Tony Barker makes history in becoming the first American black belt under world famous coach Ricardo Vieira.

Tony is now a resident of Rio De Janeiro, where he relocated recently and is training full time under Ricardo.

“I received my black belt on the 13th of June from Rico Vieira here in Copacabana. I have been training almost everyday for over 2 years with him here at FightZone in Copacabana. I was so happy to be given my black belt by someone like Rico. He is a legend in BJJ, and his guard is one of the best that have ever existed. I was so proud to be his first American Black Belt. I hope to become a great champion like my training partners,and other VB black belts such as Fifou, Louis Gustavo, and many others. I have been living, and training in Brasil since 2008. I have a formed a great bond with Rico through competing almost 1 every other month sine 2008. He knows my game and what I need to do to be a champ the sky is the limit for me. I was 2 time state champion at brown belt in my weight class, and the absolute. I also had some great showings last year in Tijuca at the Rio open coming in 2nd place, and the same result in the huge tournament in Sao Paulo last year the WPJJL. I came up short of taking the championship after making some careless mistakes, but after some great coaching I was able to correct my mistakes and have a great showing at this years Brasiliero. I would like to compete asap at black belt, but unfortunately at this years Brasiliero in route two wining my first two matches I had to bow out in the 3rd due tearing my ACL in the first match. Now I am going to have the surgery next month, and look forward to being able to compete in 2011”.

TONY BARKER

If you’d like to train at Ricardo’s in Copacabana and need help from another Gringo, Tony is your guy. Reach him at: tony-barker@hotmail.com

Ricardo Vieira academy: ricardovieirabjj.com