You are not rich until you have something money can’t buy, and that is what our Professors and Instructors have to offer. We provide priceless knowledge, passion and dedication. Learning martial arts will teach you focus, discipline, memory, goal setting, respect, confidence, and the realization of the effort that it takes to become a self confident individual.
Professor Daniel “Coyote” Souza-
Professor Daniel “Coyote” Souza was born in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In 1981 Professor Souza began training Judo. In 1985 he started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Master Rui Diniz Ferreira, 7th Degree Coral Belt and Master Hilton Leao Silva, 9th Degree Red Belt. Professor “Souza” earned his Degree in Physical Education in 1998. In 1993, Professor Souza began teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the school of his former master. In 1996 he began teaching under his own name, Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2000, Professor Souza founded Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil, now affiliated with Carlson Gracie Team.
Professor Souza began teaching in the United States beginning in 2002, San Diego, CA. He finally moved permanently to Albuquerque, NM in 2016 holding the rank of a 6th Degree Balck Belt. There, he has built his Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy/Carlson Gracie Team from the ground up as well as NMBJJF “New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation”. The New Mexico Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation which puts on several Jiu-Jitsu tournaments a year. Married with Gabriela Souza, and have four kids, Ryckson(25), Rollyson(21), Alex(14), and Sarah(12), they all practice BJJ.
Professor Souza has won multiple titles and medals as an individual athlete throughout his martial arts career, and his school has earned multiple first place titles and trophies.
Professor Souza’s martial arts career summarized:
- 39 years of Judo, Godan 5th Dan Black Belt
- 35 years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 5th Degree Black Belt
- 18 years of Muay Thai, Black kruang-Prajied
- 1994-2008 MMA (21-2)
Professor Richard Padilla was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. He is a 9 year Army Veteran. Father of two, 22 year old son Joshua who is a 4 stripe purple belt and a 25 year old daughter Melanie. She is an Elementary school teacher and a purple belt. He has also been married to his beautiful wife Lilia for 26 years.
Professor Richard began his Jiu-jitsu journey in 2009 at Pitbull, owned by Master Bitta under the instruction of Kale Lopez and his brother Kalo Lopez, 3rd Degree Black belt. He started off as a parent of two Jiu-Jitsu athletes. He sat for a year watching his children train, until other athletes and his family encouraged him to join. Once he was on the mats, he never looked back – he was hooked!
In 2016 he became a student of Professor Daniel Souza, 5th Degree Black Belt. Under Professor Souza, Professor Richard completed his training as a purple belt, a Brown belt and received his Black belt in 2019.
His proudest moment in Jiu-Jitsu was when he earned his black belt but also his Purple belt. “There are so many students that do not continue with their Martial Arts training after getting their blue belt, but after getting your purple belt it is a huge milestone which gives you a greater chance of earning your black belt.” – Professor Richard
When Professor Richard began instructing he immediately realized he loved seeing how a student progresses within the Martial Art and how they develop their own style. His favorite quote comes from a fellow Jiu-Jitsu athlete and University Professor Josh Santarpia, “Teaching is the other part of learning.” Teaching re-instills the technique. In Jiu-Jitsu you never stop learning!
Emery "Ox" Cruz
Emery “Ox” Cruz-
Ox was born in Guam, served in the US military, has years of martial arts experience and is a brown belt under Professor Souza. Ox is a happily married father of 4.
Gabriela Souza was born in 1985 in Torreon Coahuila, Mexico and raised in Albuquerque, NM and El Paso, TX. She owns and manages ‘The Souza Insurance Agency’, helps her husband Professor Souza manage his academy and the New Mexico Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, is a mother of two; 14-year-old son Alex and a 12-year-old daughter Sarah. Gabriela has been training for 3 years. She holds a blue belt in Jiu-jitsu and practices Muay Thai under her husband Professor Souza. She is also a Judo student under Sensei Mario Fong.
Gabriela was a wrestler for many years, she was one of the first female wrestlers in the state of NM to go to the State Championships as well as the first female to be Captain of a male and female wrestling team in the state of NM. Gabriela won multiple awards, medals, and trophies, competing against both male and female opponents. When Gabriela was younger she also held a green belt in Kenpo Karate and trained under Bill Packer.
Gabriela enjoys training with her family and coaching in both Spanish and English. She is our little bulldog’s coach and assists with fundamentals for white belt students. Through martial arts, she has found the love of her life, Professor Souza, and a new passion!
Her passion for martial arts arises in the form of self-defense and female empowerment. Her long-term goal is to provide ongoing free women’s self-defense seminars that benefit domestic violence survivors and shelters for women and children. Gabriela’s ultimate goal is to empower survivors and their children.
Sensei Mario Fong
Sensei Mario Fong-
Sensei Fong was born in Santiago De Cuba, Cuba. He began his Judo training in Cuba in 1972 and came to the United States in 1993. He is a 4th degree black belt (Yodan) in Judo. Sensei has two adult children, a son and a daughter.
Sensei Fong is a part of the Judo USA organization.