Joel Burgos, JAO
5th Degree Black Belt – Owner
JAO began training martial arts in Brooklyn NY in 1985. He started his training in Tae Kwon Do under Great Grandmaster Suh Chong Kang at the American Tae Kwon Do center and after several years of training earned the rank of Black belt. Through his teen years, he began teaching kids classes, and eventually became a full-time instructor to students of all ages. He continued advancing in rank until reaching 3rd degree black belt, at which point he decided to begin competing nationally and internationally.
Within a few months of competing he was ranked top 5 in the world in his divisions, and under the tutelage of his new instructor Master Eric San Jose, would go on to be a multi-time world champion in Sport karate. His attention to detail made him famous for his kicking ability and precise technique. He was one of the first “trickers” ever featured on the internet and is considered by most to be one of the godfathers of modern-day tricking.
He retired from Sport Karate in 2007, and shifted his focus to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu shortly thereafter. He was awarded the rank of 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do in 2011 and continues his training in several styles of martial arts. He also holds black belts in Pa-kua, Shotokan, and has trained extensively in boxing and kickboxing.
A few years after receiving his Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu JAO began teaching under the guidance of his first instructor. In 2012 he met Professor Caio Terra and joined the Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association (CTA). Professor Terra is an 11-time World Champion, world-famous for his technical Jiu-Jitsu, which earned him his Black Belt in 3 years. Professor Terra took JAO under his wing and helped him refine his technique and the technique of all the BJJ students at the academy. He awarded JAO his purple belt in 2014, and then his Brown belt in 2017. The students all have the option to visit and train at any of the dozens of academies throughout the world, and the open-door policy at JAO MAA has people dropping in from all over the globe.
JAO has trained thousands of students young and old, of all shapes and sizes. His students have become state, national, and world champions competitors in every facet of martial arts competitions. He continues running the everyday operations at the academy as well as being the head instructor.