Meet the Instructors
Mixed Martial Arts Instructor | Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
In addition to being the co-founder of the Bushido MMA, Alan is the head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor and coach. His study of the martial arts started in 1992; beginning with Karate and then moving to Wing Chun Kung Fu with the intentions of finding a practical self-defense style. After a few years Alan felt as if he was a fairly well accomplished martial artist, well capable of self-defense. Around that time a friend invited Alan to his first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. It only took that one class for Alan to realize that he was missing the most important, yet most neglected aspect of a real confrontation. That missing link was apparent when he recognized that fights typically go into a clinch, or end up on the ground. Alan humbly accepted the fact that he could not only rely on punching and kicking for self defense while sparing with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students, who had less than six months experience. Very excited about his new discovery Alan began practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that same week.
Alan is the only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt instructor located in Portsmouth, Virginia (one of very few in world to attain this high rank under the direction of Sensei Saulo Ribeiro). Alan considers it a privilege to learn from the best and truly believes that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has not only helped him accomplish the goal of practical self defense, but also the pursuit of becoming a better person in general. Alan enjoys teaching and passing on this good information to anyone who wants to learn. Alan has had the privilege and honor to train and learn from many famous instructors such as: Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro, Royler Gracie, Ryron Gracie, Kid Peligro, Chris Blanke, Pedro Sauer, Sylvio Bering, Alvero Berretto, Matt Serra, Frank Cucci, Joao Morais, and Kazeka Muniz. Alan has also recently earned his Brown Belt in Judo, under Sensei Alberto Cruz.
Mixed Martial Arts Instructor
As the co-founder of Bushido Mixed Martial Arts and head instructor of the Bushido Striking System, Greg began his journey in the martial arts in 1989 at Old Dominion University. Greg was introduced to the world of Martial Arts by Sensei Hiroyuki Hamada (highest ranking Martial Arts Master outside of Japan).
Greg was empowered not only by the physical benefits, but also the mental and spiritual attributes of the study of Martial Arts. Greg continued his training in Tang Soo Do and Aikido. His study of Martial Arts continued in 1995 when he began Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Martial Arts, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In addition, in 2004, he added Combat Submission Wrestling to his arsenal.
Through the study of these arts Greg has met and had the honor of training with some of the best instructors in the world to include but not limited to: Kru Sakasem Kanthawong, Guru Dan Inosanto, Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, Ajarn Chai Serisute, Erick Paulson (CSW), Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro, Pedro Sauer, Frank Cucci (Linxx Academy), and Antonio Torres.
Greg found these arts to be a fantastic combination, covering many of the aspects needed to become a complete Martial Artist. With 23 years of Martial Arts training and 20 years of teaching experience, Greg continues his journey, conveying the benefits of Martial Arts to his students.
Kid's Jiu Jitsu Instructor
Erin is a Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu blue belt under Professor Alan Merullo. She graduated from high school in Arizona in 2012 and moved around until she found her home in Virginia Beach. She went to college for a few different things, but eventually got her degree in welding.
Erin started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in March of 2015 after her boyfriend convinced her to try a class. She was hooked after one day, and spent nearly every moment of her free time trying to learn the art after that. In August 2015 after remaining undefeated in competition including a gold medal at the the IBJJF Boston Summer Open she became the first person to ever earn their Blue Belt from Professor Alan in under six months. After receiving her Blue Belt she began helping teach the kids classes. Erin is passionate about Jiu-Jitsu and loves sharing what she knows with the kids.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt / Muay Thai Coach
Corey is a Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu purple belt under Professor Alan Merullo as well as a Muay Thai brown belt under Kru Greg Smith and a certified assistant instructor ("shorts test") under Sakasem "The Punisher" Kanthawong. He has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 7+ years and Muay Thai for 6+ years and teaching under Kru Greg and Professor Alan for 3+ years. He graduated with honors from George Mason University in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in communication and an administration of justice minor. After earning his degree, he moved to San Diego, California for two years to surf and enjoy the weather before returning to his native Chesapeake/Portsmouth, Virginia.
Corey has known Professor Alan for over 17 years and was first introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through him. He always had an interest in the martial arts, particularly mixed martial arts, and Professor Alan eventually got him to come to Bushido MMA and try it out for himself. He was hooked immediately and after training BJJ for around a year and earning his blue belt, Corey began his Muay Thai journey under Kru Greg in order to become a more complete and well rounded martial artist. He has also trained in mixed martial arts, boxing and wrestling and believes that a true martial artist should always keep an open mind and be willing to learn. Having previously been a personal trainer and a lifelong advocate of an active and healthy lifestyle, Corey's passion has always been to teach and help others, both kids and adults, to gain the knowledge that was given to him. He has seen firsthand and can attest to the positive attributes that the martial arts provides. A few of these attributes include self confidence, respect, discipline, perseverance and humility, along with the health benefits and healthy lifestyle it inherently promotes.
Corey is a contractor and works for the U.S. Coast Guard in the IT field as a systems administrator. He lives in Portsmouth with his long-time girlfriend, who is also a long-time athlete and a physical education teacher for the city of Chesapeake, along with their three dogs. Corey is proud and honored to be a part of the ever-growing Bushido MMA family!
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
Kevin Parker started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Professor Alan Merullo in the Fall of 2004. He would earn his black belt in the Fall of 2016. That 12 year journey from white belt to black belt was filled with many opportunities, challenges, and genuine friendships. Kevin added a new jiu-jitsu class to the schedule in 2008, teaching four and five year old kids; a class that continues today with new instructors and great success. He has trained jiu-jitsu while raising two children, completing two Masters Degrees, and maintaining his career as an Environmental Scientist with a regional wastewater utility.
Kevin’s jiu-jitsu philosophy would go something like this, “don’t give up, just keep going when it gets tough, never stop learning, be kind to everyone, and be a better person today than you were yesterday.”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor
At 18yrs old Colleen is a 2016 Churchland High School Honors Gratuate currently attending TCC with long term goals of being a school administrator . Colleen was named MVP of the high school volleyball team her senior year and later traveled to Australia and Hawaii to to represent team USA in an international Volleyball tournament. In addition to her academic and volleyball acomplishments Colleen has excelled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has won virtually every local and regonal tournament around since she was 7 years old! She has also competed internationally winning a Gold Medal at the IBJJF 2014 Pan Ams in Las Angeles Ca.! Colleen continues to train and compete while working part time, maintaining straight A's in college, and teaching private lessons.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt
Sage has been training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since he was seven years old! " My dad made me go at first. I would have rather stayed home and play video games. Now I couldn't imagine my life without all of the benifits Jiu-Jitsu has provided me. " In addition to placing and winning nearly every local and regional Jiu-Jitsu competition for several years Sage is a graduate of Pasquatank High School where he placed 6th in NC State Wrestling his senior year. Sage is passionate and creative with his Jiu-Jitsu! He makes himself avalible for donation only private lessons to all of our serious competitors as well!