Dee is the most experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor in the Northeast TN/Southwest VA region, having the vision to pursue this martial art over twenty years ago, well before its current popularity. His belts have been earned the “old-school” way with extensive personal training and instruction under many great black belts, not video or internet learning or any “executive track” training programs. Currently a black belt under Julio “Foca” Fernandez, a 6th degree black belt, and Andrew “Judo Goat” Smith, a 2nd degree black belt, Dee has trained with many of the world’s best in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu beginning at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in 1994. He has undergone kickboxing training by Duke Roufus, trainer to many UFC Champions, and more recently undergoing formal training under the tutelage of Duane “Bang” Ludwig, a champion kickboxer and UFC great who holds the UFC record for fastest knockout, currently a purple belt in Bang Muay Thai.
Rich is a former 7x national freestyle wrestling champion who has been a member of a number of world teams with silver medals in the World Cup and Pan American Games and was second place in the 1988 Olympic Trials. He is a former graduate assistant coach at Penn State and Bucknell Universities. He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a blue belt in Bang Muay Thai, and a Crazy Monkey Defense Program trainer.