PROFESSOR RICARDO WILKE
HEAD INSTRUCTOR, BLACK BELT 2ND DEGREE
Independent Jiu Jitsu is headed by Brazilian Black Belt instructor, Ricardo Wilke. Originally of Santa Cruz, Brazil, Professor Ricardo is currently a 2nd degree black belt under the Ribeiro Brothers and is a Certified Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Instructor. His experience and commitment to Jiu-Jitsu has spanned over 20 years both instructing and competing in the field.
Professor Ricardo's instruction experience has included all age groups, from children to seniors, and all experience levels ranging from the novice student to multiple time world champions of the sport.
His students have included notable figures such as Russell Brand, Scott Caan, Val Kilmer, Chewitel Ejiofor, Robin Wright Penn, Clark Gregg, and director of the Sony Motion Picture film showcasing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Red Belt, David Mamet, among many others.
PROFESSOR SEAN FERNANDEZ
INSTRUCTOR, BLACK BELT
With 13 years of experience, Sean Fernandez, is a Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Alexandre (Xande) and Saulo Ribeiro.
Sean’s interest for martial arts began at the young age of 5. He earned a 2nd degree black belt in Karate and as a Karate instructor he discovered his passion for teaching. Eager to continue growing as a martial artist, he was led to studying Jiu-Jitsu.
With dedication and hard work, Sean was able to travel to Rio de Janeiro Brazil to live and train with some of the masterminds behind the art. This experience gave him the opportunity to train with Rolker Gracie at the legendary Gracie Humaita Academy headquarters.
Professor Sean also teaches at his school located in Rowland Heights, CA, Higher Ground Jiu Jitsu - Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Rowlands Heights.
“It’s a great honor to teach Jiu-Jitsu and see how it helps students on and off the mats.”
PROGRAMS, BROWN BELT
As our programs coordinator, you will likely speak with, email or meet Betty prior to and during your visit with us! During your visit and over the course of your membership with us, she will help guide you through the various aspects of our school.
In addition to her involvement in academy management, she is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt. She began her training in 2012 after the kind suggestion of a female friend, and has trained with Professor Ricardo ever since.
Betty enjoys attending women's open mats as well as competing in tournaments, and is enthusiastic about the continually growing female participation in jiu jitsu.