how he faces stressful situations in life, and is improving as a human being by higher awareness of others around him. Yoni truly enjoys instructing BJJ because it gives him a chance to give to others what BJJ has given to him.

*Bob Miller

Bob is a Purple Belt, and has trained BJJ for just over two years. Bob came to BJJ because he enjoys the problem-solving aspect of the sport, and the ability to challenge himself by taking part in competitions. When he’s not teaching BJJ, Bob works construction, remodelling commercial office spaces and homes. Bob is very proud of earning his Purple Belt and becoming a mentor at the Academy. He enjoys helping other students when they have questions, and helping to guide them toward their own goals. Bob instructs BJJ because it’s a way for him to give back to the Academy and to the instructors who spent so much of their time helping him to progress. He hopes to pass on his knowledge of and passion for the sport.

Joe Frascatore

Joe’s experience of over 27 years includes boxing, karate, muay thai, and kickboxing with thousands of adults and children from beginners to expert who have had the benefits of his training systems. He has trained with many professionals and varied styles, including Tang So Do, and Team Punshment CA; Sityodtong, Boston; The Watt, NYC; Top Team and Blackzillians, FL.

Chris Serrell

Adam Steenrod

John Ryan

Josh Fairfield

Mike Rinaldi

* Available for private lessons