Founders
Tennessee Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation

The Federation was formed by Two of  the first black belts in the state of Tenn. Luiz Palhares and HelioSoneca.
Master Luiz Palhares is currently a 7th degree black belt and resides in Jacksonville,FL. where he operates a school and promotes the Jacksonville BJJ open as well as the Luiz Palhares BJJ Assoc.. Luiz was trained by Master Helio Gracie, Rickson Gracie.He is a has won many championships in Brazil and the United states, Pan Am Champion and Masters and seniors Champion,

Master Palhares was the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor to start teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the Navy Seals inside the Dam Neck Navy Seal Compound. He taught at the Navy Seal training center in VA for three years. As one of the most leading Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the US, Master Palhares also has been on the front lines of initiating BJJ-based training programs to other branches of the US military, the Army in Albania, and Police. Below is a letter from the US Army Special forces

Letter from USA Special Forces:
Master Palhares, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the
superb combatives training you and your sons Pedro and Cesar provided to the
men of the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) during our
preparation for a combat deployment.  We chose your program
based on your unique experience training Navy SEALs, Marines, Soldiers and
civilian law enforcement personnel as well as being certified as a Modern
Army Combatives Program (MACP) instructor.  I'm convinced the training you
provided helped to prepare our men for the physical and emotional stress of
combat and contributed to our overall mission success.  Thank you again and
we look forward to future training opportunities.


Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Special Forces
Helio Soneca is currently a 5th degree black belt and resides in Louisville,KY where he operates a school and promotes two BJJ tournaments. Soneca is a World BJJ Champion and Operates the Helio Soneca BJJ Assoc. Master Soneca teaches at several different schools in the south east and directs seminars over the world. He is one of the most respected teachers of BJJ in the US and Brazil. Soneca ws the 1996 world Champion.

Soneca started practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 8 with Black Belt master Cirilo Azevedo and Elias Martins. Having fallen in love with this Martial Art at the age of 9, he was already a Brazilian Champion. At the age of 13, Helio moved to Rio De Janeiro and started to practice with the Gracie Club, now known as Barra Gracie, taught by the Machado Brothers, Ze Henrique Leao Teixeira and Renzo Gracie.

Soneca, as he is known in the Martial Arts world, chose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his career totally dedicating himself to it. At the age of 22, he received from Master Carlos Gracie JR., the Black Belt he had been dreaming of; a prestige that few people had at that time.