Clifton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors are totally committed to making sure you reach your goals.
They have the knowledge, motivation and ability to pass that knowledge on. We will take you to the next level.
Head Instructor, Efrain Rojas is a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, awarded by Royler Gracie and David Adiv. Efrain has been involved in martial arts since childhood and has trained in Shotokan Karate, kickboxing and boxing. He began his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in 1996 under the RGDA Team and Association. Efrain’s goal as a teacher and a student is to continue learning the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as it evolves, and through his dedicated training pass along the latest techniques to his students.
Professor Josef Manuel was born and raised on the hard streets of Newark, New Jersey. He engaged in martial arts from a very early age, putting on his first pair of boxing gloves when he was around 4 or 5 years old. His first contact with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was like thousands of others, by watching Royce Gracie in the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, however, it wasn’t until a few years later that he got a chance to actually train BJJ. It was in 2001 that Josef Manuel was introduced to Mário Lemos, a former student of the famous Gracie Academy in Humaitá where he had been instructed by two of the greatest legends in BJJ, Rickson and Royler Gracie. By this time Josef had very strong ties to the Brazilian community in Newark, through the Macedo family, a family of Brazilian origin that had embraced Josef as one of their own. Professor Mario Lemos had a good relationship with the Macedos and also with Josef. As Josef started developing his BJJ game and excelling his old master, Mario Lemos would use a famous Rickson Gracie quote saying as a joke to Josef: “Você cria cobra depois você tem que viver com elas” meaning – “you raise snakes then you have to live with them” hence where he was given the nick name "Ze Cobra".
Always searching for the best instruction to evolve in Jiu Jitsu, in 2005 Josef “Ze Cobra” switched camps and tutor, to train with Robson Moura, world famous 8x World Champion, IBJJF Hall Of Famer in the black belt division and a legendary “pluma” from the prestigious Nova Uniao training camp. Almost 4 years later (on February 14, 2009) Josef Manuel finally received the coveted Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Robson “Robinho” Moura and was also reconized as an official Nova Uniao Black Belt from Andre Perdeneiras and Wendell Alexander, the founders of Nova Uniao. As a professor and competitor Josef Manuel has taken his knowledge beyond the mats and has had the honor of training soldiers from the United States Army as Black Belt council of the 106th regiment at the Camp Smith training center in Upstate NY. As his career grew in that department he was also offered the opportunity to train Federal Agents, State and Local Law Enforcement Officials.