Andrew Solheim is one of the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Pacific Northwest. He began his training in Jiu-Jitsu in 1999 with a small local jiu-jitsu club and in 2002 began advanced training with Gracie Barra black belt Marcio “Mamazinho” Laudier. After Professor Laudier returned to Brazil in 2006 Andrew continued his training under Professor Rodrigo Lopes earning his black belt in 2009. A life-long martial artist, Andrew first began training in 1992 at the age of ten in Japanese Karate, ultimately earning the rank of brown belt. He later went on to practice freestyle wrestling and Judo. Because of his extensive background in both the grappling and striking arts, the Jiu-Jitsu he teaches is highly effective within the context of sport jiu-jitsu, the mixed martial art arena, and practical self-defense.
Mark began training jiu-jitsu under Renzo Gracie black belt Amal Easton in Boulder, Colorado in 2000. There, he learned the basics of the art and developed a deep appreciation for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lifestyle; camaraderie, teamwork, friendship, and loyalty. He traveled to Brazil in 2001, where he competed and trained under Marcelo “Yogui” Santiago at Gracie Ipanema, eventually receiving his blue belt from Professor Yogui. Upon returning to the States, he moved back to his home state of California, where he started training under Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller in Santa Barbara. Life and work moved Mark to Seattle in 2008, where he began training with Rodrigo Lopes in Seattle and Bellevue. He began training exclusively under Andrew Solheim in 2009, and is honored to be part of Andrew’s team. Mark received his Black Belt from Rodrigo Lopes in September of 2011. Mark continues to learn the game of jiu jitsu every time he steps on the mat with the students at Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is continually impressed by the dedication of everyone at the school and is proud and honored to be a part of the tradition and growth of the “gentle art” in Everett, Washington.
Black Belt (1st 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), and a World Championship in 2009. Andrea received her black belt under our Master Hercules Baptista and recently joined our school in Redmond.
Master Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Red / Black Belt (7th Degree)
Hercules Baptista is the Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 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.
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