Professor Michael Donvito is the head instructor of Martial Arts of NC. He started training in traditional martial arts at the age of four and has continued for over 29 years, gaining a diversity of experience in martial arts. Michael’s success has earned him 8 black belts. He earned his first black belt, in Okinawa Kenpo Kubodo at the age of 11. A few months later, he received his second black belt in Japanese Jiu-jitsu. While continuing his training in both arts, Michael quickly gained interest in Judo. Training in Judo introduced Michael to ground fighting, which he quickly grew to love; grappling and submissions became his passion. Michael’s training in Judo lasted several years, in which time he earned his second-degree black belt.
In 1998, Michael was introduced to Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) by Special Forces personnel during training he led for his father. Over the next three years, Michael spent his time training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and continuing to teach close combat courses with his father. He trained with multiple world renown champions within the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Over those three years, Michael struggled to find an instructor that was able to commit the time to train him long-term; as a result, he worked with three different instructors in Jiu-Jitsu camps. Each time he started over with a new instructor, he would start from the beginning as a white belt; Michael was still able to earn his blue belt each of the three times. Some of the more well-known instructors that Michael has had over the years include: Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti, Marcelo Alonso, Gustavo Machado, Roberto “Gordo” Correa, Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano, and former UFC Middle Weight Champion, Frank Shamrock.
In Michael’s search for a mentor, and long-term BJJ instructor, Michael met and trained with Master Carlos Machado during a seminar in South Carolina. After training with Master Carlos, there was no doubt in Michael’s mind that Carlos was a great fit as his mentor. Michael started training under Master Carlos Machado in 2001 as a white belt. After a four year long, dedicated commitment to the art, Michael was promoted to black belt by Master Carlos Machado in 2005.
About Carlos Machado
Carlos started martial arts at the age of four. He currently holds the highest rank of this style in the Southwest, Ninth Degree Black Belt. His main instructor throughout his life was his cousin Carlos Gracie, Jr. but he has also trained with Helio Gracie, Carlson Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Crolin Gracie, Rillion Gracie and his brothers. While in Brazil, he successfully competed in several tournaments at both the state and national level.
Life in the US
In April 1994 he moved to Los Angeles, California. There he met martial arts movie star Chuck Norris, who was instrumental in promoting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Machado family. Mr. Norris has been one of the greatest advocates of Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos lived in Los Angeles until the end of 1995, when he moved to Dallas, Texas where he taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu out of the same building in which Chuck Norris’ television show “Walker, Texas Ranger” was filmed. This allowed Mr. Machado to teach at his studio and also take part in over 20 episodes of the popular show. He often assisted on choreographing fight scenes with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Chuck Norris earned his Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu directly from Carlos Machado.Master Machado is a world class competitor. He dominated he BJJ tournament scene for decades compiling an impressive career of victories.
State & National BJJ Champion from 1982 to 1993
Pan American of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 1997 & 1998
U.S Open 1998 & 1999
World Master’s Championships 2000 (two weight divisions)
Middle weight and open class