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Jiu Jitsu Nation

At Jiu Jitsu Nation in Smyrna, Tennessee, we offer the finest instruction of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Middle Tennessee. The most effective form of self-defense in the world. Our chief instructor Cliff Fonseca has trained with a long list of BJJ, Mixed Martial Arts, and UFC legends. However, his primary instruction is under Luiz Palhares, a 6th degree black belt under Rickson Gracie. Below, you will find the Nation’s Lineage.

Jiu Jitsu Nation, LLC was started April 2010. It is owned by Cliff Fonseca and his wife Maggie, who is also working as an RN. Coach Cliff Fonseca started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under 6th degree black belt Luiz Palhares. Professor Palhares is a Rickson Gracie Blackbelt. Mr. Fonseca took his training seriously from the beginning, dedicating no less than 16 hours a week to training and teaching even as a whitebelt. With an uncanny ability to remember details and an already dominant presence in competitions, Professor Palhares awarded Mr. Fonseca his blue belt in less than 60 days. Mr. Fonseca won world and national titles and traveled all over the U.S as a blue belt, training with a long list of BJJ legends: Carlos Gracie Jr., Carlson Gracie, Rigan Machado, and Renzo Gracie, to name a few. As a purple belt, Mr. Fonseca fought several-time Pan Am blackbelt and world champion Roberto Traven; the match went all ten minutes with no points scored. Losing by decision, Mr. Fonseca received a standing ovation; he was disappointed, as his next match would have been Forrest Griffin. Cliff Fonseca winning 2008 Pan American Championships!

Mr. Fonseca also won world and national titles as a purple belt. In 2008, Mr. Fonseca won the Pan American World Championship. Mr. Fonseca again won world and national titles along with many expert invitationals and super fights as a brown belt. In 2009, Mr. Fonseca received his blackbelt from Shawn Hammonds/Lloyd Irvin. Mr. Fonseca has also trained with Jiu Jitsu greats: P.J. Penn, Renato “Charato” Verissimo, Eddie Bravo, Royce Gracie, Lloyd Irvin, Shawn Hammonds, Ray Casius, Rob Kahn, Helio Seneca, and many more. Mr. Fonseca has been teaching law enforcement, military, kids and adults for 10 years.

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