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 9 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. Today, Michael has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 20 years. He has had the honor of being taught by Master Carlos Machado for over 17 of them. In April of 2018, Michael was promoted to 5th degree Black Belt by Master Carlos Machado.