American Elite

instructors

Renato Tavares TJ Tomlin
Renato was born on the 20th of January 1968 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Renato started training Jiu Jitsu when in 1974 his doctor recommended him to pick up a sport to improve his physical condition as he suffered from breathing difficulties. Even though BJJ schools weren’t as common as they are today, Renato was lucky enough to start off with two top quality instructors, Geni Rebello and Elias Martins at the “Academia Serrana” in Teresopolis. He stayed with his masters through the ranks from white belt onwards, being a very active competitor in the blue belt division at the time, competing in 23 tournaments, winning 18 of them placing second on 2 and failing to reach the final on 3 occasions.

When he reached purple belt Renato Tavares moved to Rio de Janeiro and started training under Carlson Gracie, receiving his brown and black (in 1995) belts from the BJJ legend. During his time training at Carlson Gracie’s gym, he was also fortunate enough to be taught by great figures of Jiu Jitsu such as Sergio Souza (AKA “Bolao”), Marcelo Alonso and Carlson Gracie Junior. In 2002 Renato Tavares was invited to come to the USA by a student of his named Jeff Davis, to teach in Kentucky. A challenge immediately accepted by the Brazilian. He also took advantage of the booming MMA scene in the US and started his career in the popular sport, fighting at the World Extreme Fighting 12 in Ohio.

In 2003 and started training at American Top Team (ATT) with Ricardo Liborio, Marcelo and Conan Silveira. Renato Tavares also has his own team (the Renato Tavares Association) with over 15 academies throughout the country. Renato has formed several black belts in the USA but he has not lost his competitive edge, having competed on 16 events in 2009 winning 13 of those.
 
TJ Tomlin is the owner of American Elite and the Chief Instructor. He teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for students of all ages, as well as women’s self-defense.

TJ was a multi-sport athlete, competing in football, baseball and wrestling in high school and continuing his football and baseball careers into college. He began his martial arts training with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu more than a decade ago, and is now training with fifth-degree black belt and world champion Renato Tavares. TJ has also trained in Muay Thai for many years. TJ is currently a black belt in BJJ and has taught martial arts professionally for many years.

TJ continues to compete in tournaments world-wide, and encourages his students to compete as well. TJ’s students frequently take first place, but even if they don't win, they consistently place -- demonstrating that American Elite consistently offers highly effective instruction. TJ is proud to count two national champions in youth divisions and one adult national champion among his students, as well as one youth world champion!

TJ utilizes a laid-back teaching style to put beginning students at ease; he believes this helps new students relax and focus on the material being taught. TJ’s goal for every student is for that individual to become the best martial artist they can be, while achieving levels of confidence and physical fitness/ability that they never thought they could reach. In addition to regular classes, TJ is available by appointment for private lessons and personal training sessions.
 
Ken Jackson Mike Jackson
Bio Coming Soon
 
Bio Coming Soon
Dustin Brooks Kevin Williams
Dustin is a Black Belt under Renato Tavares and has been training for 15 years. Kevin was recently promoted to Brown Belt. Kevin has been the head instructor at the DCPC location since it opened. Kevin is the very definition of perseverance. He has dedicated his life to acheiving goals. He is one step closer to one of those goals now.
 
Mike Giroux Ian Freeman
Mike Giroux is the MMA Striking / Muay Thai coach. Mike has trained, coached, and cornered professional and amateur fighters for many years. He has been consistently training since Kindergarten in one form or another in Martial Arts. Mike has been trained by the very best in the world and worked with some of the best fighters around. He has trained under former Olympians at the Olympic Training Center in Boulder, CO and at the world famous Tiger Muay Thai camp in Phuket, Thailand. Mike is a certified black belt in Taekwondo which he won nationals 4 times, state 5 times, and competed twice at the U.S. open. He has also trained in Karate, Krav Maga, Shotokan Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Western Boxing, and Kali. He has competed in countless martial arts tournaments, fought in the ring in boxing and kickboxing matches, and has also fought in the cage in MMA. He can provide a life time of experience and knowledge in striking and will push you to your maximum potential. He will incorporate skills from a variety of disciplines to make you an all round complete fighter.
 
Bio Coming Soon
David McCrary  
 
David is currently a Purple Belt under Renato Tavares and TJ Tomlin. He began wrestling in grade school and continued through high school.

Coach Dave has trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the grappling arts for over 5 years. He has been the head coach of the kids program at American Elite for 3 years.