CHECKMAT is an international academy, competition team, and family of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners. Founded in 2008 by Master Vieira, Checkmat now has affiliate academies in thirty-four American cities and sixteen countries worldwide. The team is headquartered in Signal Hill-Long Beach, California (USA), which regularly hosts “The Mundials,” the world championships of BJJ.
At Checkmat, you will find world-class, hands-on instruction that has been tested on the practice mats and proven on the competition field. Checkmat men, women, and youth have won some of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport including the World Championships, the Brazilian National Championships, and the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championships. Checkmat’s success comes from the steady leadership and instruction of Master Leo Vieira, a 5th degree BJJ black belt and Judo black belt. Nicknamed “Leozinho” or “Little Lion” he is known—uniquely—as both one of the finest jiu-jitsu competitors of his generation (2X World Champion, 2X ADCC winner) and also as a pioneering coach and instructor. Master Leo sees both the art and science within BJJ, emphasizing technical prowess and invention while also strongly believing in the dynamic expression and individuality of each practitioner.
In any given month, you can find Master Leo teaching a world champion, a Sheikh, a prince, a police officer, a nurse, a college student, an elementary school student, or a beginner on her or his first day all with the same kindness, interest, and passion. Why? Because Checkmat is about more than winning trophies and medals, it is focused on inspiring a healthy and positive individual who goes on to create a healthy and positive community.
Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better. Together, we are Checkmat.
Kid’s Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. Jiu-Jitsu promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground.
Our program places a strong emphasis in physical, mental, and spiritual development for the purposes of self-defense and personal growth. In addition, we have an advance training program that hones the sport side of Jiu-Jitsu to prepare you for competition.
Whether you’re looking for self-defense, sport training, and or just a bit more confidence and self-esteem for your child, the kid’s Jiu-Jitsu program is a great place to start.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE FIRST DAY
Many children (and some adults too!) may feel very reserved, nervous, and shy on their first day, as is the case with many new activities. There will be many new movements and positions that are completely foreign to them. It is completely natural to feel timid, but after a few minutes of instruction, participants are encouraged by the supportive environment and tend to relax. Our goal at the beginning of class is to make the warm-ups fast-paced and fun. We encourage every child join in, with or without the uniform, to get a feel for the class. Some children prefer to watch at first, which they are welcome to do. We do not require sparring or competition in the class, but most kids look forward to trying their new techniques. We end each class with fun, cooperative games, which are always a hit with the kids.
MEET HEAD COACH - THIAGO
At the age of 8, Thiago’s mother enrolled him in a judo club in an attempt to ease off her son’s hyperactivity. The success of this experiment meant that from there on Gaia had a busy sporting life, playing football (soccer), swimming, sailing and at the age of 10 jiu-jitsu, with coach Rezende.
In the very beginning, Thiago’s motivation to start training jiu-jitsu was Price FC, particularly the performances of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the ring of the famous Japanese MMA promotion.
At first, BJJ was just a game, something followed half-heartedly, but as Thiago turned 15 he started focussing more in his training and developing a taste for competition.
At the age of 16, Thiago was promoted to blue belt by coach Nelson who ran an affiliate gym of the TT academy in São Sebastião. Gaia’s desire to improve and be the best grappler he could be led him to move to the capital – São Paulo, in order to train at the TT headquarters where names such as Cobrinha, Eduardo Telles, André Galvão, Tererê, and Marcelo Mafra trained.
Thiago then found Leonardo Vieira and AKA Jiu-Jitsu Coach Leandro Vieira (Brasa and later Checkmat) who was Gaia’s coach throughout his formation years.
Learn from one of the best Jiu-Jitsu Teams in the World a try a class now!
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Titles
IBJJF World Championship
2015 (No-Gi): Bronze
IBJJF Pan American
ADCC Brazilian Tournament
IBJJF Brazilian National
2015 (No-Gi): Gold
IBJJF San Jose Championship
2019: Silver (No-Gi)
IBJJF Sao Paulo Championship
2017 (No-Gi): Gold
Bronze: Open Class
BJJ Tour American Cup
FPJJ Paulist Championship
2010 (No-Gi): Gold
2013 (No-Gi): Gold
CBJJE Pan American
Overall Team Won Silver
CBJJE World Championship
Jiu-Jitsu By the Bay
Silver: Open Class
Fight 2 Win Championship
Submission (Rear Naked)
Fight 2 Win Championship