Our Instructors and Staff

Ninja Pinto

Jiu Jitsu and Capoeira for Adults and Kids

From São Paulo Brazil, Luis Felipe Ninja Pinto "Ninja", moved to the USA pursuing his dream to teach martial arts. Ninja believes that thru martial arts and physical activity in general, students improve their self awareness, they become mentally and physically stronger and much more self-confident. Ninja has been teaching since 2000 and has great experience with kids and competition training. 

Morena Pinto

Women Jiu Jitsu, BootCamp and Capoeira

From Minas Gerais-Brazil, Morena is a mother of three, a business owner, a dancer and a martial Artist.

She is the head coach of our Women Jiu Jitsu program with great experience as a competitor. Morena is an instructor in Capoeira and she runs our Bootcamp program.

Be ready to have fun and be challenged in her classes. No one is left behind and she is amazing with team cohesion. 

Morena has taught seminars all over the US, Japan, Saint Martin, Mexico and Brazil, we are sure you will have a lot to learn from her.  

Heath “Val” Chitwood

Jiu Jitsu

From Olathe, KS I moved back to the area in 2013 after first spending 6 years with the United States Marine Corps and then 10 years as an overseas contractor with the government.  I fell in love with jiu jitsu while traveling in Thailand in early 2013.  Through this journey, I have trained only under Ninja Pinto here at the Brazil Academy.  As an avid competitor, I have competed at Master Worlds, American Nationals, and numerous other tournaments on a national and local level. I have won Master World twice.  Once as a blue belt in 2015 and again as a purple belt in 2017.  

Taylor "TK" Kelly

Monday Wednesday BJJ Fundamentals

Born and raised in Lenexa KS, my journey with martial arts started in 2008 at the University of Kansas where I spent 4 years training Tae Kwon Do. After learning about the effectiveness of Jiu Jitsu, I began searching for a gym so that I could learn grappling and become more well rounded. My search brought me to Brazil Academy in 2011 and I have been training here ever since. I have competed around the country and in Brazil in IBJJF tournaments and also found success competing in local tournaments. When I first joined the academy, I also continued my striking training with Muay Thai and have competed in a few tournaments and amateur bouts. I am always eager to share knowledge about whether it is about striking or grappling. Being a part of this family has allowed me many opportunities to learn, grow, and experience new things in life. I look forward to seeing you on the mats! OSS!

Christian Hidalgo

No Gi Jiu Jitsu

I was born in New Jersey, into a family and social circles obsessed with martial arts!  Growing up with Judo, Boxing, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, and other traditional martial arts, I learned to appreciate the value in earning competency in various martial arts as applications toward sport competition, self-defense, and personal development. After moving to Kansas, I met Ninja after a few years of inactivity from combat sports, and began training Capoeira in 2002, and soon traveling for both sport and performance. In 2007, Ninja started offering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes at Brazil Academy and flying in world-class competitors and instructors, and I quickly found myself obsessed with grappling sports again!  In 2014, I began teaching self-defense seminars; and in 2015, began teaching BJJ classes and coaching students at tournaments, as well as refereeing at tournaments held by various organizations.  I love experiencing the subtleties of higher-level technical application and helping others to also gain their own appreciation for the art and achievements. 

BJ "Chuva" Stringfield

Capoeira for Adults

Born and raised in Kansas City, MO. I started martial arts in 2008 with capoeira and it is the only art I have trained. I became an instructor in November 2014. Brazil Academy has been my only home for learning the art but I have traveled to many places around the country and as far as Brazil to learn from some of the best teachers of capoeira. I fell in love with the art from the beginning. Capoeira has given me so much! I have been exposed to new cultures, an innumerable amount of people, new friends and a world of opportunities that I didn't know would come with being a part of this community. My life has been made better because of capoeira and all that is has given me. I am proud to be a part of Brazil Academy and I look forward to passing this beautiful art to many others for years to come!

Fedo Marim

Kids Capoeira

Born in August 2nd 1986 In Indaiatuba - Sao Paulo. Brazil, Fedo started his practice of Capoeira in 2001 with Mestre Saracura, the founder of the Força Rara Team. Fedo had the opportunity to travel to many places in Brazil participating in many Capoeira Events. He moved to the United States in 2018 with the objective to work with Capoeira and Continue his progress in the art under the supervision of Mestre Ninja Pinto. Today he is responsible for the Kids Capoeira Program and also some adult classes. 

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