Our staff consists of a team of professional martial artists dedicated to quality and student service. Many of our instructors hold titles and awards from national and international competitions. More importantly, they are passionate about teaching and dedicated to the success of each individual student. We understand the critical role our instructors play in your personal, or your child’s, development. For that reason, only the most professional and highly qualified instructors are allowed to instruct. Click next to the instructor’s name to find out more about them.
Frank Cucci – Senior Mentor and Founder of Linxx Academy
Frank Cucci is the Founder and Head Instructor of the Linxx Academy of Martial Arts. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams and has over 30 years of martial arts experience. He is considered by many to be one of the most experienced and highly skilled martial artists in the country. He holds teaching certifications from some of the world most prominent martial arts instructors. Mr. Cucci provides oversight for the training and supervision of over 300 students and continues to teach military and law enforcement groups across the nation. His dedication, integrity, and consistency in providing top quality training have made Linxx one of the most highly respected and quality martial arts programs in the nation.
Bill Odom – Master Instructor
Bill Odom, an 8th degree black belt, is an accomplished martial artist with over 50 years experience as a karate (tang soo do) practitioner and instructor. He traces his martial arts lineage to some of the world’s most respected masters. He began martial arts training in Thailand at age ten and developed his foundational skills under the tutelage of James K. Roberts, Sr. in Springfield, Virginia. After ten years of karate training, he joined the US Army. During his 25 years of military service commanding infantry units including Army Rangers, he acquired a wide-ranging knowledge of other martial arts and honed his teaching skills. He developed an introductory tae kwon do program for over 14,000 soldiers serving in Korea, has taught men and women of all ages, and is a former nationally ranked competitor. He continues his martial arts education with regular training sessions at the famous Gracie University and is currently a black belt jiu-jitsu student of Rorion, Ryron, and Rener Gracie. He established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center and is a certified Level 4 instructor. Today, he possesses the experience, knowledge, skill, mature judgment, and commitment to excellence found only in the best instructors. He is a Norfolk resident and father of four, including a graduate of Maury High School.
Larry Yap – Senior Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor
Lawrence (Larry) Yap is a retired US Army ranger with over 40 years of martial arts experience. He received his black belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu from Rorion Gracie in 2013. He also earned black belts in Hapkido from Grandmaster Song S. Choi, and in Judo/Midori Yama Budokai Japanese Jiu-jitsu from Sensei Frank Barry. He has competed in amateur boxing (AAU and PAL) and Muay Thai (under Kru Takkratoke) since age 10. His wide-ranging fight experiences include all-service military Muay Thai bouts (Nakorn Si Thammarat) and U.S.-Thai friendship competitions (Lumpini and City Hall, Saraburi, Thailand). Larry wrestled at both the high school and collegiate levels at the University of Missouri. In 1989, he began his Gracie Jiu-jitsu training under Relson Gracie and Romolo Barros in the garage in Hawaii Kai and at the University of Hawaii, eventually earning his purple belt. In 1992, he began competing in no-gi, sambo, and MMA competitions (California, Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii, UAE, Brazil, Thailand, Korea and Japan). Larry retired from competition in 2000. Today, Larry is back in the game and committed to improving his teaching skills as an NKAGJJN instructor, certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy black belt instructor as a coach and instructor. Larry is a Chesapeake resident and the father of two Grassfield High School graduates.
Bernardo Figueiredo – Lead Instructor for Adult Programs
Bernardo Figueiredo is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt and a certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor. He started his martial arts journey at Norfolk Karate Academy only ten years ago, but has already earned a reputation as an amazing instructor and jiu-jitsu practitioner. He brings to the mat the physical and mental skills and experience of an elite athlete based on a lifetime of competition swimming at the international level. He teaches Gracie Combatives and Master Cycle classes in Virginia Beach as well as private classes in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Mark Lilly – Instructor
Mark began his martial arts training as a teenager in Los Angeles, CA training with Bruce Lee protégés Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillio. Mark entered into the Navy and served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for 23 years completing 15 combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan earning multiple awards for valor including five Bronze Stars with Valor, a Silver Star and Purple Heart. Mark started his training at Linxx Academy in the early 1990’s and earned his Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu in 2016. Today Mark owns and operates Syncon, a specialized construction company focused on the needs of DOD and other government agencies. Mark helps teach both the adult and kids classes where his two children Roni and Talon attend.
Brett Thompson – Instructor
Brett Thompson began his training with LINXX in 1997 and is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy certified instructor. He was an All-American high school wrestler, and was ranked among the top 10 wrestlers in the nation. Brett received a full scholarship to Virginia Military Institute where he continued to wrestle at the Division 1 level. In addition to teaching and training Jiu-Jitsu, Brett runs a successful law firm in Virginia Beach. http://www.ThompsonLawGroupVA.com
Scott Turner – Instructor
Scott Turner began training with LINXX in 1994. Scott was an avid competitor during the early years of his training and accumulated an impressive record. Today, Scott owns a successful construction company and enjoys surfing and watching his son, Jackson, participate in the Junior Grapplers program.
Jason Picano – Instructor
Jason Picano began his martial arts training in 1985 studying a traditional style of Karate. He was an avid Karate tournament competitor in the 1980s and early 1990s but learned the importance of ground fighting, through several personal experiences, and began studying Jiu-Jitsu at Linxx Academy in 1998. Jason is a graduate of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy’s Instructor Certification Program and passionately shares his belief that Jiu-Jitsu can benefit anyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or perceived limitations. Jason enjoys spending time with his family and works as a senior structural engineer and project manager.
Keoni Nery – Lead Instructor for Bullyproof Program and School Manager
Keoni is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu purple belt and a certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor. He is a long-standing member of the school with several years of muay thai training in his martial arts skill set. In addition to leading the youth programs, Keoni assists with adult classes and manages all aspects of school operations.
Lori Strickland – Lead Instructor for Women’s Self-Defense Course
Lori is a Gracie jiu-jitsu blue belt and a certified Women Empowered® instructor.