Cadu Francis was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He initiated his experience with martial arts by practicing judo from 7-10 years of age. His lifelong Jiu-Jitsu Journey began at the age of 14 when he took self defense classes during PE class in school.
Cadu began attending after school Jiu-Jitsu classes with Fernando Yamasaki. Cadu soon realized he wanted to learn more, and so he signed up for the main academy under Fernando. Since he was one of the youngest students attending the adult class, Cadu had to learn leverage the hard way in order to beat his larger, older, and stronger opponents.
By the age of 19, as a purple belt, Cadu decided to defer his university studies and experience life in Sydney, Australia. There weren’t any black belts teaching in Sydney at that time, so Cadu began teaching small group classes a couple of times a week. This ensured that he would have partners to train with as well as providing his first experience consistently instructing a single group in the art.
One year later, Cadu returned to Brazil, determined to improve his skills and performance in the art. Rather than spend time at a traditional job, he began teaching in order to pay his bills and to spend as much time as possible on the mat.
By the age of 22, Cadu was awarded his bachelor degree in Business and also achieved his black belt. He planned a graduation trip to Europe and arranged, via an acquaintance, to stay with Dutch brothers for a week in return for instructing them in Jiu-Jitsu. This relationship grew and Cadu returned to Holland several times. Ultimately, he devoted three years of his life to the development of Jiu-Jitsu in Europe. Cadu has graduated four Dutch students to black belt. All four regularly visit Cadu in San Diego to train and Cadu Visits them in the Netherlands.
Cadu handpicked La Mesa/San Diego as the place for him to settle and build the academy he always dreamed of. Here Cadu has the perfect combination of elements: Beach, Sun, Lifestyle and Training. Cadu currently trains himself at the University of Jiu-Jitsu with Professor Saulo and Alexandre Ribeiro.
San Diego was also the place where he met and married the girl of his life (Gabi)!
Gabriela Francis was born and raised in Leblon, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most fascinating beaches. Since her early ages the tough little girl showed interest in the body movement. Being a very athletic child Gabriela experiment gymnastics, diving, horseback riding, climbing, but found out her true interest was in martial arts.
Gabriela started her path into martial arts at the age of 5, when she trained Judo at the Flamengo Athletic Club for a couple of years. Later on, as a young teenager, she experienced Capoeira, a Brazilian cultural martial art mixed with dance. At the age of 17 Gabi moved to San Diego and didn’t have a legit Capoeira school to train so she decided at that point to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Since her early years of Jiu Jitsu training, Gabi has shown interest for competition and stood out in several national and international tournaments. After many years devoted towards the sport, Gabriela achieved the rank of Black Belt in 2007.
Along with Jiu-Jitsu, Gabriela accomplished a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy, a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education, a Pilates Certification and a Massage Therapy Degree.