The Elite team of Professors, Instructors, and Coaches are committed to the development of students in a safe and fun environment. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Professors are certified by the IBJJF and are trained under Master Hercules Baptista, a 7th Degree Red/Black Belt. Many of our staff compete at the highest level in their respective sports. We have World Champions, Brazilian Champions, and Pan American Champions who teach our Youth and Adult students. All of our staff are trained in First Aid and CPR and help ensure the safety of our members.
Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Professor, Black Belt (2nd Degree)
Miriam Cardoso is a 5-time world Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. Raised in Brazil, she trained under masters Hercules Baptista and Carlos Gracie Jr. Miriam began her training at age 15 in 2001 and after 3 months of training she won Nationals! She won nationals 7 times after that and in 2002 she began competing at the world level – taking second place in her first appearance. In 2004 her world-winning career launched, taking first place 5 times over the next 4 years. Along the way in 2007 she obtained her black belt. In 2011 she obtained her first degree black belt and started her own academy in Redmond, Washington – Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu of Redmond.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Professor, Black Belt
Andrea Emmel, Brazilian Black Belt from Rio de Janeiro has developed a great teaching style to share the skills she has developed on the way to winning 4 Brazilian Championships, Six State Championships (Rio de Janeiro), a World Championship in 2009 and the Pan America Championship in 2013.
Andrea received her black belt under our Master Hercules Baptista and is the Head Professor at Elite BJJ of Bothell and Factoria.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Professor, Black Belt (1st Degree)
I have been involved with combat sports since I was 14 years old. It began with wrestling where I won several regional competitions. Once I moved onto college, Georgia State did not offer a wrestling program so I looked outside the University and came across Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Most of what I had learned on the mat made me a fast learner but I was amazed by how much I still had to learn. After beginning Jiu Jitsu on May 4, 2004, I was promoted to Black Belt by Professor Roberto Traven 6th Degree Black Belt on November 13, 2010. Since then I have held teaching positions in Atlanta and Minneapolis, MN and most recently at Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a professor in the art I look for ways to teach innovate aspects of the art while remaining true to the rich martial arts history and its root in self-defense.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Grappling, Brown Belt
Joel has been training in Martial Arts for most of his life, but his journey in BJJ started in San Diego under Professor Marcelo Pereira in 1996. Marcelo was Nelson Monteiro’s #1 student and took over his school when Nelson went to Abu Dhabi the start the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) with Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed.
In his 6 years of training with Professor Pereira, Joel had helped run day and weekend classes and competed in many, school, local, regional and national tournaments at white, blue and purple belt. With a move to Seattle and starting his family Joel had taken about 2 years off before taking over the no-gi program in Ring Sports United where he taught for 9 years. Joel joined Elite at the start of 2014 to train with Professor Miriam Cardoso and earned his Brown Belt in 2015. Prior to BJJ Joel has studied and belted in multiple Korean styles including; Kung Jung Mu Sul, Kuk Sool Won, Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do as well as form of Gung Fu. Through the years he has also trained in Kick Boxing, boxing, Perez family Escrima and a host of more traditional sports.
Master Hercules Baptista
Master Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Red / Black Belt (7th Degree)
Hercules Baptista is Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's Master. He is a second generation 7th Degree Red / Black Belt. He originally achieved his black belt in 1978. Along with being a Master in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Hercules also holds a PE degree and is a Physical Therapist.
Master Hercules currently lives in Rio De Janeiro with his wife and two kids where he continues to train some of the world’s great Jiu-Jitsu students at Hercules Jiu-Jitsu.
Head Muay Thai Kru Yai
Belton Lubas is a Life Long Martial Artist (and student of the arts as he believes in ALWAYS learning) who has focused primarily on three main arts. As a Filipino Martial Arts Instructor under Professor Kelly Worden, Belton has taught many combatives and self defense individuals/classes ranging from your FMA enthusiasts to your Special Forces groups. As an affiliate instructor under Professor Lou Faralan (owner of Kalahi Martial Arts), Belton's Muay Thai experience started in late 2007, included attending Thai Camp, and is currently training numerous competitors in both Amateur and Professional Muay Thai and MMA. Belton is also a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Miriam Cardoso. Belton is a certified Personal Trainer in Z-Health (R-I-S-T Phase) and is undergoing the Master Trainer Instructor Program, NASM certified, Underground Strength Coach Level 2, among other certifications and training experience that started at Oregon State University.
Muay Thai Poo Choi Kru
Sean Flanagan started his Muay Thai journey in the early summer of 2015. This was the start of his second martial art, having trained karate for 7 years when he was a child. Sean started this new chapter in his martial arts journey first only as a school project. As he trained over the course of the summer, he became more attached to it, and decided to pursue the art more intensely, hoping to take a fight. Since then, Sean has partaken in two sanctioned fights, 8 smoker fights, and has earned the title of Poo Choi Kru under Ajahn Suchart. This experience inside and outside the ring has helped him grow not only as a martial artist but also as a coach. In his coaching he implements this ring experience to lead an authentic and effective Muay Thai curriculum, at both the kids and adult level under Kru Yai Belton.
Muay Thai Poo Choi Kru
Holli came to Muay Thai in 2015 looking for a good way to get in shape, improve flexibility, and learn self-defense. She got more then she was even hoping. Muay Thai has made her stronger both physically and mentally; helped build her confidence, impressed her children, and continually challenges her to learn more. In May of 2016 Ajahn Suchart awarded her Blue Shorts Rank. In August of 2016 she began teaching the women’s Muay Thai class. Holli really enjoys empowering other women to rise to the challenge of learning the art of Muay Thai. In September of 2016 Holli successfully completed the Interim Poo Choi Kru Course with Ajahn Suchart and looks forward to continuing the journey. “Muay Thai has pushed me out of my comfort zone, to the place where true growth is born, and allowed me to achieve more then I could have imagined. I can’t wait to see what will happen next, I’m just getting started.”
Muay Thai Poo Choi Kru
I have been training Muay Thai for a little over 2 years. I was introduced to Muay Thai from a friend because of my interest in boxing but I immediately fell in love with the intensity of Muay Thai and the efficiency of using 4 weapons instead of 1. There is nothing like the rush of being in the ring and testing your abilities and mental and physical strength. The flow of sparring, training, and fighting grabs my attention like nothing else and blend of respect for your body and health made Muay Thai perfect for me.
Elite has been home to me since I started my journey in Muay Thai under Ajahn Suchart & Kru Yai Belton Lubas. Coaching at Elite is an honor and a joy, as everyone here is like extended family and I want them all to succeed and feel comfortable and confident.
Muay Thai Poo Choi Kru
Chris Parsons started his journey in the Martial Arts at the age of 12 in the year 2000. Over the years he has trained in various styles from Kempo Karate to Boxing to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He settled on Muay Thai in 2014 when he met Kru Yai Belton Lubas. Though he had learned Muay Thai before, he settled on learning fromBelton because he felt Belton was by far his best instructor yet. He later received his title as a Poo Choi Kru from Ajahn Surchart in 2016 and will continue his path in Muay Thai. Chris is also currently working on getting his Personal Training Certification through NASM and will be continuing his study in the field of fitness to further help future students reach their full potential.