Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller has being teaching and competing for the last 15 years with many titles in regional, national and international competitions. With his black belt, Ricardo set for himself challenges extending beyond Brazil. In 1996 he came to the United States to compete and to teach. He proved to be successful at both. With American partner Mike Florimbi, the Paragon Academy of Martial Arts was founded in 1998 in Santa Barbara. Under Ricardo’s hands-on direction as coach and fighter, Paragon Santa Barbara has become a powerhouse for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction in California. Ricardo and competitor-level students have dominated in regional, state, and international tournaments. In addition, Paragon has become a community force for recreational Jiu-Jitsu, a resource for law enforcement, and developer of ongoing physical training and self-defense programs for young people, adults, seniors, and women. With the success of the Santa Barbara school, "Franjinha" opened a Ventura location as well as affiliate schools in Lompoc and Santa Maria.

Sean Apperson

Sean Apperson, Paragon Black Belt, has been involved with wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past 10 years and has trained all over the state of California and even Brazil. Sean has an excellent tournament record and has captured gold medals in the following: No gi Pan American games 2006, US Open of Submission Wrestling 2006, Copa Pacifica 2006, and US OPEN 2002. Sean is a very detailed instructor and is involved at both the SB and Ventura locations.

Sean Patrick Flannery

Sean Flanery began training martial arts at the age of nine and continued with various disciplines all the way through college. Upon discovering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu however he gave up all the other arts and never looked back. Sean began his endeavor to achieve a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by spending his first three years under the tutelage of Rickson Gracie at the Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Los Angeles. During the summer of '03 Sean sought out and trained under the top instructors at the famed Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Manhattan. On May 4th of 2008, Sean received his black belt, the first ever awarded by Renzo's own Professor S. Williams. Flanery can be found both teaching and training day in and day out at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Team Paragon Academy.

Tournament highlights: 2003 Pan Am Champion, 2003 American Nationals Champion, 2002 1st Annual Inland Empire Champion.

Jeff Glover

Jeff Glover, Paragon Black Belt, has dominated the tournament scene unlike any other american fighter to date. Jeff has competed and done well in the most prestigious events submission grappling has to offer. Being a local of Santa Barbara Jeff has helped Paragon become the power house it is today.

Katie Weilbacher

Katie was the youngest American women to be promoted to Black Belt. Katie is the head instructor of the womens program at Paragon and has a stellar tournament record winning the jiu jitsu world championships two times both with and without the gi. Katie is an excellent instructor, her patience and gentle approach make her classes both fun and informative.

Matt Bahntage

After several years of wrestling in high school, Matt started Muay Thai and MMA training at the age of 17. Winning numerous amateur tournaments throughout the Midwest motivated his move to Los Angeles at the age of 18 to pursue a career in professional MMA. Matt has since graduated UCLA and gone undefeated for all of his eight amateur and two professional bouts.

Bren Foster

Bren Foster has over 25 years of training in the martial arts. His first full contact kickboxing match was at the age of 12. At the age of 14 Bren Began his Muay Thai Training in Australia attending a seminar under Ajarn Chai Sirisute. Bren Continued his Training in Australia with World Champion training partner Jason Edwards and Muay Thai Trainer Paul Grima.

Bren has been undefeated in 12 full contact fights, and won an Australian kickboxing title in his late teens. He has trained in Korea, Hong Kong and also at the world famous Muay Thai training camp ‘Fairtex’ in Thailand. In 2007, Bren returned to the ring for the opportunity to fight in Thailand at the Fairtex stadium in Pattaya against a Pattaya Champion.

Bren Has trained many fighters in Australia where he owns and operates his own martial arts school. His students fighting both Muay Thai and kickboxing have an impressive string of wins from State titles to National contenders.

Kevin Finn

Kevin Finn began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2003 at the Rickson Gracie Academy and since then has had the opportunity to train at many different schools across the country as well as in South America. Having seen and benefited from a wide array of styles he has been able to incorporate many different approaches into his game.

Currently an HBJJ brown belt and having won a number of regional tournaments such as NAGA, Kevin now sees jiu-jitsu as an intellectual pursuit, a series of complex tasks requiring real-time problem solving. As a result he works to break down various position through technical analysis and brings attention to detail with his understanding and teaching of jiu-jitsu.

Kids Instructor Steve Cardenas

Mr. Steve Cardenas has been doing martial arts for over 22 year's. He started at age 12 in Texas and when he was 16 he received his Black Belt in Karate and began teaching kids after school at his dojo. At age 20 he moved to California after auditioning and getting the role of Rocky the Red Power Ranger on the television series Mighty Morphin's Power Rangers. He has filmed over 180 episodes and 2 Power Ranger motion pictures. 

Since then Steve has run several successful martial arts studios in California and Texas teaching people of all age's. Now Mr. Steve focuses solely on working with kids in after school martial arts programs. He believes that the conditioning, discipline and respect that children learn from martial arts can be carried over into all aspects of their young lives.


ADDRESS: 1106 N. LA CIENEGA BLVD. #103, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069 TEL: 310.360.0544
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