Yamasaki Academy offers the highest level of technique, discipline, student safety and expert instruction in the Washington, DC area. As the Yamasaki Academy has grown, each location is home to American-born Black Belts, certified in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and passionate about sharing all that they’ve learned with their students.


The Yamasaki Academy has an excellent staff with many years of teaching and competition experience, including Mario Yamasaki, a 4th Degree Black Belt, Fernando Yamasaki, a 6th Degree Black Belt and Francisco Neto, a 4rd Degree Black Belt. All three instructors are from Sao Paulo, Brazil.




Mario Yamasaki – Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Mario Yamasaki began training in Jiu-Jitsu in 1986, under the late Marcelo Behring, who was a 5th Degree Black Belt under Rickson Gracie.


In January of 2002, Mario received his 4th degree on his black belt from President Otavio de Almeida of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Today, Mario works as a referee for several Mixed Martial Arts organizations, with the most notable being the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).


Fernando Yamasaki – From competing in the Olympics to instructing SWAT teams and serving as a personal bodyguard for celebrities like Britney Spears, Fernando Yamasaki is a versatile martial artist with black belts in JJIF Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.


Fernando was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1967, where he virtually grew up on the mat as he followed the footsteps of his father, Grand Master Yamasaki. He won his first state championship in 1979, he won his first national title in 1985 with the Sao Paulo State Wrestling Team, he acquired his black belt (for the second time) in 1991 and he helped create the Federacao Paulista de Jiu-Jitsu in that same year.


Despite receiving backlash for introducing the new style of fighting to those he taught in Sao Paulo, Fernando—with the help of his brother Mario and UFC CEO Bob Meyrowitz—brought UFC to Brazil and introduced UFC to the Ginasio da Portuguesa de Desportos in October 1998.


Today, Master Fernando Yamasaki is the head instructor for the Yamasaki Academy in Rockville, Md.


Francisco Neto – Francisco Neto was born in 1979 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His training in the Martial Arts began at the early age of three with Judo under the guidance of Shigueto Yamasaki—Mario and Fernando Yamasaki’s uncle.


Francisco started competing when he was seven and began instructing as an assistant at 13. As a competitor, he won titles as State Champion, National Champion, South American Champion, North American Champion and many others. He was a member of the Brazilian National Team of Wrestling, Judo and JJIF Jiu-Jitsu.


Today, Francisco holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and 3rd Dan in Judo. His goal is to pass on all that he has learned as a competitor and as a teacher to the students of the Yamasaki family!



All programs are offered at our main location in Rockville, MD, as well as the locations in surrounding towns.

Potomac, MD
Gaithersburg, MD
Washington, DC
Springfield, VA
Leesburg, VA
Woodbridge, VA
Culpeper, VA
Somers Point, NJ
Newark, DE



Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) emphasizes getting an opponent to the ground in order to use ground fighting techniques and submission holds involving joint-locks and chokeholds. Once two fighters are on the ground, physical strength can be offset or enhanced by an experienced grappler who knows how to use mechanical advantage instead of brute strength.


Yamasaki Academy’s complete Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program incorporates expert instructions in traditional and new techniques, live sparring, competition training and strength/conditioning. Designed to utilize a vigorous exercise program, the intense classes condition students for competition while the instructors work with individuals on their own unique goals, ensuring that each students progresses at his or her own level.


Students have the choice between beginning and advanced classed, depending on each individual’s athletic abilities, martial arts background and level of fitness. A typical class will last 1.5 hours, and it will include a 20-minute warm up, 40 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes of live sparring. The instruction comes from a black belt instructor, who teaches various techniques, submissions, takedowns, sweeps, reversals and escapes. During the sparring period, students will practice and execute the techniques learned during that class and previous classes.


Not only is Jiu-Jitsu a proven self-defense system, but it also aids in weight loss, increased cardiovascular health, enhanced self-confidence, discipline and diet.




The Kids’ Jiu-Jitsu classes at Yamasaki Academy aim to create extra support for the parents by teaching children discipline, self-control, improved self-esteem and the ability to focus better on tasks.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a non-striking self-defense martial art system that steers children away from using brute strength and toward using their minds. This martial art style is considered to be one of the best self-defenses for kids and adults since it is applied in response to physical aggression, which will not lead to violence.


The belt and stripe ranking helps teach kids that they must earn things and achieve their goals through hard work. Through this, students earn their way up in belts based on attendance, attitude and skill level.


Head Instructors Master Fernando Yamasaki and Francisco Neto use their expertise in Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Wrestling in the kid’s Jiu-Jitsu classes.



Instructor: Sergio Cabrera
Kids’ Muay Thai Instructor: Samir Abdolkader


Commonly known as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand that originated from the ancient battlefield tactics of the Thai army. Thai rulers have attached great importance to the training of their soldiers in the skills of hand-to-hand fighting.


This is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking, which includes punches, kicks, elbows, knees and stand-up grappling (or clinching). The sophisticated Muay Thai training methods at Yamasaki Academy help students develop devastating power, speed and superb cardiovascular endurance in a safe setting.


Each Academy location offers advanced and all-levels classes that will last one to one and a half hours. Individual classes cover Pads & Conditioning, Fundamentals & Clinching, and Sparring.



The Yamasaki Academy’s Strength and Conditioning Class will change the way you experience workouts.


These small, hour-long classes utilize techniques and drills that are designed for professional fighters and guaranteed to get you into the best shape of your life. Every major muscle group in your body will be targeted as you cycle through the stations in the class, and the instructor will be there to provide each student with a personalized experience.


From the instructor, Elaine Yamasaki:


“In my class, students perform a circuit of 10 to 15 exercises, using jump rope, the TRX Suspension Trainer, Kettlebells, balls, hand weights and machines. This class helps to improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance, flexibility and muscular strength and toning.”


All students are welcome, regardless of fitness level, whether you want to lose weight, tone up or regain energy.