Edmund Li Black Belt, Head Instructor
Edmund has been training for over 10 years, having competed in boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and grappling competitions as a teenager. It was not until he came across Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that he found his true passion and dedicated his life to the art. He began coaching children’s classes five years ago, and started to assist with adult classes shortly after. Heavily complimenting his teaching style, Edmund has achieved his Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology & Exercise Science and understands correct body mechanics, periodization, and teaching methods for athletes and practitioners of all levels.
In addition to teaching, he is an active competitor and has medaled in some of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Some of his competitive achievements include:
-IBJJF American National silver medalist (black belt)
-IBJJF No-Gi World bronze medalist (brown belt)
-IBJJF No-Gi Pan American silver medalist
-Arizona State Southwest Classic gold medalist
-US Open silver medalist
-Multiple time Hawaii Triple Crown champion
-K.I. super lightweight amateur kickboxing champion
-O.I.A. Wrestling Eastern Championships 4th place
In addition to the head instructor, one highlight of our classes include the presence of many proficient black belts training on the mat and can be found be very helpful with assisting others of lesser experience. Some of them include, but are not limited to:
Kyle Takao 2nd Degree Black Belt
Kyle is the founder of Sapateiro Jiu-jitsu and has over 20 years of experience. After receiving his purple belt from Renato “Charuto” Verissimo, Kyle put aside his gi for six years to focus on a professional MMA career, where he competed throughout Hawaii and Japan. It wasn’t until he met Leandro Nyza that he started to train in the gi again and eventually earned his black belt. Kyle’s knowledge, as well as his approachable, easygoing personality, make for a pleasant experience on the mats.
Seth Mckinney 3rd Degree Black Belt
Seth has been training for nearly 20 years. He teaches a simple, practical, and highly effective style, and is one of a few exclusive no-gi instructors in Hawaii. Although he has past competition experience, Seth’s primary focus has been coaching. He has helped prepare grapplers, wrestlers, and professional MMA fighters for high-level events for over a decade. He has trained extensively with Renato “Charuto” Verissimo and grappling coach standout, Marc Laimon.
David Lui Black Belt
David is a black belt under Leandro Nyza. During his 10+ years of training, he has been exposed to some of the best instructors that BJJ has to offer, including multiple-time world champion, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. David also has a PhD in Physical Therapy, where his deep understanding of movement and the human body, combined with his vast knowledge of BJJ techniques, make him an extremely knowledgable instructor.
Some of his competitive achievements include:
-Abu Dhabi World Pro NYC Trials silver medalist
-Hawaii Triple Crown champion
-Amateur Kickboxing Champion