Founder & Head Coach
Felipe Faria started his martial arts journey back in Brazil at the early age of 8 when his father enrolled him in Karate lessons, thinking that his son had too much energy and could do with some discipline. Felipe achieved his black belt in Karate and started learning boxing.
But it was only when Felipe moved to a small country town in Brazil to pursue his first university degree, that he would discover Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through uni friends. In 1997 Felipe had his first BJJ class in Alfenas-MG under a respected coach member of the then Ataide Junior team (Now “Constrictor Team”). With the departure of his first coach, Felipe started training under Rickson Gracie black belt Iran Brasileiro, but being such a small town, the classes were discontinued.
It was only after almost 2 years of irregular training that Felipe would finally find his “real team” and started training and competing consistently, winning his first medals, at state and national level in Brazil, under an affiliate of the Leo Castello Branco team, under the supervision of Paulo Rezende (Paulão) from a town nearby. The team was stacked with talent. In 1999, one of the team members, Reinaldo Ribeiro, would go on to become a world champion at purple belt and put Paulão’s team on the map.
But it was a shy blue belt in the team at the time that was already attracting everyone’s attention. All team mates used to just call him “Marcelinho” (or Little Marcelo in Portuguese). Little did Felipe know at the time, that one of his training partners was none other than Marcelo Garcia, who would go on to conquer the world and become arguably the best grappler on the planet.
As Felipe finished his university degree, in 2002 he had to return home and continued to train in his home town Brasilia. Soon later, Felipe spent almost a year living in the U.S. where he had the privilege to train with college wrestlers, learning more about the takedown game and experiencing intensity in training like nowhere else. In mid-2004 Felipe moved to Australia to pursue a career in the finance industry and would eventually have to put his BJJ training on hold for almost a decade!
Only in late 2013, Felipe would meet Felipe Grez, from Jiu-Jitsu Kingdom in Sydney, who is a BJJ black belt under multiple time World and ADCC champion Michelle Nicolini. It turned out that the name was only the first thing the two had in common, the second thing was a lifelong passion for this incredible art that is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Felipe Grez encouraged Felipe Faria's decision to return to the mats after almost a decade away from the art, and supported the idea of starting the Armidale BJJ school in October 2013.
In early 2016, Felipe Faria met and started training under the 2015 number one Gi ranked black belt in Australia, Professor Vicente Cavalcanti.
Felipe is currently a black belt under professor Vicente Cavalcanti
The Armidale BJJ school is a proud affiliate of one the best BJJ schools in Australia, Gold Coast's Southside MMA/Vicente Cavalcanti team.
Sam moved to Armidale in 2016 after training under Southside MMA head coach Vicente Cavalcanti and has continued his BJJ journey under Coach Felipe. In late 2016, Sam was awarded his brown belt by Coaches Felipe and Vicente and began teaching submission wrestling classes.
Sam enjoys the challenge of teaching and wants to help Armidale students get as much out of BJJ as he has.
Rob started training in 2012. Initially his focus was more toward MMA and no-gi BJJ. He came to Armidale Brazilian JiuJitsu as a four stripe white belt, but having very little experience in the gi. Rob started training at ABJJ in Tamworth in January 2015. His passion for the sport, and in particular the gi, grew quickly. He was awarded his blue belt that same year. In November 2016 Rob received his purple belt and quickly came to realise that BJJ is not just an individual sport. It was at this point that he began to focus on teaching. He now teaches the no-gi classes in Tamworth, and together with Felipe Faria, they have nutured a very close-nit and supportive team.
Jerrod started training in late 2013 when Coach Felipe first began teaching in the Armidale area. Jerrod’s passion for the art, his attention to detail, and fun-going manner led Coach Felipe to ask him to help with the kids program when it was started. As the Assistant Coach for the kids class in Armidale Jerrod strives to instill the passion he has for jiu-jitsu into the youth he teaches.
David started training in 2013 after his next-door neighbour showed him some videos on YouTube at the home gym he had in his garage. After 2 years of training very irregularly due to instructors coming and going in a small town in NSW and splitting his time between boxing, MMA and BJJ, David moved to Armidale for university, where he was extremely fortunate to find a school run by Felipe Faria.
David decided to focus solely on Jiu-Jitsu after training in Armidale for a few months. Since he started with Felipe he now considers his previous training to be a “two-year beginners class”.
Under coach Felipe, David has seen incredible growth in both his Jiu-Jitsu and personal skills. Felipe’s guidance has helped him win multiple competitions around the country. Including double gold at the QLD state championship and third place at Pan Pacific Championship in Melbourne.
David currently studies Exercise Science and loves trying to understand Jiu-Jitsu from a scientific perspective. He has since started teaching a beginner’s class to help beginners get over the initial hurdle in their Jiu-Jitsu journey and increase the variety of times classes are available to our students.