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Uplay founder



Leonardo Neves was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where he started his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training at the age of 15, under the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Academy of São Paulo.
In 1999, Leonardo Neves moved to Florida, USA, to focus both on improving his English skills as well as his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu technique. There, he started his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice under the coaching of the renowned Rodrigo ¨Minotauro¨ Nogueira of the “De La Riva”’ school.

In 2000, Neves received an invitation from Leonardo Negão Silva to compete in the European Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship where he won the 73kg division and the absolute weight division. His impressive performance in the sport captured the attention of acclaimed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies around Europe. With global requests to share his expertise, Neves finally chose Sweden as his next battleground. Sweden became a training ground, which then led to the opening of Leonardo’s first academy, Lund Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy.

After several years of running a successful-training academy, Leonardo gained the attention of an international business investor in Turkey who was interested in developing a line of professional fitness and martial arts centers in Istanbul with Neves’ help. Neves accepted the year-long partnership in Turkey where he became a driving force in the expansion of these gyms. 

His innovative teaching approach and fresh business perspective have helped expand the Team Neves Brazilian Jiu Jitsu method now found in 35 academies across Europe which include: Croatia, England, Germany, Romania, Serbia and Sweden to name a few. Since 2014, Leonardo has collaborated to start a branch of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies in the Russian cities of Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Tyumen.


Leonardo Neves has now taken the next step in his fighting career and has made the move to Luxembourg to expand his knowledge of the fighting industry and market. He is also developing some exciting fitness projects.


BJJ Lineage
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