Former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) world champion Zorobabel Moreira, or ‘Prof Zoro’ as he is fondly known among his students, did not think he would be teaching BJJ for a living halfway across the globe. The head instructor of FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts started training BJJ at a very young age in Rio De Janeiro as it was becoming very popular thanks to Vale Tudo (an unarmed, full-contact combat sport with relatively few rules) and the Gracie family.
“Growing up I always enjoyed playing sports but I was also interested in martial arts. I wanted to train BJJ and coincidentally a family friend was teaching the gentle art at that time,” said Prof Zoro, who started training at the age of 10.
Three years into his BJJ journey, Prof Zoro started competing regularly. After he won his first tournament, it motivated him to keep training and when he was 16, he was already competing in the World Championships.
After submitting all his opponents via triangle/armbar in under three minutes, he won the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championships as a brown belt. It was soon after that he was promoted to black belt by Adao Januario and the legendary Carlos Gracie Jr. in 2005.
Shortly after, Prof Zoro made the move to mixed martial arts (MMA) and started training with Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correa alongside notable grapplers such as Antônio Braga Neto and Rafael Dos Anjos. He made the move to MMA because at that time it was difficult to make a living doing BJJ. “There was hardly any money in the BJJ scene. It was a difficult transition because I am a spider guard player in BJJ and that was not applicable in MMA. I also had to learn how to wrestle, strike efficiently and improve my strength and conditioning.”
In 2010, Prof Zoro moved to Singapore to teach BJJ and pursue a career in MMA. “When I first moved here I did not speak any English and although I had to learn a new language, I love living here. The environment is so clean and safe. I have also made many friends, who I now consider family.”
In May 2016 FaMA opened their doors and Prof Zoro began living his dream by helping everyone live a healthy lifestyle through martial arts. "BJJ and Muay Thai are fun ways to stay in shape and get fit. Our vision is to provide a clean, safe, and comfortable training facility for children, women, adults, and seniors with the very best instructors.”
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts training facility located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from the Clarke Quay MRT station, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Each program is led by experts in their respective fields. Whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for everyone.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ as it is commonly known around the world, is a self-defence martial art that enables a smaller, weaker person to protect themselves against a much larger attacker using leverage and pressure. Formed from Kodokan Judo in Japan, Jiu Jitsu found its way to Brazil in the 1910s through Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka and no-holds-barred prize fighter. During his time in Brazil, Maeda accepted a young Carlos Gracie as his student. Carlos would later pass on his knowledge to his brothers, most notably Helio Gracie - the father of modern Brazilian Jiujitsu. The Gracie family would go on to spread BJJ through The Gracie Challenge and eventually the creation of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Today, BJJ has grown to be more than just an effective unarmed fighting system. It helps young children deal with bullies and adults live a healthy lifestyle. BJJ classes are offered daily at FaMA under the tutelage of Black Belts Zoro Moreira, Robyn Goudy and Thiago Gaspary.
Muay Thai, or The Art of Eight Limbs, is a martial art developed in Thailand thousands of years ago to help the Kingdom protect itself against invaders. Using the human body as a weapon, Muay Thai practitioners are well-versed in punching, elbowing, kicking, kneeing, and clinching with their opponents. What was once only used for self-defence and protection of the Kingdom, Muay Thai has grown to become one of the most popular sports not only in Thailand but in the world. Muay Thai is known to provide a complete total-body workout that will help build lean muscle, core strength, and help with weight loss. At FaMA, Muay Thai classes are taught daily by Tanaphong Khunhankaew, or better known as Kru Ping, and Coach Jerel Louie.
An all-in-one fitness class suitable for everyone, FaMA Fit incorporates moves from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing and Kickboxing together with functional training to help develop flexibility, mobility, strength, balance, and stamina. For beginners who are just starting out, the FaMA Fit Fundamentals class is an entry-level program that will work the entire body. FaMA Fit and FaMA Fit Fundamentals classes are run by professional athlete Coach Kirstie Gannaway.