Professor Trevor Rivers started his martial arts journey as an undergraduate in Washington State. A state medalist in wrestling in high school, he decided to branch out into combat sports, and studied Hung Gar Kung Fu in Washington and California for a number of years. In 2002, while at graduate school, he discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and has been training ever since. He started with Professors Danny Ives and Ricardo Almeida on the East Coast, and found Gustavo Dantas and Nova Unaio in 2006 upon moving to Arizona, where he received his purple (2007), brown (2009), and black belts (2011, 1st degree 2015). He arrived in Lawrence in fall of 2013. In his other life, he is a marine biologist, having received his Ph.D from Cornell University in 2007.
• 2nd degree black belt under Professor Gustavo Dantas (black belt awarded May 2011, 2nd degree May 2017)
• 2017 Chicago Summer Open Championship Silver, Black Belt Masters II
• 2016 Masters World Championship Bronze, Black Belt Masters II
• IBJJF American Nationals Champion
• Multiple IBJJF/AZBJJF/Grapplers Quest, etc. tournament medalist/champion
Matt & Heidi Thompson
Matt and Heidi Thompson began their Jiu-Jitsu journey training under Pat Vacanti who awarded them each the rank of purple belt in 2014. Pat is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Phil and Ricardo Migliarese who are black belts under Relson Gracie. Matt and Heidi started taking Jiu-Jitsu as a means of self-defense. In 2016 they joined the Gustavo Dantas association and began training under Trevor Rivers who awarded them each the rank of brown belt in 2017.
Matt's recent accomplishments:
• 2017 Dallas Spring International Open Double Gold, Purple Belt Masters III (in weight division and absolute division)
• 2016 Chicago Spring Open Silver, Purple Belt Masters III
Heidi's recent accomplishments:
• 2017 Pan American Championship Bronze, Purple Belt Masters I
• 2016 Masters World Championship Silver, Purple Belt Masters II
Zak "Crash" Bucia
Zak has trained in various martial arts over the years to include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kung Fu. He is an accomplished professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter and has won several championships. He was awarded his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Trevor Rivers in 2017.
• 2017 Shamrock FC Welterweight Belt Holder
Tommaso Isidori began training Judo as a child in Siena, Italy under his father Marco Isidori. Marco has been teaching Judo for nearly 40 years and currently holds the rank of 6th Dan. Tommaso was awarded his 3rd Dan on his Judo black belt in October 2016. Tommaso moved to Lawrence, Kansas to teach Physics at the University of Kansas and work on his PhD. He is currently teaching Judo at Rivers Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Lawrence, KS. Tommaso also holds the rank of blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As a Judo instructor and Jiu Jitsu practitioner, one of his main goals is to pass along the traditional martial art of Judo and highlight the integration of Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as complementary grappling arts.