Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazlilian Jiu-Jitsu | Midlothian, VA

At Mongrel Martial Arts, we offer a top-notch Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program that emphasizes the importance of self-defense and grappling abilities. Our skilled instructors guide students through the techniques and principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, focusing on both the physical and mental aspects of the practice. This martial art promotes physical fitness and improves cardiovascular health, while also teaching important self-defense skills that can be applied in real-life situations.

In our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program, students learn to overcome obstacles, push themselves beyond their limits, and develop a deep sense of discipline and respect for their bodies and their training partners. Our gym is known for its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, where students can feel like they are part of a community and work together towards common goals. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced martial artist, our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program has something to offer.

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Our Instructors

JB Burnley

Coach Jon “JB” Burnley is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 1st Degree Black Belt under Rick McCoy (MMA Institute / Gracie Barra). As a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Coach Burnley brings a high level of attention to detail and game planning to the table that is second to none. As an avid competitor, Coach Burnley knows and understands how to prepare students for competitions and how to better position them to succeed. Coach Burnley’s open-mindedness and exploratory nature when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lead to him making basic techniques sharper and more effective, in addition to being innovative and adding new wrinkles to the art.

2008 Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Silver Medalist
2009 Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Gold Medalist
2016 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Atlanta Open – Bronze Medalist
2017 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Charlotte Open – Bronze Medalist
Member of the inaugural ‘Jiu-Jitsu Dream House’ – 2017, Las Vegas
CrossFit Level I Instructor
AFPA Certified Personal Trainer
AFPA Certified Nutritionist

Chris Overby

Chris is a 47-year-old black belt jiu-jitsu athlete, who started training in February of 2008. He teaches the competition class at Mongrel Martial Arts, where he trains and considers to be his second home. Chris loves the family environment that is cultivated by its leaders and members, and his dedication to the sport and his students is evident in everything he does. Chris’s passion for jiu-jitsu extends beyond the sport itself. He believes that jiu-jitsu brings people from all walks of life together and creates a sense of community. He is also passionate about the confidence and discipline that jiu-jitsu instills in its practitioners, both on and off the mat.

With years of experience in competition and a deep commitment to teaching, Chris aims to inspire others to take a shot at competing. He has medaled at numerous IBJJF tournaments and continues to lead by example. Chris’s dedication to his craft and his students makes him an invaluable asset to the Mongrel family.

Parker Conner

Parker Conner is a dedicated martial artist with extensive experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai. Holding a Black Belt in BJJ and over 16 years of training under his belt, Parker’s journey in martial arts is a testament to his commitment and passion. With a love for the intricate mental aspects and the physical challenges, BJJ has become his mental chess combined with physical prowess. Alongside his BJJ expertise, Parker has spent a decade honing his skills in Muay Thai. For him, Muay Thai is not just about the thrill of striking; it’s a strategic dance that sharpens reflexes and footwork balance.

Parker’s dedication to both BJJ and Muay Thai finds its perfect home at Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness. The gym’s ethos of unity and support resonates deeply with Parker, making it a family-like environment where he feels truly at home. To him, Mongrel is more than just a training center—it’s a space where he both learns and imparts his knowledge. Grateful for the opportunity to train and teach, Parker’s presence enriches the gym’s community, reflecting his genuine commitment to the martial arts lifestyle.

Jesse Marez

My name is Jesse Michael Marez. I began my Martial Arts journey in 1984. I was a huge comic book fan and always wanted to be a superhero. I knew I would never be able to fly, shoot lasers or block bullets. But I thought maybe I could train to be like Daredevil, Iron Fist, Moon Knight and Nightwing.

This began a long love affair with studying martial arts and accumulating black belts in traditional martial arts, including a Black Belt in Shaolin Kenpo, 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Black Belt in Champions Martial Arts and 1st Degree Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate.

But my true love was in grappling. It was through Scientific Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that I found my true passion. My grappling journey has the following highlights:

  • Received my 2nd Degree Black Belt in BJJ under Pete Sutton (2017). Lineage: Helio Gracie > Royler Gracie/Vinicius Aieta > Vinny Magalhaes > Peter Sutton > Jesse Marez.
  • Coach at 10th Planet Sacramento and Black Belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.
  • Head Coach in Scientific Wrestling under Billy Robinson and Jake Shannon
  • Three Year Assistant Wrestling Coach at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, CA, under Harlan Kistler.
  • Licensed to teach Folk-style Wrestling under the American Sport Education program, Interscholastic Federation and the Division of Human Kinetics
  • Scientific Wrestling Head Coach (ranked by Billy Robinson, Dick Cardinal, Wade Schalles and Jake Shannon)
  • Western Combat Arts Certified Head Coach (only person West of Mississippi as of 2012) under Mark Hatmaker
  • IBJJF Black Belt
  • SJIFF Second Degree Black Belt

Jeff Dudding

Jeff Dudding, a seasoned practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), proudly holds a Brown Belt and brings five years of experience to his martial arts journey. BJJ is more than just a physical pursuit for Jeff—it’s a means of artistic expression. Through the art of grappling, he finds solace in translating his unique vision onto the mat, offering a creative outlet that centers his focus and presence in the here and now.

From the beginning of his journey, Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness has served as Jeff’s sanctuary and training ground. Beyond being a gym, Mongrel is synonymous with home to him. The sense of belonging and comfort he experiences within its walls is a testament to the gym’s nurturing community and supportive environment. Jeff’s martial arts journey flourishes at Mongrel, where he’s able to not only develop his skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but also find a sense of belonging that amplifies his dedication to the craft.

Brent Marlowe

Brent Marlowe, a dedicated practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), holds a Brown Belt and has devoted over 5 years to his martial arts journey. For Brent, BJJ offers a unique sanctuary—an avenue to shut out the world’s noise and immerse himself fully in the present moment. The relentless determination and constant self-improvement that BJJ demands resonate deeply with him. With every step onto the mat, he’s reminded of the unyielding grit and growth that shape his journey, both on and off the mat. Brent’s passion for BJJ goes beyond the gym, as he seamlessly integrates the discipline he learns in training into all facets of his life.

Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness holds a special place in Brent’s heart. It is more than just a training ground; it’s a haven of acceptance and understanding. At Mongrel, Brent finds a space where he can embrace his true self without the fear of judgment. The gym represents a sense of belonging, providing not only a training environment but also a sense of security in a sport that demands courage and resilience. Brent’s presence at Mongrel exemplifies the true spirit of martial arts, showcasing his dedication to personal growth and his appreciation for the supportive community the gym offers.

Brian Neves

Brian Neves, a skilled practitioner in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boasts a Purple Belt, reflecting his commitment over five years of dedicated training. For Brian, BJJ is more than just a physical discipline; it’s a holistic practice that keeps him both physically fit and mentally sharp. His journey on the mats has yielded invaluable life lessons, with three key principles applicable far beyond the confines of the gym—making BJJ a true lifestyle for him.

Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness has transformed into Brian’s second home and chosen family. He finds immense fulfillment in his personal and skillful growth, viewing the gym as a nurturing environment where both he and his fellow practitioners evolve not only in technique but also as individuals. The sense of unity and shared progress within Mongrel resonates deeply with Brian, encapsulating the essence of what martial arts and community mean to him.

Mel Welzel

Mel is a female athlete who has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since 2019 and is at the current rank of Purple Belt. Mel has a passion for all things Hybrid Grappling, Scientific Wrestling, and 10th Planet creating a unique blend of style in which she successfully performs at some of the highest-level competitions. Before Jiu-Jitsu she never considered herself an athlete but dove headfirst at the age of 32 into the sport. Mel credits having grit as the primary reason for all her continued success. Mongrel is where Melanie considers her home and her teammates as family but loves to travel and visit other academies to cross train with women at open mats, Jiu-Jitsu events, and female grappling camps. Mel is a strong advocate for females in all levels of participation in Jiu-Jitsu. When Mel isn’t on the mats, she can be found pursing her master’s degree in social work, working in the mental health field, lifting at the gym, or going on adventures with her cats.

Assistant in Scientific Wrestling Hybrid Grappling under Jesse Marez

2023 IBJJF Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship – Bronze Medalist

2022 Rocket Combat Sports 8 Superfight Winner – Advanced No Gi

Tony Nieves

Tony Nieves, a dedicated practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), holds a Blue Belt and has immersed himself in the art for three years. Tony’s fascination with BJJ lies in its inherent challenge—it provides a mental refuge where he can strategically navigate, offering a respite from life’s complexities. BJJ’s demanding nature also resonates on a physical level, driving Tony to attain his peak fitness. Through rigorous training, he has sculpted himself into remarkable shape, embodying the rewards of discipline and perseverance.

Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness holds a profound significance in Tony’s martial arts journey. More than a gym, Mongrel is a kinship that extends beyond the mat. The bonds forged within the gym’s walls become family connections, and Tony’s loyalty to both his team and his gym runs deep. His commitment extends beyond his personal growth; as an instructor, he imparts his knowledge to the younger generation. Witnessing the spark of comprehension in their eyes brings him immeasurable joy, a testament to his devotion to both his craft and his community at Mongrel Martial Arts and Fitness.