Jimmy started learning Jiu-Jitsu from Professor Pedro Valente in 1993. Jimmy and Pedro's friendship dates back to their high school days at the American School of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1993 both decided to enroll at the University of Miami where they became roommates. Influenced by Pedro's love for Jiu-Jitsu and Royce's amazing victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship Jimmy was attracted by the Jiu-Jitsu philosophy. Soon Jimmy became one of Pedro's most technical students. In December of 2003 Professor Pedro Valente awarded Jimmy his Black Belt and instructor's certification. Jimmy's loyalty, moral attributes and years of dedication combined with his technical abilities allowed him to be the only paerson to be awarded Valente Brothers Instructors Diploma.