Joe Cunningham, affectionately known as “Joemoplata”, has been a student with the Yamasaki Academy since 1998. His interest in the sport started after watching Royce Gracie dominate opponents in the early Ultimate Fighting Championships using techniques that, at the time, were widely unknown to most people in the United States. Like most students of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu usually find, once he started training he was quickly hooked and began spending as much time as he could at the Yamasaki Springfield academy learning from the instructors and students. He has competed in various Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Grappling tournaments including NAGA, Grapplers Quest, US Grappling, and the Pan American Championships. He was awarded his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in December of 2010 and promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by his coaches Francisco Neto and Fernando Yamasaki December, 2014.
Coach Joemoplata works closely with the other coaches as part of the MMA program to help the fighters be as well rounded as possible.
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