Nelson’s first contact with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was at age 7 at Reyson Gracie’s academy. At around the same time, he was starting to train Judo with Geraldo Bernardes, the main coach for the Brazilian national team in four Olympics. Though continuing to focus on Jiu-Jitsu, he trained with top athletes from Judo to improve his stand up game. In 1991 he joined Rilion Gracie. When Rilion relocated to the south of Brazil, he joined Paulo Caruso's academy and became a black belt under him in 1998. In 2000, Nelson helped Grand Master Mansor found his first academies in Long Island and continued to teach private lessons in Manhattan to executives and law enforcement. Nelson joined Submit! BJJ in 2006.
Ehson has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2001 when he joined the Grappling Club at the University of Connecticut. After winning their inaugural tournament, he soon became the president of the club to help promote the martial arts he grew to be passionate about across campus. He has trained at Submit! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2006 where he has competed and placed in numerous grappling tournaments. Some of his accolades include:
1st Place: New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu International - NoGi Advanced
2nd Place: New Jersey Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu International - NoGi Absolute
1st Place: The Goodfight: Battle on the Battleship
1st Place: NAGA New England Championships
2nd Place: NAGA North American Grappling Championships
1st Place: South Jersey Grappling Championships
2nd Place: NAGA Battle at the Beach
2nd Place: Upstate NY Grappling Championships
In 1993, Dana began training in Jeet Kune Do, which incorporated arts such as boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chung and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There he reached the level of apprentice instructor under Milfords Progessive Fight Systems’ George Brockelshen. 1n 1999 Dana helped found the Salustiano Academy , the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Stamford. He achieved the rank of blue belt under third degree black belt, Cicero Salustiano. During 2001 to 2003 Dana trained with several people, most notably, Mike Casey from Team Relson Gracie and Rob Kahn, who is one of Royce Gracie's first American black belts. In January 2006 Dana joined the brand new Submit! BJJ Academy and, after many years of hard training, received his black belt from Nelson Alves.