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Robert (Bobby) Thomson

Robert Thompson, founder of Xequemate (Checkmate), is our schools leading instructor and Third-Degree Black Belt. Under Luiz Palhares. With over 20 years of training and teaching Bobby has forgotten more than we will ever learn. An amazing practitioner on and off the mats both in and out of the Gi. Still a student to the art, Bobby loves to teach and he rolls like a champion. He is currently working to set up a school in the Philippines taking us International


Sidney Gills

Sidney Gills received his Black Belt from Luiz Palhares in August of 2023. A Professor of the art with 15+ years’ experience. Sid came to Xequemate as a 4th degree Relson Gracie Purple Belt under Phil Cardella. Sid has been a pillar of our coaching staff for the last 4+ years. Sid is a detail-oriented instructor and loves to roll. After becoming an owner in 2022 Sid has been instrumental in our growth and expansion. Professor Sid is one of the lead instructors for both kids and adult at both locations. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and has lived in the Jacksonville area for over 25 years raising his family. ​



Brent Higgins: Luiz Palhares 1st Degree Black Belt under Professor Bobby Thompson. With 16 years of martial arts experience Professor Higgins has not only earned his Black Belt in BJJ but also has a Black Belt in Jeet Kune Do and Kali. Brent has also trained under CSW and Catch Wrestling systems and is currently studying Judo under Sensei Lance Olson. He is a superb technician on the mats and always enjoys the roll.


Alex Abreu



Coming soon

Professor Jeff is a Bobby Thompson Black Belt with over 10 years of Training in BJJ. He has previously trained in aikido and is also a  Brown Belt Taekwondo. Jeff is a teacher of advanced series techniques as well as self defense. He is also a Master of the grilling arts. Don't miss our events, he is usually serving up some testy food. 




Dean began his training under 5-time World Champion Daniel Moraes, focusing on no gi. After joining the Xequemate team in 2019, he has fallen in love with all aspects of Jiu Jitsu training and coaching. He trains with all 3 of his kids and loves seeing all kids get involved with this amazing martial art. Currently, his is leading our Tuesday Evening Classes for Kid's and Adults, his main focus is on the self-defense techniques that are the fundamentals of BJJ.

coming soon

Coach Ale is the lead kids' instructor. He is a Bobby Thompson Black Belt who continues to grow in knowledge and understanding of the nuances of application of techniques. Coach Ale heavily competed through the ranks and won numerous competitions during his BJJ journey. Previously, he was a U.S. Navy dog handler, where he deployed downrange 4 times. During his time in the Navy, Coach Ale learned close quarter combat. When Ale isn’t rolling on the mats, he is a A K-9 behavioral instructor that works with families to ensure their fur-babies are well educated and disciplined. He enjoys working with kids both on and off of the mats. Coach has a masters in nutrition and exercise science. 



Nathalie is a Blue Belt who has been training with Xequemate for over 4 years. From the beginning, Nat joined as a kid's instructor for the littles and beginners. She helps teach basic exercises and fundamental Jiu-Jitsu movements by engaging  students through fun games and activities. Nat is trained in behavioral techniques and is bilingual, speaking Spanish and English.


Coming soon

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