Joe Cunningham – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Joe Cunningham, affectionately known as “Joemoplata”, has been a student with the Yamasaki Academy since 1998. His interest in the sport started after watching Royce Gracie dominate opponents in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships using techniques that, at the time, were widely unknown to most people in the United States. Like most students of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu usually find, once he started training he was quickly hooked and began spending as much time as he could at the Yamasaki Springfield academy learning from the instructors. He has competed in various Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling tournaments including NAGA, Grapplers Quest, US Grappling, and the Pan American Championships. In December of 2010 he was awarded the rank of Black Belt from Francisco Neto and Fernando Yamasaki. Coach Joemoplata works closely with the other coaches as part of the MMA program to help the fighters be as well rounded as possible.
Francisco Neto -Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Francisco Neto, known as Neto, was born in 1979 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His training in the Martial Arts began at the early age of three with Judo under the guidance of Shigueto Yamasaki, Mario and Fernando Yamasaki’s uncle.
Neto started competing when he was only seven and began his start as an assistant instructor at 13. As a competitor, Neto won titles as State Champion, National Champion, South American Champion, North American Champion and many others, also placing 2nd and 3rd in dozens more. Neto was a member of the Brazilian National Team of Wrestling, Judo and JJIF Jiu-Jutsu. Neto began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1991 under Fernando Yamasaki. When he moved to the Washington D.C. area in October 1999, Neto began teaching full-time at the Yamasaki Academy with Mario. Shortly after his arrival in the U.S. he had the first “super fight” that Grapplers Quest ever had in the country against Renzo Gracie‘s Matt Serra. He has also fought well-known opponents such as Nova Uniao‘s B.J. Penn and Relson Gracie‘s Steve Maxwell. Neto’s goal at the Yamasaki Academy is to pass on all that he has learned as a competitor and as a teacher to the students of the Yamasaki family! Neto currently holds the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and 2nd Degree in Judo.
Mark DeLuca – Muay Thai
Mark DeLuca began his Muay Thai career in 2001 at the US Muay Thai Academy under Kru Sitha Phongphibool. In 2004 he began training with Stephen Strotmeyer and Matee Dragon Leg Jedeepitak who gave him the fight nickname of Diamond Heart, or Jaipetch in Thai and started his amateur career. He became certified under the USMTA as a Muay Thai Instructor by 2005 and by the next year was the USKBA Amateur US Champion. In 2007 he turned professional and by 2008 was the TBA-SA Superlightweight Muay Thai World Champion. 2009 brought Mark back to Thailand to train with Jitti Gym in Bangkok and was fortunate to fight and win in legendary Lumpinee stadium. His opponents throughout the years have included Kevin Ross, Raul Llopis, Justin Greskiewicz 2x, Omar Ahmed 2x, Josh Palmer, and Chike Lindsay-Ajudua. Mark has trained both amateur and professional fighters and has worked their corners in various events across the world. As an instructor, his knowledge and experience are invaluable for anyone wanting to learn the art of Muay Thai. Mark is also certified by the MMACA as a Conditioning Coach. We are very proud to have Mark as part of Yamasaki Academy of Woodbridge family!
Francisco Salguero – Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
Francisco Salguero, also known as Cisco, has been training in one form of Combat Sport or another since he was a kid. He began his Martial Arts with Tae Kwon Do at the Joon Rhee Academy in Annandale and achieved Black Belt in 1982. In High School his focus switched to Wrestling and in 1995 he took up boxing. Not content with staying still, he began training Judo with Mark Mastrofrensco in 1999. He then began training with Yves Edwards and Lewis Wood while in Houston, Texas which gave him a taste of modern MMA training and he was instantly hooked. Coming back to Virginia in 2005 he found his way to the Yamasaki Academy in Springfield where he quickly worked his way through the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program eventually receiving his brown belt. Never losing his taste for MMA, he decided to become a fighter and went undefeated in his amateur career. After winning the Title Belt in his weight class for Gladiator Fight Club he decided to go pro. He has fought professionally for Washington Combat as well as One World MMA. Francisco’s experience at all levels of the MMA game allow him to be the best coach possible. Coach Salquero has created one of the strongest MMA teams in the DC metro area and continues to be an inspiration to everyone in the Yamasaki family!