Professor Mauricio Villardo grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 1990s training Jiu-Jitsu with the Gracie family. A former World Championship winner and one of the top ranked black belts globally, Professor Villardo’s teaching emphasizes precision, technical ability, and a relaxed approach - always looking to employ superior technique and strategy over size and strength.
In addition to the World Championship, Professor Villardo’s approach has earned him awards at state championships, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and the Pan American. Having taught Jiu-Jitsu since 1996, he has trained numerous students who have gone on to be champions in major mixed martial arts tournaments, as well as law enforcement officials, and he helps teach children to overcome issues with bullying and increasing self-confidence.
Professor Villardo received his black belt in 1997 from Royler and Rolker Gracie, head instructors of Gracie Humaita, which was founded by Grand Master Helio Gracie and is known as a key center for the development of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu form, famous throughout the world today. The opportunity to learn Jiu-Jitsu directly from the Gracie family and on the same mats as Rickson Gracie, Royce Gracie, and many other legends distinguishes Professor Villardo’s fluency and understanding of the art, resulting in a superior learning experience for his students.
After assisting Royler and Rolker Gracie at Gracie Humaita, Professor Villardo began teaching in Southern Brazil at Gracie Florianopolis in partnership with Rilion Gracie, where he remained until 2001, when he moved to the United States. Professor Villardo currently resides in South East Florida, where he teaches techniques that he has been improving for the past 30 years. He is currently ranked as a sixth degree black belt.