Langley MMA champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes has attracted some big names in the sport to the Saturday, Oct. 14 opening of his new martial arts academy, billed as a “Meet The Legends” opportunity bringing together four icons.
Reservations will be required when “Flash Academy Martial Arts” officially opens its doors in the 20700 block of Mufford Crescent in Langley.
Fernandes, a five-time world jiu-jitsu champion and three-time Pan American champion, will welcome Renzo Gracie, the internationally known jiu-jitsu coach who is credited with coaching some of North America’s top fighters. Gracie will be attending from his martial arts school, the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.
As well, Demetrious Johnson, a 15-time world MMA Champion and current flyweight world champion will be on hand, with top fighter Lucas Don Santos Pineheiro, from Manaus, Brazil (where Fernandez got his start) and Fabrico Lima, secretary of sports in Brazil, a Renzo Gracie black belt, and long time Fernandes friend.
“We are thrilled to create an opportunity for martial arts enthusiasts to meet and learn from these world-class champions,” said Fernandes.
“Our vision is to empower individuals through martial arts education and foster a community that thrives on discipline and camaraderie.”
In a 2015 profile, Fernandes described how he was living in Manaus, the largest city in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, when he was introduced by some friends to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the martial art developed by the Gracie family and made famous by MMA legend and Brazilian native Royce Gracie.
At the time, he was 14, selling ice cream and cleaning houses when the mother of a friend paid for his lessons. When that ran out, he cleaned the gym to pay for them for almost four years until his coach told him to quit cleaning and focus on becoming a world champion.
Fernandes did just that, going on to win world, Brazilian and Pan-Am jiu-jitsu titles before switching his focus to MMA.
He was at a jiu-jitsu competition in California when he was invited to come train in Canada. He liked what he saw and stayed, marrying and raising a family and going on to become a Canadian citizen living in Langley.
He calls jiu-jitsu a “lifestyle” in Brazil, no different from the way hockey is viewed in his adopted home.
“If you let jiu-jitsu help you, if you let jiu-jitsu guide and educate you, if you go to a good school with good coaching, you can go anywhere,” Fernandes said.
For more information about the opening, register to receive ticket information here: https://bit.ly/3E3ead2