Ricardo “Rey” Diogo
Head of Affiliation/ 5th Degree Black Belt Instructor
BJJ Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos & Helio Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo “Rey” Diogo
Ricardo Diogo, Also known as “Rey” Diogo was one of the first Carlson Gracie Jiu Itsu Team representatives to come to the United States where he established his own academy based on his master’s teachings. Ever since he landed in the US (1996) Rey Diogo quickly became one of the top Jiu Jitsu Instructors in the country, forming several high level black belts. Ricardo “Rey” Diogo was born on the 22nd of June, 1965 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and he grew in the Tijuca Burg of the city. Ricardo trained Judo for a short while as a child before he started playing basketball at school. Through his basketball training buddies, Diogo heard about the Gracie family and their achievements in Jiu Jitsu. Some time after Rey first heard about the Gracie family, he went to a cock fighting event where he met Carlson Gracie (who was a huge cockfighting fan). After he got to know Carlson, he was invited to come and train at the Carlson Gracie Academy. Ricardo was 19 years old at the time. Rey became part of the famous Carlson Gracie Team, sharing the mats with champions such as Ricardo De La Riva, Amaury Bitetti,
Ricardo Liborio and many others. He received all his belts by Master Carlson Gracie, including his Black Belt in 1997. Carlson also gave Diogo all his black belt degrees up to his 4th degree. In 1996 Ricardo Diogo was
invited by Carlson Gracie Junior to coe to Chicage and teach in the windy city. He took the opportunity and moved from Brazil to the USA, still wearing his brown belt. Ever since he arrived in America, Rey Diogo’s
Academy has grown from strength to strength graduating many blackbelts, who have established affiliate schools around the world.
Head 1st Degree Black Belt Instructor / Owner
Emerson Vidor is a 2nd Degree Black Belt and the 7th American to receive his Black Belt from Ricardo “Rey” Diogo, one of the original members of the legendary Carlson Gracie Team. He received these honors in 2013. Emerson brings with him over 20 years of training and BJJ competition experience, as well as several years teaching at the Rey Diogo Academy in Culver City.
In 2014 Emerson, and his wife Elizabeth decided to move from the Los Angeles area, out to the Conejo Valley to raise a family. It just so happened that around the same time, his long time friend and training partner,
Vince Giordano, made the same move. Together they collaborated, and Conejo Valley Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born. It had always been his desire to own and operate an academy that emulated the environment of the
academy he grew up training at, in which Professor Rey Diogo created an atmosphere that was welcoming, fun, intense, and nothing short of a second family to all its members. That is exactly what Conejo Valley Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has grown into and will continue to become.
Emerson is thrilled to be apart of the community of Agoura Hills and the surrounding areas, to be able to raise his family here, and to pass on his knowledge and passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and all it’s endless benefits.
Emerson is first and foremost a devoted husband, and father to his two young boys. He enjoys a very active outdoors lifestyle, and is a 15 year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, serving the downtown Los
Black Belt Instructor / Owner
BJJ Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos & Helio Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo Miller > Ricardo “Rey” Diogo > Vincent Giordano
Vincent Giordano is a Black Belt under 5th Degree Black Belt Rey Diogo. Vince started training BJJ not long after a vacation he took to Rio de Janeiro in 2000. He was invited by a longtime friend to train at the Paragon Academy in Santa Barbara. It was there that he trained under Ricardo “Franjinha” Miller for over ten years. Vince earned his blue and purple belts under Franjinha’s watchful eye. In 2010 he found a great academy in Culver City called Rey Diogo/Carlson Gracie Team. As Vince has enjoyed training at multiple academies when possible, he was able to train at Rey’s in the morning and Paragon in the evenings.
Due to work commitments and an expanding family life, Vince now solely trains at Rey Diogo/Carlson Gracie Team. He earned his black belt under Rey Diogo in 2018. Vince has completed in many tournaments over the years, and he has been lucky enough to have had some of BJJ’S elite as training partners.
Vince has been an elevator mechanic for 16 years and has been married to his wife, Angie, for nine years. They live in Calabasas, with their son and daughter. He enjoys traveling, cooking and surfing. “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has enhanced my life in so many different ways. It keeps my mind sharp, my body fit, but most importantly, it has resulted in life-long friendships. I am really excited to be involved with this Academy, both on and off the mat.”
Black Belt Instructor
Brown Belt Instructor
John has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 8 years and currently holds the rank of Brown Belt. He
originally was introduced to the art when he signed his 6 year old son up for classes. Quickly realizing
the fitness and self-defense benefits, he was inspired to start training and he has been hooked ever
since. After about 3 years of training John fell in love with the sport competition side of BJJ, and began
competing in as many tournaments as possible. He feels the preparation leading up to a tournament
really elevates your game to another level, tests your mental fortitude, and gets you in the best possible
shape. John has had much success on the competition scene, most recently winning a Silver Medal at
the IBJJF Pan Ams, and a Gold Medal at the SJJIF Worlds.
John enjoys teaching the “gentle art” with an open discussion, highlighting the theory as much as the
technique. John teaches several Adult classes per week, as well as helps out teaching the kids classes, of
which his youngest son Henry, is a student.
“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that requires the whole body and mind and is equal parts strategy and
physicality. Efficient and intelligent movements can make it look effortless.”
John lives in Agoura Hills with his wife and four children. In addition to his busy family life, John owns
and operates a CPA firm based out of Woodland Hills. In his free time, he enjoys surfing and Scuba
Muay Thai Instructor (Adults & Kids)
Jeff Rossiter is a Muay Thai/ Kickboxing fighter with three years of training and amateur fight
experience. He began his training under Coach James “Poidog”, at the age of 24, of which he
learned his Muay Thai foundation. Jeff was immediately consumed by the feeling of confidence
it gave him, as well as the art and culture connected with this fighting craft. In continuing his
studies of Muay Thai, Jeff traveled to Thailand to study at Tiger Muay Thai for a period of time,
and has continued to study under Coach David Huey, Coach Kirian Fitzgibbons, as well as
countless seminars in between.
Jeff runs the Muay Thai program at Conejo Valley Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for both adults and kids. He
is ever evolving in his knowledge of Muay Thai and enjoys passing on this knowledge to his
Jeff has also began his grappling journey in earnest, and currently trains and holds the rank of
white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Emerson Vidor. With BJJ, Jeff has rediscovered the
exhilaration that comes with beginning an exciting and challenging journey of something new.
A local boy, Jeff grew up in Oak Park and graduated from Oak Park High School in 2010. He
currently attends Moorpark College and will be attending California State Channel Islands in the
Fall, studying Health, Communications, and Counseling. When not fully immersing himself in
Martial Arts, Jeff enjoys spending time with his friends and his girlfriend. Jeff also works as a
delivery driver at Numero Uno in Agoura Hills.
The instructors are EXTREMELY friendly and knowledgeable, I really am impressed with this new academy.