Marc Monaco

Head BJJ Instructor

Professor Marc Monaco has trained in the discipline of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2003, and holds a 1st Degree Blackbelt in the art.

Marc was awarded his Blackbelt from the late Professor Mike Mrkulic in June 2014, after over 11 years of training, competing, and teaching; Marc became the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt in Topeka, Kansas. Professor Marc recieved his 1st degree on his Blackbelt from Professors Paul Nava and "Queixinho" Moizinho under the Ares BJJ Association, his current affiliation.


After receiving his Purplebelt in 2008, Monaco opened his own academy in Topeka, Kansas. He built a strong program that won various team titles in the Midwest, including juvenile team championships for the Best Of The Best ProAms circuit in Omaha, Nebraska multiple times. Due to the team accomplishments and notoriety of his program, Marc was selected to become commissioner to the Sunflower State Games of Kansas; an annual event where athletes all over Kansas compete in various sporting events throughout the summer. Monaco held this position from 2011 until 2015, operating the Jiu Jitsu event each year, until moving to Tucson, Arizona in 2015.

Professor Monaco competed in many circuits across the United States in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission wrestling from Whitebelt through Blackbelt, including the IBJJF, NABJJF, Abu Dhabi Trials, Grapplers Quest, Gracie Worlds, NAGA, WJJC, among:

Gold at the 2011 IBJJF Miami Open at Brownbelt,

2016 D.A.N Tournament Blackbelt Superfight Champion 

2018 Rise Of The Prospects Blackbelt Superfight Winner

2018 Rise Of The Prospects "Submission Of The Night" recipient, among many other tournament titles and medals.

Professor Monaco has guided many students to World titles and State titles in BJJ, as well as guided MMA fighters throughout their careers. He has provided instruction and cornered fighters in various circuits including Victory Fighting Championships, Bellator, Titan Fighting Championships, Sharkfights, and the late Masters Of The Cage. 

Marc is no stranger to other combat sports, as he was a 1999 Silver Medalist in boxing while enlisted in the United States Army, and stationed in Ft. Riley, Kansas. He later began training in mixed martial arts, but eventually "fell in love" with the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, especially with the complexity of the Gi.

Professor Monaco has also provided instruction to the National Guard Retention program, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Parks and Recreation, and real estate groups by teaching practical self defense techniques and awareness for everyday situations that may arise. He also owned and operated the Topeka Jiu Jitsu Academy, Monaco Fitness and Self Defense, LLC, all while residing in Kansas.


Most recently, Marc was the Head Instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for UFC Gym North Tucson from 2016 until 2019, until the facility closed. During his time there, he was able to build a powerhouse team from the ground up, most notably a kids program that became one of the strongest and most recognized programs in the state. In only 3 short years, the program created over a dozen SJJIF World Champions, State Champions, and Pan American medalists. Professor Monaco is excited to continue to teach and share his knowledge at the Marana Martial Arts facility and contribute to the success of its members!

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