PROFESSOR CARLOS DIAZ - 1st DEGREE BLACK BELT, OWNER/HEAD INSTRUCTOR.
As a teenager Carlos started martial arts as a means to cross train for tennis. He saw martial arts as an all-encompassing way to develop flexibility, cardio, strength, and overall agility – qualities needed in all sports.
Carlos' martial arts training started with Taekwondo. After a few years he decided to train more realistic, contact based styles. His quest to become a well rounded or "mixed martial artist" together with his travels led him to train in Tang Soo Do, Shotokan, Okinawan Kenpo, Wing Chun, Muay Thai, Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
While living in Atlanta, Carlos focused his training to the Total Self Defense system developed by Sifu Eddie Camden for the military in 1998. Total Defense is based on a strong Thai Boxing foundation, with major influences from Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, Kali/Escrima, and Brazilian jiu-Jitsu. He learned that symplicity, practicality, and effectiveness was the philosophy of the Total Defense system. Carlos is a Black Belt Instructor in Total Defense.
As Carlos's experience and skill in martial arts grew, he developed a keen interest on what techniques "really" work for the average person against a much bigger, faster, stronger opponent. Even more important, he saw how himself and his students benefitted greatly by applying martial arts concepts to other facets of life. This is why he is a devoted teacher of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Even though many martial arts have these life lessons and character traits, none of them demonstrates and requires them so clearly as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos is a Certified 1st Degree Black Belt Instructor under the tutorage of Grandmaster Rorion Gracie, Master Ryron Gracie, and Master Rener Gracie, the oldest son and the grandsons of the Grandmaster and creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu - Helio Gracie.
Carlos is constantly training and teaching not only for self improvement, but also to gather and share world class martial arts knowledge with his students. To do this he regularly travels to train with some of the best martial artists in the world such as Grandmaster Rorion Gracie, Professor Rickson Gracie, Professor Pedro Sauer, Sifu Francis Fong, Guro Dan Inosanto, Ajarn Chai Sirisute, and many others.
With over 35 years of being a student of the martial arts, Carlos owns Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Destin and has been teaching martial arts full time since 2003. He also teaches Thai Boxing and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu seminars in the US and internationally. Before living the martial arts life Carlos held engineering and manager positions at high tech companies Sun Microsystems and Data General. He definitely teaches by example, showing what is possible to young and old alike. His intention is to teach martial arts well into his nineties just as Grand Master Helio Gracie did to all willing and open minded students.