Vida Jiu-Jitsu is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym located in Mandeville, Louisiana. We have a team of the best instructors in the area to ensure our students receive a well-rounded curriculum incorporating different styles and methods unique to each instructor’s background and skill set. We offer adult, children’s, and women only classes. We are supported and have a close relationship with our local teammates out of Raposo BJJ in Slidell, LA; Olympic BJJ in Sulphur, LA; and Gulf Coast Jiu-Jitsu in Biloxi, MS. We also regularly run Guns & Gis, our firearms/BJJ 3-day immersion camp experience.
Vida Jiu-Jitsu means jiu-jitsu life in Portuguese. We believe in jiu-jitsu as not just a self defense art, but a way of life. You will build your second family here.
Meet the Team
Greg has made a living for the past two decades in law enforcement special operations and Government special operations, deploying to war zones throughout the world. He started his Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2005 when he was a New Orleans Police Officer because he understood what violence was and what skills he needed to have to go home at the end of the day. After leaving the police department and going to work for the U.S. Government, Greg trained on and off for several years in between deployments. He was what is known as a 10-year white belt due to not being able to train at a school consistently. During assignment in the United Arab Emirates, Greg began training seriously under Tiago Bravo where he received his blue belt in 2016. He is currently a black belt under Professor Jeremy Umphries. Jiu-Jitsu has changed Greg’s life and his main goal is to expose as many people to the art as possible.
Eric has been involved in Martial Arts since the age of 5. He started his journey doing Traditional Shotokan Karate where he competed at the national and international level, winning several national titles. After hurricane Katrina, Eric moved to Lafayette with his family where he continued to build his striking background training in Muay Thai and boxing. He started his Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2011 when he was pursuing his interest in MMA. From there, his interest and passion shifted to Jiu-Jitsu. He trained in Lafayette through 2019, receiving his brown belt a month before moving to Mandeville for his career, where he started training at Vida under Professor Jeremy Umphries. After a year, Eric began regularly coaching classes. In September of 2022, Eric received his black belt from his Professor and close friend Greg Lapin, becoming Vida and Greg's first black belt. he is an active competitor and has competed at the local to international levels, including IBJJF Master Worlds and PanAms. Eric assumed the role as head professor in September 2023 after being presented the opportunity from Professor Greg and his wife Casey. His goal in this role is to not only maintain, but further build on the already sound foundation of Vida and assist Greg and Casey in continually spreading the welcoming atmosphere and Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle they envisioned. Professor Eric is always willing to help where he can and is committed to the non-stop growth of the place so many call home, Vida Jiu-Jitsu.
Professor Erick relocated to Baton Rouge from his home town of Rio de Janeiro in 2018 to assume the role of Head Instructor of JM Modern Jiu Jitsu, our affiliate academy in Baton Rouge. Professor Erick is an IBJJF Certified 3rd Degree Black Belt and referee. A multiple time Super Fight, IBJJF Open Champion, American National Champion & Brazilian National Champion, Gi and NoGi. Erick started practicing Jiu-Jitsu in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in his early teens. Since that time, Raposo has dedicated his life to teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to kids, adults, and families as well as competing and winning at the highest level in BJJ. Professor Raposo teaches all his classes with a passion that has helped many of his students reach new heights and improve not only their skill level on the mats but also their confidence, courage, and character. He is jiu jitsu.
Chris Bio Coming Soon.
Don has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since 2005 when he started his law enforcement career in West Virginia. He has trained with some of the best practitioners in the world in an effort to improve his Jiu-Jitsu knowledge for law enforcement, competition and self defense Jiu-Jitsu applications. Don achieved the rank of black belt in 2019. He enjoys passing his knowledge along to both new and experienced students. Don pushes his students to achieve excellence using fundamental techniques and learning how to push their limits in sparring and competition. Don moved to Louisiana in late 2022 and is thankful to find his new home at Vida.
Professor Stephanie is a critical care nurse, wife, and mother of 2. She started Jiu-Jitsu 7 years ago with professor Raposo for self-defense and as a way to participate in a hobby that the whole family could enjoy. Since starting she found a love for the competition scene. Some accomplishments include 2x Black Belt World Champion NoGi and an outstanding career on the color belts with 4x IBJJF Master World Champion, 4x Pan American Champion, and 8x American National Champion. Stephanie is a Black belt under professor Raposo as his first female black belt. In addition to competing, Stephanie loves watching students grow and progress beyond what they originally thought they could achieve. “Stronger every day-“
David is a small business owner and true lover of Jiu Jitsu. David started his journey with BJJ in 2015 as a way of connecting in a new community. His passion quickly grew and in 2018 he competed in and won his division in his first IBJJF competition. He moved to the Northshore in 2019 from Houston and quickly found Vida and knew he was home. This just further ignited his passion for Jiu Jitsu and increased his love for the Vida Family. David grew up in Bay St Louis MS. He and his wife love the beach life and helping others grow in their own journeys. His style is very technical and he takes a common sense approach in his teaching, breaking steps down in detail to make sure anyone and everyone can apply it, no matter their skill level.
Casey keeps the Vida ship afloat by running the office and keeping the guys in check. She’s a graphic designer by trade (check out www.vidajiujitsu.com for lots of fun Jiu-Jitsu inspired merch), and she and Greg have two children and a Boxer, all of whom you’ll likely meet at the gym on any given day. She is currently a purple belt and teaches the Vida Padawans class.
Greeter/Employee of the Month
Finn is the most important member of the Vida team and takes his job as greeter very seriously. He does expect pets when you arrive.