Our Instructors

Marco Moreno

Head Instructor

A personal testimony:

I discovered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in 2001. Ever since I started training I experienced a positive transformation in my life, not only physical but also on the psychological level. I have competed in several Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and have attended multiple seminars from world-class Jiu-Jitsu fighters.

I took my first Jiu-Jitsu class in my hometown, Trujillo, Perú. My first instructors were Professors Pablo Salvatierra and Julio Zegarra, who taught me solid concepts of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Their example and knowledge made me realize from day 1 that I was going to dedicate the rest of my life to practice this beautiful art. I trained with them for about 9 months.

Upon moving to the United States, I continued my training at Fightworks Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Sterling, VA), a Relson Gracie affiliate, under the guidance of Professors Dan Wallen and Tony Waldecker. I have fond memories of training at Fightworks. It was a competitive environment but everyone was friendly after all the armlocks and chokes. I remember making great friends, hard sparring sessions, lots of jokes and fun, competing at local tournaments, attending Seminars with world-class Jiu-Jitsu Professors, meeting GM Relson Gracie, and taking many privates with him. Here’s where my Jiu-Jitsu grew and developed until I received my brown belt in 2011.

I had the honor of training with different members of the Gracie family. It’s like drinking water from the source, clean and fresh. Grand Master Relson Gracie, second oldest son of GM Helio Gracie (founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu) has been a great example to model my style of Jiu-Jitsu since the beginning and I am deeply thankful for his teachings. In 2015 Grand Master Relson Gracie decided it was time for me to get promoted and awarded me the rank of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt.

Grand Master Relson Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu follows his father’s philosophy, it has a strong foundation, it’s simple and deadly effective. It works for self-defense and sport. It has solid defenses, escapes, as well as sharp submissions. At its core, this is the type of Jiu-Jitsu that I teach my students, while adding some new elements from modern grappling.

I have also been lucky to meet Professors Ryron and Rener Gracie, third generations of the Gracie family; they have also instructed me in the way Gracie Jiu-Jitsu should be practiced and taught. I went through the Gracie Academy’s Instructor Certification Program in July 2011 in order to become a better teacher. This has been one of the best experiences of my life, not only did I learn how to teach more efficiently but how to be the best version of myself in order to share positive energy with others.

I officially opened Mastery Jiu-Jitsu Academy in February of 2012 in Leesburg, VA. I invested all I had to make it possible with no idea how it was going to turn out. I’m grateful that I had the most amazing support from my community since the beginning and over the years we have taught Jiu-Jitsu to thousands of people, adults and children. My mission is to create a positive impact on people’s lives through the practice of Jiu-Jitsu, especially to those who need it the most: the weak, the unathletic, the introvert, the bullied. This has been my biggest gratification and I’m thankful to all the students who were ever part of The Mastery Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

Marco Moreno and family with Red Belt Grand Master Relson Gracie (second oldest son of GM Helio Gracie) at Mastery Jiu-Jitsu in Leesburg. October 2023.

The impact of this amazing art has been so profound and positive that I decided to dedicate my life to share with the people of my community the benefits of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I am honored to have the opportunity to do so and to help keep the vision of Grandmaster Helio Gracie alive.

View all instructors