Chris Civello, Head Instructor:
Considered to be one of the most caring and passionate teachers in New Jersey with a flair for producing champions through his attention to detail and deep understanding and connection to the art of Jiu Jitsu. Chris has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 16 years. In that time, he has achieved his black belt and trains under the tutelage of the great Marcelo Garcia in New York City. Chris is also a Judoka under 3X Judo Olympian Celita Schutz and Red Belt, Sensei Matsumura, at the Kokushikai Judo Academy.
Known for his aggressive point A to point B style of Jiu Jitsu and razor sharp technical prowess, Chris has earned himself a nice collection of accolades including submission of the night in Asylum Fight League, World Bare Knuckle Boxing Association freestyle fighting Champion and belt holder, Multiple time International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Masters Champion, New Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Champion, Grapplers Quest Champion, North American Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Champion, and Kokushikai Judo Champion.
Alex Kennedy, Instructor:
In addition to training and teaching Jiu-Jitsu, Alex has been teaching Special Education for the Paterson school district for over a decade. Coach Alex not only draws from his Jiu Jitsu knowledge but also his experiences in the classroom making the relay of information from teacher to student seamless. This unique capability has set him apart as one of the best technical advisors at Sakura Jiu Jitsu. Coach Alex Kennedy is the finest children’s Jiu Jistu teacher on the east coast. His lesson plans are simple, easy to follow, and will have even the most difficult child behaving and wanting to learn more. Alex Kennedy leads our BULLY SAFE summer camps as well as our kids BJJ program. Coach Kennedy frequents the Marcelo Garcia Academy as well, training alongside the best in the world. Coach Alex has achieved the rank of Brown Belt at Sakura Jiu Jitsu.
Matt Walter, Instructor:
For the past 10 years, Matt has worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer at a local high school. He specializes in the treatment of athletic injuries. He also enjoys teaching and spreading the art of Jiu Jitsu as it has been such an influential part of his life for so many years.
Matt started training boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while in college at East Stroudsburg University under a Royler Gracie/David Adiv affiliate. After training and competing for 4 years, he was awarded a Purple belt by David Adiv. Upon graduation with a degree in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, Matt relocated back to NJ to focus on his career. Eventually he started to train under Josef Manuel, a Robson Moura Black Belt, for several years and recently was promoted to Brown belt by Josef. Matt now brings his wealth of knowledge to Sakura where students can benefit.
Matt Ciampa, Wrestling Coach:
Matt Ciampa has been producing All-Americans since 1985. If there is a wrestler in New Jersey competing for a spot on the podium at Fargo, they probably went through Ciampa’s program. Matt trains school-aged wrestlers for Freestyle and Greco Roman competition on the local, regional and national level. Students of Matt have earned at least one medal at every Junior/Cadet National Championship since 1993. He has produced over 30 All Americans and 14 National Champions at USA Wrestling National Events in only 5 seasons.
Russ Newman, Bio coming soon
Don De la Pena, Bio coming soon
Billy Ramos, Bio coming soon
Joeymer Dela Cruz, Bio coming soon