Meet Our Gracie Barra Vancouver Instructors
Click on picture of an instructor to find out more about them.
Black Belt 2 degrees instructor Rodrigo Carvalho Silva is a great promoter of jiu-jitsu in Western Canada and throughout the Pacific Northwest, both as the Gracie Barra Western Canada Regional Director, and as owner and operator of Gracie Barra Vancouver, one of Canada’s largest martial arts gyms with +600 members and Gracie Barra Burnaby opened in July 2017.
Rodrigo Carvalho was raised in the heart of the Amazon in the state of Roraima in Boa Vista, located in the north of Brazil. He moved to Canada in 2009 and has run Gracie Barra Vancouver as Head Instructor since October of 2011.
Rodrigo started studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1994 and has won many notable competitions, including the Worlds in 2001 and 2005 the Nationals in South Brazil, along with being the five-time Roraima Champion and three-time Amazon Champion. He has also trained numerous World, Brazilian Nationals and MMA champions. He has utilized his knowledge of self-defence to train soldiers in the Brazilian Army in Brasilia, Brazil from 2006 to 2007. In 2008 to 2009, he taught self-defence to the Police Force in Boa Vista State, Roraima, Brazil. He is also a certified CBJJ referee.
Professor Rodrigo started a social project in Brasilia capital of Brazil in 2004 teaching BJJ for free for 300 kids from a poor neighbourhood called Varjao. The project still in operation and some of the students left Brazil to teach BJJ in US and Canada.
His Master’s degree in Physiotherapy from Uniceub and has specialist in intensive care for premature. The University in Brazil has proven essential to his understanding of the physical needs of athletes. Following a holistic approach, Rodrigo is fascinated with the formation of character and behavior in athletes, and strives to address both the athlete’s physical and mental health.
Jennifer Weintz | Rank Black Belt
Jennifer is first and foremost an ambassador for health and well being. She works hard to lead by example and inspire others to be the best that they can be. She believes that too many people settle in life, giving their power away and leaving themselves with a sense of un-fulfillment. “If we all pursued being the best that we can be, we would feel more fulfilled, happy and generally healthier”. In her own way, she tries to “make the world a more beautiful place from the inside out.”
Throughout her natural health journey, she’s acquired other titles, such as Registered Holistic Nutritionist (specializing in sports nutrition), BCRPA Personal Trainer, and a Nationally ranked Bikini Fitness Competitor. More diversely, Jennifer has also travelled to India to become a certified Sivananda-trained yoga instructor, and 13-year veteran make-up artist in the film industry.
As for brazilian jiu-jitsu, she is currently one of the highest ranked females in the province of BC, Canada and holds the following titles:
- 2005 3rd place budo challenge (blue belt)
- 2006 1st place Pan American champion, (blue belt)
- 2007 3rd place Pan American champion in my weight class and open (purple belt)
- 2008 1st place Pan American champion (purple belt)
- 2009 3rd place Pan American champion (purple belt)
- 2009 3rd place at the Worlds (Mundials) in my weight class and open. (purple belt)
Dan Slobodin | Muay Thai Instructor
Dan has been training in the Martial Arts for well over 10 years. He first started in Tae Kwon Do at 7 years old. Dan started resumed training again in Jeet Kune Do, at the Creative Fighters Guild. After developing a taste for the striking arts, he trained briefly at Kel Lee’s Academy before moving to Montreal to learn Savate, as well as train Muay Thai at the well known Gelinas Academy of Martial Arts (GAMMA).
In 2005, he moved to the West Kootenay region of BC, where he trained and fought Muay Thai under Brent Russel (Dam City Thaiboxing) until the closing of that gym in 2007. Since then he has continued to learn and train in the art of Muay Thai both in Vancouver and more recently, Thailand where he had the opportunity to train with some excellent instructors, such as Lumpini Champion Chinnarach chor. Watcharin.
He has also earned his certification as a Specialist in Sports Conditioning and continues to train at Gracie Barra Vancouver as a Blue Belt in BJJ.
- KB-1 Fight Night (Vancouver)
- Rage in the Ring (Lethbridge)
- Kootenay Fight Challenge (Castlegar)
- BC BJJ Championships (Bronze – White Belt Div.)
- Black Belt under Duke Roufus
Certified Sports Conditioning Specialist – International Sports Science Association (2012).
Raz Chan | Rank Black Belt
Raz was born into a martial arts family and started training in martial arts at the age of 5. His father master James Chan ran one of the first martial arts school in Canada. As a child, Raz started his training under Am Lee Taekwondo followed by Sikaran under Dante Alambra. Although he enjoyed the martial arts it didn’t become a full time passion until he saw his first UFC and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He began to train under Dennis Wolfe in kickboxing, boxing, and submission grappling eventually becoming certified in Defendo, a military based self-defense system.
In 2004, he began his journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where he eventually met his teacher Todd Nathanson, a 3rd degree black belt under Jean-Jacques Machado in Los Angeles. In 2011, he became a private student under Professor Rodrigo Carvalho. Their guidance has helped Raz quickly rise through the ranks in international tournaments.
Under the cooperation of Professor Nathanson & Professor Carvalho, Raz received his brown belt in Novovember 2013.
He is an top level competitor on the international tournament circuit. His achievements include:
- 2012 World Masters Seniors Jiu-Jitsu Championships Featherweight Silver Medalist
- 2012 American Nationals Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championships Middleweight Tournament Champion
- 2012 American Nationals Jiu-Jitsu No Gi Championships Open Weight Bronze Medalist
- 2012 American Nationals Jiu-Jitsu Championships Light Weight Bronze Medalist
- 2011 US Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Senior Light Weight Tournament Champion
- 2011 US Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Senior Open Weight Tournament Champion
- 2011 Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Bronze Medalist
- 2010 World No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships Silver Medalist
- 2010 Las Vegas Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Senior Light Weight Tournament Champion
- 2010 Las Vegas Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Senior Open Weight Bronze Medalist
Leonard Henrique Oliveira da Silva
Leonard Henrique Oliveira da Silva
Professor Da Silva started doing BJJ back in 1993 under his friend and Professor Flavio Ferreira in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro. After moving to Salvador he continued training with his good friend and Professor Carlos Zuqueto Boa Morte. He has been active on and off the mats during the last 20 years due to injuries and his passion and love for water sports, namely surfing. Before moving to Canada, he was uncertain of what a new country would have in store for him and that’s when Professor Boa Morte told him to believe in Jiu-Jitsu. He began training under Professor Carvalho at GBV in 2011. Professor Da Silva can be found training and teaching the early morning classes at Gracie Barra Vancouver, where he continues to make a lasting impression on all those who train with him. He is the 2013 Worlds Master and Seniors Bronze medallist as a purple belt, and a great asset to the coaching staff at Gracie Barra Vancouver.
Pauline Bak Costa
Pauline Bak Costa
Pauline is a Purple Belt instructor from Rio, Brazil. She started her Jiu-Jitsu journey in October 2012 and joined Gracie Barra Vancouver in 2017, where she has been teaching and assisting with kids and adult classes since then. For her, Jiu-Jitsu is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. She believes that the benefits of the sport goes beyond the body to the mind, building strong, confident and self-disciplined people. She is also an active competitor, some of her latest achievements are:
- 2018 – The Revolution 2018 (Tacoma, US) – 1st place on the year’s ranking being champion of the division in the 3 tournaments of the year. Award for fastest submission.
- 2018 – IBJJF Seattle Open – Vice-champion
- 2018 – Compnet Pacific Northwest Season Opener – Champion in division/ 3rd place in open weight
- 2017 – IBJJF Brazilian Nationals per Team Championship (Brasileiro de equipes) – Vice-Champion
- 2017 – Rio’s regional Championship (Campeonato Carioca FJJ-Rio) – Champion
- 2017 – IBJJF Rio Winter Open – Champion
Hometown: Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada
Fight Style: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Rank: Purple Belt
Affiliation: Gracie Barra under supervision of Professor Rodrigo Carvalho.
In January 2013, I started my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. I wanted to learn some self-defence and gain a fun and challenging activity to workout. I gained so much more then a activity. I gained perseverance,build self-confidence,Repect and love for Martial Arts. These days I train regularly on the mats at all times morning,noon and night and will continue to do so. I also started teaching the kids program and will do my best to pass on the knowledge I have learned from my professors, coaches, training partners and friends.
“Martial Arts is a vehicle for developing your human potential”
- 2018: Can-Am International Championship – Openweight – Purple Belt – 1st – Gold medalist & Belt
- 2018: Can-Am International Championship – Openweight – Advance No-Gi – 2nd – Silver medalist
- 2018: Vancouver Island Open – Lightweight – Advance No-Gi – 2nd – Silver medalist
- 2018: The Last Warrior – Middleweight – Purple Belt – 3rd – Bronze medalist
- 2017: Canadian Grappling Federation – Lightweight – Purple belt – 2nd – Sliver medalist
- 2017: Canadian Grappling Federation – Openweight – Purple belt – 3rd – Bronze medalist
- 2017: Vancouver International Judo – Lightweight – 3rd – Bronze medalist
Rory is an instructor who is originally from Dublin, Ireland. In his early years he held a keep interest in martial arts, trying both Karate and Taekwando growing up. When Rory moved to Vancouver back in 2010 and decided it was time to try a new martial art, that was when his love of Jiu Jitsu began.
Under the Supervision of Professor Rodrigo Cavalho, Rory learned the moves and techniques associated with Jiu Jitsu but also enjoyed the benefits from the principles and values that go hand in hand with the beautiful art.
His philosophy when it comes to Jiu Jitsu is that we all have something new to learn no matter who we are so stay humble and never stop learning.