Nobuo Yagai

Assistant Instructor, Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy | Muay Thai of Colorado

Professor Nobuo Yagai has been studying martial arts since he was six years old, beginning his training with Kendo, also known as Samurai swordsmanship. At 16, he began to study full-contact karate under world Kyokushin champion Makato Nakamura. In order to deepen his study and understanding of karate, he traveled throughout Asia, training with some of the world ‘s top martial arts experts, including a world champion boxer, a Muay Thai champion and a police kung fu instructor.

Professor Nobuo Yagai used this expertise to become the 1997 Japanese National Sanda (shoot boxing) Full- Contact Kung Fu Champion. After graduating from university in 2000 with a BA in law and international relations, Karate brought Professor Nobuo Yagai to the United States where he trained and served as a full-time Karate apprentice at the elite Enshin Karate International headquarters. He studied and trained under Grandmaster Joko Ninomiya (All-Japan Kyokushin Full -Contact Karate champion) for two years, gaining life-changing insights into the importance of attitude and discipline in the practice of martial arts. He is also a certified Behavior Change Specialist.

During his apprenticeship, a challenger entered the dojo who Nobu was forced to fight. The fight quickly ended up on the ground. After the fight, and upon reflection, he came to realize the importance of ground defense skills, or grappling. He had already been introduced to submission techniques, such as joint locks, by his university professor and instructor of Aiki jiu-jitsu, Kiyokazu Maebayashi.

With the addition of jiu jitsu and these ground grappling moves, he filled in the last piece of his fighting game and transformed himself into the martial artist he is today. He has gone on to win many championships and his talent is highly respected by many professional fighters.

In addition to teaching martial arts, Nobuo is a certified Master trainer at the gym where he trains a wide variety of clientele with varying needs and goals. He has trained professional athletes, celebrities, military and police officers, bouncers, personal trainers and MMA fighters… as well as moms looking to get back in shape, weekend warriors, grandmas and kids. Nobuo teaches his clients “functional fitness ” whereby clients learn movement patterns that are powerful, efficient and that mitigate the risk of injury- in other words, how to optimally use their bodies. His broad range of techniques gleaned from both his study of fitness and martial arts, allows him to uniquely tailor his personal training for each client and their needs.

Instructor Certification

AFAA (aerobics and Fitness Association of America) NCSF (National Council on Strength & Fitness)
NASM (National Academy of sports medicine) NASM CES (Corrective Exercise specialist)
NASM PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist) CPR,AED (American Heart Association)
IBJJF Certified Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Master Rigan Machado
Enshin Karate Blackbelt 2nd degree from Kancho Joko Ninomiya
BCS (Behavior Change Specialist)

Come train in an official Rigan Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Denver Colorado! At Jiu Jitsu Do Academy we give you the best possible training straight from the source of it all – Rigan Machado is the nephew of Grand Master Carlos Gracie who was one of founders Gracie Jiu Jitsu.


2015 JJWL International Mr.Olympia BJJ Championship Champion
2015 IBJJF American national Jiu jitsu Championship Bronze medal
2015 The 1st Jiu Jitsu World League Black Belt Adult Light Feather Champion
2014 Vegas Summer Open International Black Belt Adult Silver Medal Light Feather
2014 World Pro Jiu Jitsu Canada Trial Black Belt Adult Silver Medal Light Feather
2012 Long Beach International Open IBJJF championship Black Belt Adult Light Feather Silver medal
2011 Pan-American Jiu-jitsu championship Light Featherweight Bronze Medalist
2006 National Cup Jiu-Jitsu tournament Feather weight 3rd place
2006 Pancrase U.S. National Flyweight Submission Wrestling 2nd place
2005 Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu championship Featherweight Bronze Medalist
2004 Pancrase U.S. National Flyweight Submission Wrestling Champion
2004 AFC Submission Wrestling Invitational Competitor
2003 Pan-American Submission Wrestling Finalist
2003 ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil Competitor
2003 Pancrase U.S. National Flyweight Submission Wrestling 2nd place
2002 CKA Colorado State Lightweight champion
2002 World Full Contact Karate Sabaki Challenge Lightweight Semi-Finalist
2001 NE Region Full Contact Karate Lightweight Sabaki Challenge 2nd Place
2000 Enshin Tournament Black Belt Challenge Lightweight 2nd Place
1997 Japanese National Sansho Champion Absolute weight
1997 All Japan Kyokushin Full-Contact Karate Championships Lightweight Best 16