Welcome to Vieira Martial Arts Academy

At Sarasota Square Mall

We are an exclusive academy with the best students in town! 

No contract. No testing fees.

Best competition results in the Gulf Coast. See results!

AS SEEN ON TV and local media. world champions made in SRQ!

Leslie Foxworthy - 2020 World Champion

Leslie Foxworthy - 2020 World Champion

Leslie Foxworthy - 2020 World Champion

Leslie Foxworthy, 2020 IBJJF Pan Kids Champion from Sarasota, FL at Vieira Martial Arts Academy.

Taber Jordan - 2019 USA Champion

Leslie Foxworthy - 2020 World Champion

Leslie Foxworthy - 2020 World Champion

Taber Jordan, 2019 IBJJF USA Champion from Sarasota, FL at Vieira Martial Arts Academy.



Mark Burne

I recommend Professor Vieira and the Vieira Academy without reservation. Professor Vieira is dedicated to providing all of his students, adults and children with the highest level of professional Jiu-Jitsu instruction. The Academy provides a safe and clean environment to learn the Art of Jiu-Jitsu for the whole family. Professor and his high level belt instructors provide the finest instruction, in a safe and professional manner. This Academy is not a "Mixed Martial Arts" or "Cross fit" environment where students regularly get hurt and burn out. The Academy is a safe place to train for years of practice and development of the art of Jiu-Jitsu. If you are considering enrolling your child or yourself in a program that will teach usable self defense skills, good sportsmanship, and self discipline with a safe clean environment this is the place. I am a surgeon and I trust this academy and its students as place where I can and have trained for years safely.

Matthew C.

Training at the Vieira Academy is an addiction. Great people, great program, great instructors and an excellent leader, professor Thadeu Vieira. My two sons and I are members. This academy offers a fun, safe, rewarding atmosphere for families. Both the youth and adult programs offer a complete system for learning and appreciating this art.

Joseph G.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial art that you can start when you are older and keep on training – but only if you choose the right school.  I started training at Vieira Academy at 48 years old, and 8.5 years later am still training. This is because the classes consistently emphasize technique, and because we train in a sensible and controlled manner. Knuckleheads are not tolerated. You will never see a higher rank mistreat a lower rank. The hardest part of training you will experience is: getting yourself to class. If you can muster the discipline to get to class and put in a reasonable effort, the learning happens automatically. You will leave tired and with a sense of accomplishment. Training BJJ is time well spent because you are investing in yourself.


Thadeu Vieira | BJJ Championship match in Niteroi, RJ 1998.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Back in Brazil, Professor Vieira started learning Jiu-Jitsu in 1995. He competed in BJJ in all color belts and was also an assistant instructor at the dojo. In 2003, Master Paulo Lopes (Student of Grand Master Francisco Mansor and Grand Master Helio Gracie), awarded Professor Vieira with his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Professor Vieira is the 4th in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu lineage, which makes his students next in this short lineage.


Becoming a Professor

Professor Vieira discovered very early his passion for teaching, therefore he enrolled at a local University and graduated with his degree in Physical Education from the University of Volta Redonda (UNIFOA) in Rio de Janeiro State in 2000. He also attended Law school in Brazil (UBM). Today, he is a 4th degree Black Belt. Professor Vieira is married with four children and lives in Sarasota since 2005. 

Vieira Martial Arts Sarasota. Brazilian jiu-jitsu Champion academy.

The Vieira Academy

Professor Vieira has taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil, France, Germany, England, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 15 States in the USA. His mission today is to empower every student with the same passion at the Dojo, for children and adults. His biggest joy is to take the youth team in tournaments nationwide. The Vieira Kids Competition Team have an incomparable success rate of victories, individually and as a team, being the biggest single school/team winner of all Florida in the last decade with athletes right here from Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Professor and Author

Professor Vieira has authored multiple books about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One of the few published authors about BJJ in the world with a range of subjects that fits everyone's goals. Find his books at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.


Adults self-defense & bullyproof martial arts for children in Sarasota

Professor Thadeu Vieira is a 4th generation martial artist with lineage back to Grandmaster Helio Gracie, the creator or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). He has followed in the steps of his teachers by devoting his life to sharing the knowledge, skill, and versatility in martial arts with others. He studied and mastered the art of BJJ from his master, Paulo Wesley Lopes, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He later traveled the world as teacher, and competitor, and settled in Sarasota, FL in 2005. Professor Vieira has long excelled in his quest for knowledge and skill. He is one of the few BJJ instructors in Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education.

Professor Vieira opened his first school in 2000 in Brazil. All of the knowledge acquired and passed down through the Gracie family for the past hundred years is at the disposal of Vieira Academy students. There are very few schools in the world that can offer this pedigree of excellent lineage and we are proud to continue the tradition of martial arts that the Gracie Family began near 100 years ago.


BJJ is very different from many other martial arts. Unlike other martial arts that involve punches and kicks, BJJ’s main focus is on grappling and ground fighting. BJJ’s eminently practical nature is why it has dominated the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and is an essential tool for UFC competitors.

The essence of BJJ is to take a standing aggressor, bring him to the ground and then control or submit the aggressor while on the ground. Since being on the ground is unfamiliar territory for most people, BJJ’s emphasis on ground fighting provides a major advantage in that it greatly diminishes any size, weight and strength advantage an aggressor may have while standing. History has shown that martial artists that practice stand-up based techniques find themselves completely at a loss when a fight moves to the ground. BJJ has its roots in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, which was developed for common people to defend themselves against a larger and stronger opponent. As such, the moves are practical and intuitive, as is the training. There is no need to weaponized parts of your body for striking and kicking. The training is direct and informal, focusing on actual self-defense situations so that the discomfort and panic typically associated with a confrontation is channeled in to an appropriate course of action. 


Why pick BJJ over another martial art? There are several key reasons. The first is that most other martial arts rely on strikes (punches and kicks) from a standing position to injure or maim the opponent. This is a daunting proposition for a smaller person fighting a larger, stronger person. In contrast, BJJ generally avoids forceful strikes and instead focusing on practical movements that can be easily used by anyone of any size against a larger and stronger opponent. In short, BJJ focuses on technique and strategy instead of brute strength and body-part weaponization. This is particularly important for females having to defend themselves if attacked by a larger, stronger male. 

Also, in this day and age, striking someone – even if in self-defense – may not be advisable. Many self-defense situations require a proportionate response, such as controlling a person without hitting them, or rendering a person unconscious without actually hurting them. A well-trained BJJ martial artist knows how to apply appropriate self-defense solutions for a given situation.  

There is a saying in BJJ: You will fight like you train. Most other martial arts involve training that has little or nothing to do with how they will actually fight to defend themselves. The “Brazilian” aspect of BJJ departs from the Japanese aspects of jiu-jitsu in that BJJ has stripped away the rigid formality and replaced it with a less formal and highly practical training philosophy focused on actual self-defense applications in a relatively informal setting.  

At the same time, the Brazilians imposed strict requirements on rank promotions, which come far more slowly than in other martial arts. You will never see children or teenagers wearing black belts at a BJJ school. In BJJ, there is very little in the way of instant gratification. The BJJ process is deep and rewarding and the rank promotions reflect this. Vieira Academy maintains the established BJJ rank schedule, which imposes discipline and promotes humility in a manner consistent with ancient martial art philosophies. Vieira Academy offers all the benefits of a contemporary martial art with ancient martial art roots that provide an unbeatable path for self-improvement and a complete way of life for those that desire to be a true martial artist.


BJJ is physical sport that involved exertion and contact with others. Because the application of force is measured and intelligent, the contact is not high impact and the exertion is intended to be moderate because the movements use leverage rather than brute strength. Much of BJJ training involves the physical and intellectual challenge of learning to relax and stay calm when faced with adverse conditions. In this regard, BJJ is often likened to a game of human chess. The workout is as much mental as it is physical. The high level of concentration combined with the physical movements and working with others in a cooperative and social setting provides an excellent workout without the boredom often associated with solo gym workouts. Vieira Academy has seen many students realize substantial weight loss simply through regular class attendance and adopting a sensible diet. And unlike other forms of working out, there is the benefit of learning invaluable self-defense skills.



At Vieira Jiu-Jitsu we leverage our mastery of the Art of Jiu-Jitsu to partner with Fortune 2000, medium-sized, small, and non-profit organizations to create safe, high-impact teambuilding experiences that provide immediate and long-term improvements in fundamental team dynamics including communication, trust, accountability, innovation, engagement, and productivity.

Vieira Youth Curriculum©

The only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in the world with an entire youth curriculum shaped as power cards with QR code video lesson on the back. Learn with Professor Vieira this incredible system that has changed the world of martial arts. Non-members of Vieira Martial Arts are welcome to purchase cards at our online store. We ship worldwide.


Thadeu Vieira Martial Arts Sarasota, FL Black Belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu BJJ

Thank you for visiting us online!

My Vision is to offer world class instruction in a traditional environment that focus solely on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instead of following the popular trend of being a MMA school.

We are an exclusive academy with the BEST students in town. Stop by to watch a class and meet me in person to discuss your goals for you and your family!

Yours truly in martial arts,

Professor Thadeu Vieira


Pricing, family discounts, class format, rank advancment, etc...



Questions? Check the F.A.Q. section or message us!

We are located inside the Sarasota Square Mall next to the playground.

Send us a message and get a FREE TRIAL CLASS ON TUESDAYS.

Vieira Martial Arts Academy

8201 S. Tamiami Trail, #19, Sarasota, FL 34238, US

(941) 879-6624


Open today

04:30 pm – 09:00 pm

Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9pm

Friday & Saturday: For current members only

Sunday: Closed

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