About Checkmat

CHECKMAT ​is an international academy, competition team, and family of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) practitioners founded in 2008 by Master Leo Vieira, a 6th degree BJJ black belt and Judo black belt. Checkmat has affiliate academies in over 30 American cities and 16 countries worldwide. The team is headquartered in Signal Hill-Long Beach, California (USA), which regularly hosts “The Mundials,” the world championships of BJJ.

Master Leo, nicknamed “Leozinho” or “Little Lion,” is a two-time World Champion and two-time ADCC winner. He is internationally known for his steady leadership and devotion to his students. He sees both the art and science within BJJ, emphasizing technical prowess and invention while also strongly believing in the dynamic expression and individuality of each practitioner. In any given month, you can find Master Leo teaching a world champion, a Sheikh, a prince, a police officer, a nurse, a college student, an elementary school student, or a beginner on her or his first day all with the same kindness, interest, and passion. It is his belief that Checkmat is about more than winning trophies and medals, it is focused on inspiring a healthy and positive individual who goes on to create a healthy and positive community.

Under Leo’s guidance and leadership, Checkmat has forged itself into one of the Top 3 BJJ Teams in the world. Checkmat boasts scores of Adult & Masters IBJJF World Champions, and we are privileged to have access to them for their knowledge, techniques, and leadership. 

More Info On Checkmat: https://www.bjjheroes.com/featured/checkmat

Paulo “Mushu” Elsimaani is a 5th-degree BJJ black belt and the East Coast Director of Team Checkmat. Paulo lives in Charlotte, NC, and runs his own academy in Mint Hill, but oversees all other Checkmat academies from New York to Florida, which includes Freedom Jiu-Jitsu in Lynchburg, VA. Paulo started training jiu jitsu at the age of 16 and has dedicated his entire adult life to the sport and has decades of BJJ instruction experience. Family is very important to Paulo and he treats all Checkmat students from every academy as if they were his own children, emphasizing hard work while having fun. Paulo has competed and won as an international competitor. He is a Pan American champion & holds many other championship honors.

We have a long tradition of success, excellence, growth, and positive culture building, and we are honored to continue that as we strive to make our students the best that they can be – on & off the mat.

Together, we are stronger. Together, we are better. Together, we are Checkmat.