Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


Brazilian jiu-jitsu is historically linked to Kodokan judo which has roots in Japanese jujutsu dating back to the 19th century. Japanese jujutsu was based on the premise of “defeating strength through flexibility” and as it evolved into Kodokan judo it was adapted to allow for the “maximum efficient use of physical and mental energy.” In the early 1900’s, Mitsuyo Maeda, a well known Japanese judoka and member of Kodokan, began traveling all over the world performing demonstrations. Eventually he ended up in Brazil where he met an influential business man named Gastão Gracie. With Gracie’s help Maeda was able to establish himself in the community and he began to teach Gracie’s son Carlos. Carlos and his younger brother, Hélio, are acknowledged as being the founders of what became Gracie Jiu-Jitsu or modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu. However, Hélio is credited with having adapted the techniques that were taught to Carlos from their dependence on strength to using more leverage to suit his small frame. From this point, these teachings were passed on to many Gracie family members who went on to become and are still well known practitioners.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a ground martial art with a focus is on getting your opponent to the ground, controlling them and then executing a submission. It is widely known to provide ample advantage to a smaller person when defending themselves against a bigger opponent. The reason is because it concentrates on using an opponent’s leverage and strength against them while you are executing a proper joint lock or choke. There is no striking or kicking employed when subduing an opponent. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is taught as a martial art, self defense, and for sport competition.

The Style We Practice

Kore Martial Arts was founded by Professor Luigi Mondelli. In his words the goal of this team is to “pass on what we believe to be the real meaning of martial arts: loyalty, honesty, honor, dedication, simplicity, character and martial arts mastery. We know that there is much more than just the day by day practice of techniques. We want to rescue the values of practicing martial arts. Be healthier, balanced, and confident. Find a family outside your family. Learn how to help and be helped. Raise better children, be a better person.”

We are proud to have been working with Professor Luigi since 2008. We are fortunate enough to be able to offer our students in Fairfield a unique opportunity to cross train with his affiliate schools all over the US as well as top ranked fighters and coaches from American Top Team in Florida.


Professor Luigi Mondelli
Head instructor and owner of American Top Team CT and Kore Martial Arts in Danbury, CT
3rd degree BJJ black belt under Red & Black Belt Master Ricardo Liborio, co-founder of American Top Team

Sensei Chris Graney
Black belt under Professor Luigi Mondelli

Denise Discepolo
Co-owner of The Center Martial Arts
Brown belt under Professor Luigi Mondelli

Edrik Lopez – Judo
Brown belt under Professor Luigi Mondelli

Steve White – No Gi
Purple belt under Professor Luigi Mondelli


The Center Martial arts offers gi instruction for kids and adults and no-gi instruction for adults only. We follow the rules set forth by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. Students can expect to be taught the following Brazilian jiu-jitsu fundamentals and much more.

  • History, theory, principles
  • Guard positions
  • Guard passes
  • Offensive and defensive attacks
  • Sweeps
  • Chokes
  • Escapes
  • Take downs
  • Joint locks
  • Self defense tactics