Steve Bongiorno

In 1983 at the age of 10 I started training in Tae Kwon Do Moo Duk Kwan USA. In 1990 I tested for the rank of Black Belt and currently hold the rank of 3rd degree Black Belt. I taught classes In that system for approximately 15 years. When you achieved the rank of Black Belt you had to pick a specialty, something you would specialize in so you can pass the information along to the other black belts so we can be more well rounded martial artists. I picked weapons for my specialty but when the UFC came out in 1993 I switched to grappling. I started studying judo and other grappling based martial arts books and VHS tapes. In 1996 I found a Jiu Jitsu instructor. It was a Kanyona Ryu style of Jiu Jitsu. I trained in that style on and off for about 2-3 years but the instructor had moved so my training was intermittent. In 1999 I decided to enter a grappling tournament. At that tournament they had a super fight with a guy named Ricardo Almeida. After the tournament I read an article about him in a magazine called Full Contact Fighter. I found out he was teaching classes not too far from me and started training with him not to soon after. I have been his student ever since. When I achieved the rank of brown belt I became the first staff member at Ricardo Almeida BJJ and starting teaching classes for my instructor. On 7/11/2005 I earned my Jiu Jitsu black belt. I taught classes for him until August of the next year when he suggested I open my own academy. On 9/12/2006 I taught my first class at South Jersey Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have owned and operated Sjbjj ever since and am currently a 3rd degree black belt under Professor Almeida. I have been active in the martial arts in NJ for over 36 years and look forward to many many more.