Our Team

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Paul Rodriguez

Hi! My name is Paul Rodriguez. I am a merciless seeker of knowledge, an occassional purveyor of wisdom, and a martial artist and strength coach.

 

In 1996 a good friend of mine Din Thomas, introduced me to a then little known combat sport called the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I watched a skinny Brazilian (Royce Gracie) defeat several much larger opponents in a series of fights that consisted of no rules and no time limits. I thought it was pretty cool. Thus my journey began. Over the past 23 years I have amassed a wealth of knowledge, not just about martial arts and fighting, but about competing, weight training, conditioning, dieting, success, handling failure, motivation, and human nature. When I'm not in the academy you'll find me on top a mountain, cuddling  with my dogs Zeek and Jerry, or traveling with my better half Caroline.

Street Cred

  • 23 years of experience training all facets of MMA (Striking, Takedowns, Grappling)

  • 3rd Degree Black Belt in BJJ under Ricardo Liborio

  • Trained 15 years in Muay Thai under Mejiro Gym instructor Bobby Robare (still going)

  • Over 30 professional MMA fights in the worlds largest organizations including the UFC, Pride, Shooto, Pancrase, King of the Cage, AFC, and World Extreme Fighting Championship

  • NAGA Super Fight grappling champion

  • NAGA Expert division grapping champion 

  • IGF Grappling Lightweight champion

  • Trained professional fighters in over 200 MMA fights including K1, Bellator, Pride, and the UFC

  • Strength and Conditiong Coach 

  • Martial Arts curriculum writer  

  • (oh Yeah) I picked up a BA in Political Science from UCF

Caroline Rodriguez 

Konichiwa! My name is Caroline Rodriguez and I am the program director here at the American Top Team academy. If you have any questions regarding your membership, billing, supply order, etc, I will gladly assist you. I also am an Instructor in our kids BJJ program and help "on board" the ladies in our adult BJJ program.

 I started training BJJ and Muay Thai eight years ago and hold the rank of Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

When I walked into the dojo eight years ago, I had no athletic background what so ever. I never trained martial art growing up. I never lifted weights. I never played another sport. I was nervous, a little intimidated.  I know what BJJ can do to change your life and I am commited to helping you reach your goals. We are more than just a gym. We are a community of people who encourage one another and help each other when we need it both in and away from the gym.

When I'm not running the best martial arts academy around, I enjoy traveling, climbing mountains, and having fun at music festivals. 

Andre Tieva

My name is Andre Tieva. I am a Muay Thai, Grappling, and MMA coach here. I started training over a decade ago after watching Uriah Faber win the WEC title. My start in Martial arts was aimed at competition, but soon fell in love mastery and lifestyle of training martial arts. I've had 17 MMA fights, 2 boxing matches, and have competed in tons of grappling tournaments.

 

Ive been lucky enough to have world class teachers, training partners and even travelled to learn from other practitioners I looked up to. Now the passing on of these techniques is very near and dear to me. It makes my day when someone tells me they used something I taught them. 

While I'm near off the mats for too long, when I'm not training or teaching  I enjoy playing and watching live music, traveling, and hanging with friends

Victor Padilla

Hi, My name is Victor Padilla. I am a Kids coach here at that American Top Team and assist Paul in the Fundamentals BJJ and Muay Thai programs. I also help Caroline in the office so if you have any questions regarding your membership I can also help you there as well. 

I was a wrestler in High School before starting my martial arts journey. I really enjoy seeing the kids progress in the martial arts and playing a role to help them improve their lives.  When I'm not in the dojo, Im in school working hard to finish my bachelor degree, hiking somewhere, or chilling with my dog Leo. 

Tommy Gilligan

My name is Tommy Gilligan. I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor here at the American Top Team academy. I began  training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2007 under Paul Rodriguez earning my blackbelt in 2017.  Though not as much these days, I have competed and stood on the podium so  I know what it's like to be out there. Through trial and error I have learned what works and what does not. My goal is to share with you all of my knowledge that I have acquired over the years to ensure you stay injury free and achieve your goals across the board

 

When I'm not in the academy, I enjoy scuba diving, going to concerts, and spending time with my better half Brandy.  

Chris Vu

Hi my name is Chris Vu and I am an Instructor here in the BJJ and Muay Thai programs. I believe in focusing on fundamentals when I teach. My goal is to provide students a strong conceptual understanding of why techniques work so they can apply it in their own game based upon how they choose to express their own strengths, personality, and abilities.  Jiu-Jitsu is a constant learning process and the game evolves fast, so I find it important to do self study outside of the gym to share ideas with our gym members so they can stay sharp.

 

Outside of the gym, I lift weights, read comic books, and study fitness and martial arts history.  I enjoy a good beer and meal with my friends and traveling with my wife and son because the world is full of more places to eat and but comic books.

9318 E Colonial Dr Orlando Fl 3817
Located in East Orlando just off the 417 & 408!
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407-930-2580! 
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