Team Nova Uniao


South West corner of Alma School & 60
1660 S. Alma School Rd #118
Mesa, Arizona
Phone: 480-491-5440

The Competition
2nd Annual D.A.N. Tournament


The Road to World Master's 2015

Challenge has always been a valuable part of the Nava BJJ family's foundation. To continue to grow we feel we must continue to strive for great things. Competition is just one of the ways in which we seek to fulfill this purpose. On September 25th 16 members of the Nava BJJ family headed to compete in one of the biggest tournaments of the year. With Gold on the hearts, and minds of each teammate our main focus was to bring our team together to unify us in a way that ultimately empowers us as we each individually step on the mats.  This event held true to our reputation as the camaraderie was solid, and all of the students impressed me while despite their own need to focus being there for each other was number one. It was awesome to share this experience with Nava BJJ's new affiliate Northside BJJ. Having the opportunity to coach alongside head instructor Sean Huff was exciting as was getting to know him better in a more competitive enviorment. I am looking forward to what is ahead as we continue to build the relationship with Northside! As everyone hit the mats in competition Nava students did not disappoint showing the skills that weeks of hard work, and training could only provide. 5 medals were brought home after a very tough two days of intense matches. My team came through In everyway as what they took away from the experience was greater knowledge than any medal could provide. The opportunity alone has pushed them to desire only good things ahead. The results forMasters World's are as follows:

Black belt Paul Nava- Gold
Brown belt David Blau-Gold
Blue belt Kendall Hebard-Silver
Purple belt Teca Villafuerte-Bronze
Blue belt Alex Martinez- Bronze
Blue belt Alexander Mehlhoff-Bronze
Purple belt Mark Moore-Silver

I am extremely proud of these medalist , and all of their hardwork. I am proud of their continual sacrifices to better themselves but at the same time supporting each other. It was definitely a memorable weekend.


2nd Annual D.A.N. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament 

I am extremely proud to be extending the invitation to the 2nd annual D.A.N. tournament to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community. On January 10th, 2014 Nava BJJ will host this exciting event to help bring awareness to Neurofibromatosis type 2. As many already know NF2 is the disease that my wife, and two children live with. Between the 3 of them they have multiple tumors that are located in the brain, and spine. NF2 itself is one of the rarer of the types of NF as it occurs 1:25,000 births. The hallmark of this disease is the tumors found on the hearing nerves that often result in deafness. The struggles don’t end there for people living with this horrible disease. They often face a variety of impairments due to tumors that tend to grow on the brain, and cranial nerves. Spinal tumors are common as well causing many to deal with the effects of tumors growing on such vital nerves. The hardest part as a husband, and father is not being able to stop the progress of what is currently happening to my most precious gifts in life. However I will most certainly move heaven, and earth to help find a cure to put an end to the struggles they face daily.  My goal is to bring a broader awareness so that people will feel the desperate need to help support finding a cure for those that have and continue to live with the results of such a disease. This tournament is a great opportunity for our Jiu Jitsu family, and community to come together for this cause.

Local tournaments are a great way to test your skills in a friendly and familiar environment. It’s a great way to meet your Az Jiu Jitsu community, and to better understand how a tournament is scored especially for those newer to competition.  This year Nava BJJ will offer weigh-ins the night before the tournament on the 9th from 5:00-8:00pm. Weigh-ins can also be done on the day of the tournament. All competitors will receive the 2nd annual D.A.N. T-shirt. There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals as well as team trophies for those spots as well. IBJJF rules will apply to all competitors with the exception of weigh-ins the night before. All competitors are asked to bring a valid I.D. with them when competing. This event is open to men, and women (all belt levels) 16 and older. Competitor fee is $50. Spectators are $10. To sign up go to, and click on the donate button. In the message box that is provided for you please put Name, Team, Weight Division, Rank, Age, and Sex. Another option is you can call me at (480) 241-9869 to give me your info.  The school number is (480) 480-491-5440. I will also be visiting schools throughout the month of December so you can give your fee to your instructor prior to my visit.

We are definitely in need of volunteers! If you are interested in supporting this cause please message me, and we will find a spot for you.

This year we have another awesome group of sponsors representing at the 2nd annual D.A.N. They are as follows: Country Financial Services, Global Chiropractic, CTRL industries, OSS Physical Therapy, and AGGRO

The festivities kick off at 9:00!

We look forward to seeing you there!!


The 1st annual D.A.N. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament

“Laughter continues to heal me, and give me a reason to smile” ~Damien Antonio Nava (D.A.N.)


January 11, 2014 proved to be an exciting day for not only the BJJ community, but for my family as well. The 1st annual D.A.N. tournament was a great opportunity for us to bring awareness to a larger community in regards to Neurofibromatosis. NF2 is a disease that my wife, and two youngest kids are battling. I decided early on when given the opportunity I would do whatever it took to help them win this war. Anyone walking in my shoes would want to do the same. When starting to plan this endeavor I had no idea what kind of support I would be able to generate. Little did I know things were about to get crazy in this BJJ school, and it would open up doors to change our lives greatly.


On tournament day we were prepared to house over 120 competitors in only 3600 square feet of space. The day was very exciting as we saw well over 200 people come through our doors to compete, and spectate on behalf of NF2 awareness. There were schools represented from all over the valley, and all the way to Tuscon.  They also came to support Damien. I was extremely proud of my son as he kick started the event with a speech from the heart that I will never forget. Struggling with Autism on top of this genetic disease has made socializing, and interactions difficult over the years. However, today he shined like no other as he spoke of his fears, and struggles about his walk with this disease.


There were plenty of exciting matches to be had, and many colored belts from white to black. It was an honor to have everyone in our school, and we even had several exciting competitors take part in this cause. World Champion Sarah Black joined us for a great match, and great purpose. We also had competitor Darron Caldwell who is not only a Bellator Fighter, but also a college all American wrestler participate. We had 2 very distinguished black belts John Wagner of North Phoenix GD-Jiu Jitsu, and Renato Freitas of JCBJJ come to compete in an exciting black belt match. For some of our Nava BJJ students as well as other valley students this smaller venue provided an opportunity to try out competition on a less intimidating level. The experience as a whole was very exciting!

I really would like to take time to thank some of the amazing people that helped this event come together. To name them all would be hard to do. This group of volunteers dedicated their time so that this cause would meet, and exceed its purpose. So to the volunteers thank you for your time, and energy. You gave so much more than your time that day. You gave me renewed hope in the dedication of friends, and of others. To the referees I thank you all for spending the day supporting this event. Those referees include Ryan Heilman, Jay Pages, Andrew Gardineer and Jesus Jose. Thank you to AGGRO apparel, and CNTRL Industries for donating gear to the event as well as setting up booths. Some of the other sponsors of the event who donated are as follows: Global Chiropractic, Eminence kimonos, Fighter Tech, 24 Carrots Natural Cafe, Fifty/50 BJJ (Ryan Hall) and Copperhead Crossfit. I also want to send out a very heartfelt thank you to AndrewKstudios who dedicated his time, and efforts to making a documentary style video. For all the countless hours he put towards helping us to have a voice my family will be forever grateful. Last but not least to all the people that competed, and walked through those doors I thank you. This is the beginning of great things for the future of my family. There is less fear when you feel the strength, and the support of others. I have never been more proud to be a part of this Arizona BJJ community.


'Tis the Season at Nava BJJ

November has been a very busy, and exciting month at Nava BJJ! We started off by promoting several students who have puts a lot of time, and dedication into their BJJ training. On November 9th my very first student Jenni Larson was promoted to Purple belt! Jenni has been with Nava BJJ for 5 years, and has become such an important part of our family. Jenni recently had surgery to help repair an injury, and has been slowly on the mend. Despite being on crutches she still made it to receive this honor, and we are extremely proud of her! Jeremiah Easton who has been with Nava BJJ for 4 years also received his Purple belt. Jeremiah has always been very dedicated to his training, and competes on a regular basis. He continues to set a great example at the school to those around him and is a great BJJ practitioner! Rich Young who is a GFS/Nava BJJ student was the third student to receive his purple belt on the 9th. Rich trains regularly at our affiliate GFS, and has made tremendous strides in the time he has put into his Jiu Jistu training. He has become quite a competitor, and pretty exciting showman if you have ever watched him compete! It was also very exciting to promote 4 of our students to blue belt. Each one has worked hard, and proven their desire to improve their Jiu Jitsu journey with much heart. Congrats go to:

Jeryme Spitzer

Julissa Ramirez

Clayton Smith

Jambo Grunert GFS/Nava BJJ


I am always extremely proud of my students when they achieve this honor. We have great expectations at Nava BJJ, and these students continue to strive to exceed those expectations. They continuously represent the best of themselves, and therefore bringing out the best in others around them. We finished off the day with an unbelievable potluck! It was one like I have never seen. We had everything from a pig that had been roasted in a pit over night to spam musubi! The family time was definitely Nava BJJ style. I am looking forward to another day just like it..


Now time to catch up with some other November events! On November 13th Nava BJJ joined up with a total of 9 Nova Uniao team members to head to the Clark Gracie seminar held at Jay Pages MMA. The event proved to be very informational, and we learned some great technique that evening. It was a great experience rolling with Clark Gracie, and learning a lot about ways to refine our game as BJJ practitioners. Great memories at another great local event!

On November 16th my son David Nava was promoted to purple belt by Claudio Franca in California. My son started training Jiu Jitsu 7 years ago with Gustavo Dantas. He has always made me so proud with his drive to succeed, and be the best in Jiu Jitsu. Great Job son!!


Starting off December Daniel Madrid who is the GFS/Nava BJJ instructor brought home double Gold to get the month off right! On December 7th Daniel headed to Pleasanton, California to compete at the Jiu JItsu Grand Prix. This was an event held by Dave Camarillo. Great Job Daniel, and way to represent your BJJ family well!

I would like also like to say congratulations to GFS/Nava BJJ student Jose Munoz who brought the bronze home after competing in the Long Beach Open. Jose is always striving to improve his Jiu Jitsu, and takes any opportunity he can to compete! Great Job Jose!


1st D.A.N. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament 

On January 11th Nava BJJ will be hosting its very first annual D.A.N. tournament. I just wanted to take this opportunity to explain what this tournament is about, and what it means to me. D.A.N. stands for the name of my son Damien Antonio Nava. As many people know my wife, and two youngest kids live with a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis type 2. Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF 2) is a disorder characterized by the growth of noncancerous tumors throughout the nervous system. The most common tumors associated with Neurofibromatosis type 2 are called vestibular schwannomas or acoustic neuromas.  These are benign, usually slow-growing tumors that develop from the balance and hearing nerves supplying the inner ear. If tumors develop in other parts of the brain or spinal cord, signs and symptoms vary according to their location. Complications tumor growth can include changes in vision or sensation, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs, and fluid buildup in the brain. NF2 can cause deafness, severe balance problems, facial nerve paralysis, spinal cord compression, swallowing difficulties and/or eye function complications. While this disorder is very complicated the purpose of our lives are clear to us as we continue the fight to provide the best for our family. We also have a determination to fight on behalf of those living and struggling every single day with this awful disease. My son Damien truly has become one of the greatest examples of inspiration in my life. In just the short time since his diagnosis he has already faced 2 major surgeries, and each time with renewed hope. Facing deafness Damien continues to prove to me, and others that this life is about more than the struggle. Instead it’s about looking past the pain for the hope he knows ultimately lies ahead. This tournament is not only an opportunity to help me continue to meet the medical needs of my family, but to help bring awareness for the many people that need a cure for NF2. I hope that we will be able to support a few of the various foundations that spend countless dollars on research to end this ongoing battle. I look forward to seeing you all, and although I can never thank you enough I will always seek to support this awesome Jiu Jitsu community the best I can.
The competition will take place on January 11th at           
Nava BJJ 1660 South Alma School Road #118 Mesa, AZ 85210.
The Pre-registration fee is $40 until January 8th @ 10pm.
The brackets will be released day of the tournament.
Medals will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place only.
The winners of their Divisions have a chance to win a Ctrl gi.
All athletes must weigh in WITH gi on starting at 8am.
Complete rules can be found at