The instructors at Fairfax Jiu Jitsu are highly experienced in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), no-gi submission grappling, Judo, wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Capoeira. Our professional training staff bring passion, experience, and expertise to make sure students develop concrete skills, reach their goals and their true potential. FJJ’s instructors have over 100 years of collective martial art and combat sports experience. For competition, fitness, or fun, let us start training you today!
3rd Degree Black Belt - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Head Instructor & Director of Youth Programs
Mark was raised an Army Brat and lived all over the United States. He began his Martial Arts training at the age of 8, studying Tae Kwon Do while living in Honolulu, Hawaii. While serving in the U.S Army his interest in Martial Arts was revived after watching Royce Gracie defeat much larger opponents in the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Mark began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1999 and earned his Black Belt in 2007.
Mark is a two time Pan American Gold Medalist, and holds a Gold Medal from the International Masters Championship in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Mark served 8 years as a United States Paratrooper and served in both operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he went on to graduate from Virginia State University. After college, Mark worked with troubled youth as a Probation Officer for the Fairfax County Juvenile Court and Juvenile Detention Center for 8 years. He currently serves as an Attendance Officer for Loudoun County courts and the public school system.
Mark has combined his love of martial arts with his understanding of working with young people and has developed a fun and safe environment for kids to learn Jiu Jitsu.
- 2012 International Masters Seniors Gold Medalist - Black Belt Middleweight
- 2011 International Masters Seniors Silver Medalist - Black Belt Medium Heavyweight
- 2007 International Masters Seniors Bronze Medalist - Black Belt
- 2006 Pan American Gold Medalist - Brown Belt Middleweight
Black Belt - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
After watching the first UFC's in the early 90's, Sam began searching for a practical martial art that was grounded in effective techniques rather than forms and board breaking. After some disappointing experiences with more traditional martial arts, he began training submission grappling in 1997 in his garage with friends. In 1998, he began his formal training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. From that first group class experience, he was hooked and has been training BJJ ever since. Sam is passionate about helping students connect with Jiu Jitsu and teaching effective technique, new and old. He enjoys coaching FJJ competitors and can be heard “advising” and cheering students on at the local, national, and international tournament scene. In 2012 as a brown belt, he won the gold medal at the International Masters Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Coach Kim is a Black Belt belt in BJJ.
Sam is also the owner and founder of NHB Gear, one of the longest running MMA and BJJ brands and suppliers. His full-time focus is now split between NHB Gear and Fairfax Jiu Jitsu and, no matter when you stop by the academy, you will likely run into him..
- 2012 International Masters Gold Medalist - Brown Belt Featherweight
Muay Thai - Head Instructor
Matt has been involved with martial arts for over 27 years since starting in Judo when he was 8 years old. When Matt was 14 years old he started training in Kwok Wu Chen, which is a blend of Tomoi (Malaysian kickboxing), Kung Fu, and Tae Kwon Do.
In 1993, when Matt was 18, he enlisted in the US Navy. After completing Underwater Mine Warfare A-School, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. While serving in Okinawa for 4 years, Matt trained Japanese style Thai Boxing and Western Boxing at the World Boxing Gym and at the Hiranaka Gym. Matt fought and won 3 times in Japan.
In 1998 Matt completed his enlistment and returned to the United States. He trained kickboxing with Ray Casal in Niagara Falls, NY.
In 2002 Matt graduated from State University of New York at Brockport with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health. Matt moved to the Northern Virginia area to teach physical education at a local elementary school. He also started training Muay Thai.
In 2004 Matt began traveling to Thailand during the summer months to train at various Muay Thai camps. He trained at Fairtex Gym, Sor.Vorapin Gym, True Bee Gym, Kaewsamrit Gym, and most notably Sinbi Muay Thai Camp in Phuket. Matt spends several weeks in Thailand every year exclusively to train in Muay Thai, bringing back authentic Muay Thai to FJJ students.
Matt also holds a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
MMA - Head Coach
Bill is a life long student of the martial arts and has been an active competitor since he stepped onto the wrestling mats at age 5. He is a certified USA Boxing Coach, Black Belt in Judo, and a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Bill's knowledge and skills in combat sports covers a wide category of skills including Wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, and Kick Boxing, with years of training in each aspect, finally culminating in teaching Mixed Martial arts exclusively since 2005. Previously, Bill was the owner and head coach of the highly successful Steel Valley MMA, which produced some of the top ranked amateur MMA fighters in Ohio.
- 2007 US Grappling Copa Nova Executive No Gi Heavyweight, Gold Medalist
- 2007 US Grappling Copa Nova No Gi Advanced Heavyweight, Silver Medalist
- 2007 Next Level Fighting 8 MMA Champion
- 2006 Next Level Fighting 7 MMA Champion
Yara Cordeiro holds a Bachelor's Degree in psychology and physical education, and has been a physical education teacher for over ten years. She has Graduate Degrees in Sports Psychology and in Capoeira from the University of Brasilia (UnB) and a Master's Degree in Psychology from the Brasilia Catholic University (UCB). She has consistently directed her studies towards understanding the unexplored aspects of the relationship between capoeira and sports psychology. This has led to the publication of three books: Capoeira, Identidade e Adolescencia [Capoeira, Identity and Adolescence] (2008); Capoeira e desenvolvimento [Capoeira and development] (2005) and Capoeira e auto-estima [Capoeira and self-esteem], (1998/2003), the latter now in its second edition.
Besides her academic work in capoeira, Yara has been a practitioner for over twenty-five years and a teacher for over 15 years. She has held workshops and given lectures about capoeira in Brazil and the U.S. Yara is qualified to teach capoeira to the most diverse groups: children, adolescents, adults, people with special needs and the elderly. She has created a special fitness program that uses capoeira movements for aerobic and localized exercises, as well as another program that uses capoeira movements as a form of body expression and for choreography.
Yara has traveled around the world showing capoeira. She took part in workshops and shows in Brazil, the U.S., France, Switzerland, Germany and South Korea, among other countries. From 2000 to 2004, Yara also competed in regional, national and world championships, achieving the following ranks:
- IV Abada-capoeira Brazilian Games (August/2004) - Women's Champion IV Abada-capoeira World Games (August/2003) - Women's 4th place
- III Abada-capoeira Federal District Games (June/2003) - 4th place - Overall / Women's Champion
- III Abada-capoeira Brazilian Games (August/2002) - Women's 3rd place
- II Abada-capoeira Federal District Games (June/2002) - Game Champion / 4th place - Overall / Women's Champion
- II Abada-capoeira World Games (August/2001) - Women's 3rd place
- II Abada-capoeira Brazilian Games (September/2000) - Women's Champion
- II Abada-capoeira South-Brazilian Games (May/2000) - Woman Champion / Graduation Champion (green-purple) / Game Champion / Graduated Category - 3rd place
For additional information go to www.abadadc.org
Saba Kandahari is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of personal practice. Saba's approach to yoga is one that honors helping others thrive in life by harmoniously collaborating the 3 main components of the human being: their mind, body and spirit. Her classes build flexibility and strength, increase one's mental focus, and attunes the body back to it's naturally balanced state. By combining creative asana sequencing, pranayama breathing techniques, and thought-provoking meditations throughout her classes, Saba encourages growth of the spiritual self as well as the physical. By mastering the mind, one can transform their life.