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Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

Team Members

Instructors at Gracie Barra Charlotte Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial art school in Charlotte, NC.

Gracie Barra has many Instructors that teach classes and others that take key roles that are essential to the success of our organization. To insure our students understand the titles, we have listed the hierarchy and responsibilities associated with them.

Professor Adao "PQD" JanuarioAdao “PQD” Januario

Four Degrees Black Belt under Master Carlos Jr.

Adao began his training in Brazilian JiuJitsu at the young age of fourteen in Brazil. He studied directly under Master Carlos Jr. in BarradaTijuca for four years before joining the Brigada Para Quidista (Brazilian Special Forces). Master Carlos Jr. has had a great impact on Adao and his desire to become a Professor. He was inspired early on by Master Carlos Jr.’s passion and the numerous Black Belt students under him. While in the Brigada Para Quedista, Adao both trained and taught BJJ. After his service, Master Carlos Jr. felt the best place for Adao to open his first academy was in Macae, Brazil to help fulfill his dream of expanding Gracie Barra. Under the direct mentorship of Master Carlos Jr., Adao developed his own style of teaching BJJ that follows the Gracie Barra methods.

Over the years, Adao “PQD” Januario has trained BJJ World Champions, the Brazilian Special Forces, MMA fighters, Police Officers, etc… He was appointed the highest honor of training for the Army in Brazil. Because of his modest background, Adaoalso developed an organization in Brazil that provides the funds for underserved populations so that they too can have the opportunity to train Gracie Barra Brazilian JiuJitsu.

In order to help fulfill Master Carlos Jr.’s dream, AdaoJanuario moved to America where he is helping to spread the GB methods and way of life.

Professor Diogo "Lacerda" Silva de SouzaDiogo “Lacerda” Silva de Souza

First Degree Black Belt – Head Instructor 

Lacerda began training Brazilian JiuJitsu (BJJ) at the age of 16 in Macae, Brazil. He like many wanted to get in shape and decided to give BJJ a try. It wasn’t long before he embraced BJJ as a way of life and much more than just a way to stay fit. Lacerda studied under Adão“PQD” Januario, a student of Master Carlos Jr.’s. It was Professor Adão who inspired Lacerda to do more than just train BJJ. He spent years training Lacerda to teach BJJ according to the GB methods passed on to him by Master Carlos Jr. Lacerda has had the honor of training Army and Police Officers in Brazil. Lacerda was closely involved with teaching underserved populations in Brazil who may have otherwise not been able to afford the opportunity to train BJJ. He has an extensive competitive history and holds many titles.

Two years ago Lacerda traveled to California to the Gracie Barra Headquarters to learn the GB teaching methods and become certified by the GB Association to teach. While living in IrvineCA, Lacerda had the opportunity to train side by side with numerous Champions. He also had the honor of training with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. during his stay in CA. He has embarked on this journey of opening his own academy to help spread the GB way of life and to help fulfill Master Carlos Jr.’s vision. Lacerda is a highly esteemed Professor with a positive reputation among students, parents, and colleagues alike.

Diogo truly believes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is for everyone! Training with him means you will gain self-respect, physical and mental health, discipline, self-esteem, a larger view of the world, a family, lifelong friends, focus, a sense of accomplishment, and much more.

Diogo “Lacerda” was awarded his Black Belt by Adão“PQD” Januario in July, 2012.

Some of Lacerda’s Medals Include:

  • FJJ Rio  – 2x Rio de Janeiro State Championship Medalist
  • IBJJF –  South American Championship Medalist – 2008
  • IBJJF – Las Vegas Open Medalist – 2011
  • IBJJF – NoGi Worlds Medalist – 2011
  • IBJJF – New York International Open  Medalist – 2013
  • Lacerda is also an official referee for the IBJJF.
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