Leo Dalla, Founder Big Brother’s Affiliation North America
Master Dalla has dedicated his life to teaching martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2002, at the request of his well-known Black Belt student Lloyd Irvin, Master Dalla moved from Brazil and began teaching in the greater Washington, D.C. area. He teaches personally at his schools in Ballston and Woodbridge, VA every night and also instructs on a periodic basis at schools throughout Northern Virginia that are part of the BIG BROTHERS network run by a number of Master Dalla’s black belts.–
Scott Salb, Head Instructor
Scott first stepped on the mat in 1988 at the UCONN Judo club under the tutelage of Dr Andrew Yiannakis. After several years of training he was awarded his first black belt. His passion for judo brought him to Japan where he continued his training for an additional two years. Upon returning home he moved to DC where he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and started training under the world famous Leo Dalla. In 2013 he was awarded his second black belt, this time in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Ron Hicks, Assistant Instructor
Coach Ron Hicks was awarded the rank of Black Belt in November of 2021. He has been a student and competitor of BJJ since 2004. Over the past several years, he has become a well-known BJJ student in the region. He takes pride in visiting neighboring gyms and sparring with some of the best BJJ practitioners in the area. He also holds multiple medals from local, regional and international competition. Despite his size and experience, Ron can be seen gently sparring with our new students and children alike earning him the nick-name “Lovable Panda”.
Robbi Cecil, Assistant Instructor
Coach Robbi Cecil was awarded the rank of Brown Belt under Dave “Fluffy” Reeves and the Big Brothers Team under Leonardo “Dalla” Costa in 2019. Over the last several years, he has become a fierce BJJ competitor. He holds multiple medals from local and regional tournaments. Coach Cecil is a dedicated student and instructor. His passion for teaching is contagious: he keep students engaged, intrigued and motivated to learn more. We are delighted to have Robbi as one of our instructors here at Centreville BJJ. He is a successful competitor, science teacher, coach, husband and father!
Amanda “Jack” Allen, Assistant Instructor
Amanda “Jack” Allen began her jiu-jitsu journey in 2017 under the instruction of Jeremy “Wild” West. She joined Centreville BJJ in 2018, earning the rank of Purple Belt in November 2022. She hopes to encourage more women to join the sport and help create an environment where everyone feels welcome on the mats. Off the mat, Jack can be found doing anything outdoors: the more active or extreme the better.
Nicky Echeverri, Head Children’s Instructor
Coach Nicky was introduced to grappling through his high school wrestling program and to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by his high school algebra teacher. He started training with Leo Dalla and quickly fell in love with the art. He has been training for the past seven years and has earned the rank of purple belt. Coach Nicky has been coaching our kids at Centreville BJJ since 2021 and is now pursuing his doctorate in physical therapy.
He loves teaching the kids program because it’s an opportunity to not only be a positive impact on a kid’s development, but it also allows him to make a positive impact in the community he grew up in.
Derek Smarsh, Children’s Instructor
Coach Derek Smarsh joined the Big Brothers family in 2009 when he started training in Muay Thai kickboxing at Vanguard Gym. After 5 years he decided to give Jiu Jitsu a try, and from the first day he was hooked and switched to training in both gi and nogi. Coach Derek earned his purple belt in 2019 under Coach Doug Esposito. He began helping out in the family Jiu Jitsu classes he attended with his two kids, Mia and Kai. Since then his role has grown and he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the sport with the kids classes.
Mercedes Dillow, Children’s Instructor
Mercedes joined Centreville BJJ in December 2021 and fell in love with the sport ever since. She started teaching the children’s classes because her son is involved, but she grew a passion to teach kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has continued teaching both Saturday classes. Coach Mercedes is currently a white belt under Coach Robbi Cecil and Coach Scott Salb. When not at the dojo, Coach Mercedes can be found working as a pediatric nurse, weightlifting at the gym, or doing all kinds of sports with her boys.
|Blue belt (faixa azul)||Purple belt (faixa roxa)||Brown belt (faixa marrom)||Black belt (faixa prita)|
|Amanda “Jack” Spencer|
|Blue belt (faixa azul)||Purple belt (faixa roxa)|
|Khanh An Nguyen|