Gorilla BJJ Academy has an outstanding team of dedicated instructors, all of whom are determined to help students succeed. Our instructors offer support and guidance, uniquely tailored to each student. Our goal is to provide an environment where everyone is valued for their outside-the-box thinking, creative ideas, and dedication to improving themselves and others.

Professor Mike Wilson

2nd Degree Black Belt/Owner

Mike Wilson, owner and head instructor of Gorilla Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Mahwah, NJ, is a 2nd degree black belt under Professor Jared Weiner (Tac Team) of BJJ United in Philadelphia. Mike lives and breathes Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been training for over 18 years. With a strong emphasis on self-defense, he believes everyone – men, women and children – should train and always have an advantage if a dangerous situation arises. Mike is known for his ability to break down technical details of a move for a novice white belt to a seasoned competitor. He currently teaches all of the classes at Gorilla BJJ. He has trained with and acquired knowledge from a  list of jiu jitsu legends such as:

Royler Gracie/David Adiv

Relson Gracie/Team Balance

Renzo Gracie/ Karel Pravec

Eddie Bravo/10th Planet

Scott Epstein

Erik Paulson/Catch Wrestling

David Avellan/Kimura Trap System

Andre "Gigueto" Soares

Rolker Gracie

Daniel Gracie

Nieman Gracie

Matt Serra

Ricardo Almeida

Tom Deblass​​​


Scott Foran


Scott is a brown belt under Professor Wilson and assists mainly with the kids classes but also fills in when needed to teach the adult classes. Scott has been training for over 12 years and has a great understanding of the game.


Stan Kevereski

No-Gi Instructor, Competitor

Stan is a brown belt competitor under Professor Wilson and teaches the Wednesday morning No-Gi class. Beginning his competitive career early on in his training, Stan has multiple submission-only wins and competes at the highest level at all of the local tournaments: Good Fight, Grappling Industries, FUJI BJJ, Ultimate Submission Grappling, Radius Invitational, Sakura BJJ In-House and the Hudson Valley Grappling Invitational.


Katelyn Petersen

Kid's + Women's Coach

Katelyn is a brown belt under Professor Wilson. She runs the Women's Only Jiu-Jitsu Class, assists with the kids classes, intro lessons and women's self defense seminars. Katelyn went from being a bootcamp student 10 years ago at our old academy to running her own program at our new one. With only training BJJ a short time she began her competitive career with a great start:

  • ​Grappling Industries NYC 2016 - White Belt - Silver

  • IBJJF Spring Open NY 2017 - Blue Belt - Silver​

  • IBJJF Summer Open 2017 - Blue Belt - Bronze

  • Grappling Industries NYC 2017 - Blue Belt -
    Silver (Gi) Bronze (No-gi)


Beni Velu

Wrestling + Kids Coach

Beni teaches the adult wrestling class on Tuesday and kid's wrestling on Wednesday. He is also an active no-gi competitor.


Jon Hernandez + Harown Baher

Kid's Coaches

Coach Harown and Jon are seasoned blue belts who teach a majority of the kid classes at Gorilla BJJ.

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Eric Larsen

Kid's Coach

Eric is a purple belt under Professor Wilson. He is extremely passionate about BJJ, training 5-6 days a week. Assisting with the kids classes and the early morning classes. Eric is a father, husband, and a pillar in the community as he is a Detective in the Mahwah Police Dept. His two children, Dean and Gabriella are also Gorilla BJJ students.