Renato Tavares moved to Rio de Janeiro and started training under Carlson Gracie, receiving his brown and black (in 1995) belts from the BJJ legend. After moving to the US in He took advantage of the booming MMA scene in the US and started his career in the popular sport, fighting at the World Extreme Fighting 12 in Ohio.
Renato has been instructing students in BJJ and Grappling from a wide variety of backgrounds including FBI Agents, Military, Police Officers and Athletes.
Renato is a professional MMA fighter and is active on the grappling circuit. He has many titles: International Champion, Pan American Champion, and many State Championships. Renato is regarded by many as one of the best BJJ practitioners as well as a professor.
Renato has formed several black belts in the USA but he has not lost his competitive edge, having competed in 16 events in 2009, winning 13 of those. He recently competed in the Worlds and won gold.
Melissa Bentley BJJ Black Belt
Melissa Bentley started training BJJ in 2010 and has been training and competing for 6 years. She is a multiple World and Pan American champion and has won or placed in many other tournaments.
Melissa received her black belt December 2015 and is Renato Tavares’ first female black belt.
Her dedication to jiu jitsu will remain as she is constantly learning to be a better student, instructor and person.
Dustin Martin, an Army veteran, started training jiu jitsu when he was 29 years old. He began his martial arts training in Springfield, Missouri under an affiliate of Piet Wilhelm, a Renato Tavares black belt from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After a year and a half of training in Missouri, Dustin wanted to learn more and grow in his jiu jitsu abilities, so he packed up everything and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. There he trained directly with Professor Wilhelm at Triton Fight Center.
While at Triton Fight Center, Dustin competed in many tournaments all through the Midwest and West coast, winning gold. He progressed quickly through his belts, due to his dedication to the sport, time in the gym training, and his many successes in competition.
A week prior to his Pan Ams gold medal win, Dustin was awarded a 10 day training camp in Vero Beach, Florida with Renato Tavares. That experience created in Dustin a desire to learn more from his teacher’s teacher. So, after living and training in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 4 years, Dustin packed up everything again and moved to Vero Beach to continue his training with Renato Tavares.
While training directly with Renato, Dustin continued to compete and do well, began teaching intermediate level martial arts classes, and received his brown and black belts. Dustin loves the discipline, comradery, and the challenge to grow jiu jitsu brings to his life. Jiu Jitsu changed Dustin’s life and he loves sharing his knowledge of jiu jtsu with everyone he meets.