Growing up Carlos Melo participated in various sports and developed a core identity as a competitive athlete. He attended San Jose State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at SJSU his athleticism and passion for competition paved the way for a successful collegiate rugby career. He captained the league’s All Star Team two years in a row and went on after graduation to play rugby at the club level. After college Carlos became a police officer, launching a long career in law enforcement.
At the age of 25, a fellow police officer introduced Carlos to BJJ. Originally interested in gaining skills for his role as a police officer, he quickly became hooked and began training & competing rigorously. Later, he circled back to his original intention to blend Jiu-Jitsu with his career and began teaching Jiu-Jitsu to police officers. With his highly competitive spirit and his unshakable belief that he would become a World Champion he first achieved that goal in 2009 as a brown belt, competing in the adult division at the age of 32.
In 2010 he opened Gilroy BJJ forming a small team with just a handful of white belts and one blue belt to train with. He built Gilroy’s competitive foundation, instilling in his students the power of belief that they themselves would become world champions with hard work and focus. In 2013 Gilroy BJJ took 6 competitors to the Senior World Championships and returned home with 5 senior world champions and 6 gold medals.
Gilroy BJJ is a Caio Terra Association Affiliate. We are proud to be a part of the best team in Jiu-Jitsu, lead by 12 time world Champion Professor Caio Terra. The Caio Terra Academy & Association Head Quarters is located in San Jose, California, 30 minutes north of the city of Gilroy & Gilroy Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Our Association with CTA provides our Students with special rates to drop in and attend classes at Caio Terra Association HQ, as well as special rates for CTA Online Courses. As an Association member Gilroy BJJ Academy is often host to seminars featuring CTA Jiu-Jitsu Professional Athletes like Caio Terra, Yuri Simoes & Mason Fowler.
Caio Terra has been instructing students and producing world champions since 2004. In 2007, Caio moved to the United States where he taught and trained atCesar Gracie Academies. In 2011 he opened his own academy, the institute of martial arts, in San Jose. In 2014 the name was changed to the Caio Terra Academy. Caio has conducted over 400 seminars, in 2012 he felt it was time to bring his unique brand of jiu jitsu to the world and started the Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association.
In 2014 he took it one step further and launched Caio Terra Online! His goal was to create more then just a resource for Jiu Jitsu practitioners, but a place where the people who subscribe will evolve into a community, devoid of politics, negativity and ego. After all we all play the same sport, and practice the same martial art!
Gilroy BJJ was founded in 2010. Carlos “Wookie” Melo was able to build the foundation of the school as a fledgling club with a handful of students and lay the ground work for it to become the staple of South Santa Clara County California martial arts that it is known as today.
In 2016 Carlos Melo partnered with Morgan Chappell. Under the management of Carlos & Morgan Gilroy BJJ joined the Caio Terra Association in 2019, and the Academy made it through the 2020 pandemic. Even though it’s doors were closed to the public the school was able survive the shutdown of many businesses & martial arts schools and Gilroy BJJ was able to re-open its doors once again in spring of 2021.
In early 2022 Morgan Chappell moved to Nevada and Carlos Melo partnered with Anthony Rutherford. Carlos & Anthony make up the current leadership of Gilroy BJJ which looks to continue the rich tradition of maintaining the Academy as South Santa Clara County’s premier School for Self Defense, Law Enforcement training & Sport Jiu-Jitsu instruction.