Success Stories

Success Stories


“Travis Tooke is an exceptional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. He has competed all over the world. Training with Travis is an invaluable experience and I would definitely recommend him as an instructor to anyone”.

Travis Lutter* -The Ultimate Fighter Season
4 Champion (Mixed Martial Arts)
2X Abu Dhabi Qualifier
Winner-Ultimate Submission Challenge 2003

Hosanna Rull has been a student at Team Tooke for over 4 years and has a truly inspirational story to share. In this video, Hosanna discusses how training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at Team Tooke helped to transform her life and how her teammates led her to become the person she is today. 

Jorge Maldonado is the owner and head instructor of Firehouse Music Academy and also a passionate Brazilian Jiu-jitsu student/athlete. In this video, Jorge discusses the value of working together as a team and the impact it has had on his life. 

Jared Barnes shares his experience training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai with the coaches and students here at Team Tooke

Jaime Lazcano, a Judo Black Belt, discusses why he chose Team Tooke to continue his Judo journey and how he started his path to mastering Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He also shares a little bit about the atmosphere and team camaraderie you can expect to find here at the academy

In this video, several Team Tooke students share their stories and experiences here at the academy. They range from the average student to the UFC aspiring pro MMA fighter. 

rafael_lovato_jr.jpg“With over 20 years experience in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I have competed and trained with the best all over the world. During that time I have had the pleasure to hangout and train with Travis Tooke. Travis excelled as a competitor and nothing has changed since he has become an instructor. He is dedicated to producing quality martial artists and his students are a testament to this. You won’t find a better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Houston!!”
Rafael Lovato Jr.*
-Most successful American Jiu jitsu competitor
-2007 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion
-Pan American Champion
-European Champion
-Undefeated MMA Fighter



anthonyvscarlo.jpg“I first met Travis Tooke at Carlos Machado’s academy in 1999. I remember when we first met we were the same rank but I outweighed him a lot. But he kept me on my toes and we went back and forth having some great battles and he became one of my best training partners! He has since competed everywhere and become a champion and now he runs a top and successful martial arts school. If you live in the Houston area go and train with him as he is a great instructor, competitor and friend.”
Anthony Perosh*
Brazilian Jiu jitsu Black Belt
UFC Veteran
Abu Dhabi Veteran

lee_wshirt.jpg“Travis Tooke’s program has been highly effective in teaching my child self-defense, which has further improved his self-confidence and discipline. Travis is an award-winning teacher who has been recognized as one of America’s best – it’s obvious when you witness his ability to connect with children and rapidly teach them fighting skills. I highly recommend his programs”
Lee Labrada*
CEO of Labrada Nutrition
22 Professional Bodybuilding Titles

tim_credeur.jpg“I would recommend Travis Tooke Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to anyone interested in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts. I trained very hard with Travis for a couple ofyears when I was a brown belt, during this time my game increased so quickly andso dynamically that I was promoted to the rank of Black Belt in the Carlson Gracie system with only 6 years of training. I attribute a large part of my success in MMA and BJJ directly to my training with Travis Tooke. Although Travis is very young he has a masters ability to explain and detail techniques that instantly become a part of your game. If anyone has the opportunity to train and learn from Travis Tooke take my advice, do yourself a favor and don’t miss it. Thanks again Travis for all of your help and I will see you on the mats soon.”
“Crazy” Tim Credeur*
Louisiana’s 1st BJJ Black Belt
KOTC and BODOG MMA Veteran

toddmoore.jpg“I’ve known Travis since High School Wrestling, even back then rival coaches would talk highly of him, I am very pleased to see him become as much of a success as he has. Travis schooled me on the mat almost 10 years ago, and even after 350 competitive matches under my belt since that time, he’s still a step ahead of me on the mat.”
-Pride Of Texas-
Todd Moore
-USA wrestling State Champion 2000, 2x UIL
District Wrestling Champion, 2x UIL State Qualifier (2001-2002)
time Gi and No gi Submission Wrestling Champion(2002-2007)
-1st ever Arnold
Classic MMA Champion 2005
-Shooto Americas MMA Welterweight Champion2005
-Ring of Combat MMA Welterweight Champion 2007

fredbingham.jpg“In 2006, I had gradually allowed myself to reach 235lb. I decided that I needed to get back in shape, but I didn’t want to go back to a run-of-the-mill gym. I had been watching MMA fights for a few months and was always impressed with the submission game. I’d be watching the fight at one minute, rooting the fighters on, and the next minute, it was over. I found and started looking up BJJ schools around the area. Many had good reviews but I stumbled across one school that I found ZERO negative comments about: Travis Tooke’s school.
I am typically a shy person around people I do not know so instead of calling, I emailed Travis asking about the school. He encouraged me to come in and check it out. The first night there, I watched training. I was impressed that everyone that came in to train cameup and said hello to me and introduced themselves.
I was addicted to training because 1) I could see constant improvement, 2) I was losing a lot of weight, 3) the group of people at the school were great to train with, and 4) because Travis motivated me to want to be better. I will note that 3 months after starting BJJ, I had gone from 215lb to 190lb. I had to buy all new clothes! Since then, I’ve been as light as 170lb and am in the best shape of my life. I was 185 my senior year of high school and I was never as lean nor as strong as I am now, even though I worked out in the gym every day. The core workout provided by BJJ is 100% awesome.
It’s 3 years later and I’ve progressed through the ranks just like anyone else. The school has grown a TON since I first started and I’ve met a lot of great people who I consider friends. The facilities are awesome and we’re constantly improving. The lack of ego and the team camaraderie keep me motivated to continue doing what I love. I plan to continue my BJJ training as long as possible. Regardless of how long it may take, my eventual goal is to receive my black belt in BJJ under Travis. Even though I do not train for rank, but for personal improvement and fitness, I know the rank will come over time. Travis has always been a great instructor for me and is unmatched at explaining techniques and details. Even if I didn’t train in BJJ, he is the kind of person I am glad to call my friend.”
Fred Bingham*
Team Tooke BJJ Blue Belt

gracie_barra_pics_005.jpg"Posso resumir o Travis em 3 palavras determinacao, amizade e objetivo! Lembro me quando voce chegou ao Brasil dizendo que so voltaria para os eua depois que voce fosse faixa preta e foi exatamente oque aconteceu! Em treinos duros todos os dias voce evoluiu muito rapido e aprendeu o verdadeiro Jiu jitsu Brasileiro e hoje em dia tenho certeza que e um exelente professor, ja estudamos muito o Jiu jitsu juntos e tenho certeza que esse e o caminho para evolucao nao so dentro do jiu jitsu mas como um ser! Travis amizade,determinacao,e objetivo!"
Lucio “Lagarto” Rodrigues*
Brazilian Jiu jitsu Black Belt
Multiple Time
Brazilian Champion

Team Tooke Martial Arts
5.0 out of 5.0 based on 25 Positive Review(s)



marcushicks.jpg“As a competitor I grew up watching Travis Tooke saw through the competition like a surgeon on the operating table. As a coach he showed the same passion and drive every time he taught. He always stressed their importance of perfecting a technique and making it your own before moving on to another move. That’s what makes him a great coach and anyone fortunate enough to learn from him should take full advantage of both his grappling expertise and his ability to bring out the best in anyone.”
Marcus “The Wrecking Ball” Hicks
Brazilian Jiu jitsu Black Belt
Pro Boxer
MMA Fighter

“Since joining Team Tooke, my life has changed drastically… for the better! Before joining, my confidence was low and my health was horrible. But now all that has changed. Since joining, I’ve become confident in myself; that should a situation ever arise, I could defend myself. The same goes for my health. Before starting with Team Tooke, I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, but now, I’ve become much more health conscience. I’ve lost weight and gotten into some of the best shape of my life, and plan to continue on this path!
The staff at Team Tooke is a major motivator for me. I ask you, how can anyone be around Coach Travis, a man whose trained with some Jiu-Jitsu’s best, and not feel motivated to train?! The same goes for Coaches Jeremy, Jayhson, Jace, and Todd. These men all have a true passion for MMA and pass that same passion on to the students. All are friendly, down-to-earth guys, with lots of experience and knowledge and do such a great job at breaking down the techniques and explaining it to the students.
Not only is the staff at the gym great, but the members of the gym are cool as well. Everybody there is eager to learn and ready to train. Everybody helps each other as much as they can. The team is very supportive of one another and it shows. There are no egos, no MMA meat-heads (thank goodness), just a good group of people, who are very respectful, hard working and ready to learn. The atmosphere at the gym is very relaxed… but don’t be fooled, because as soon as you hit that mat, prepare to train hard!
Being around Coach Travis and the other instructors keep me motivated to train. It’s funny, like most members, I joined Team Tooke because of MMA. It was the new hot thing to do and everybody wanted to learn how to fight
“UFC” style. But after spending some time around the gym, that has changed. Now, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/ submission grappling has become my passion. It’s what drives me to live a clean lifestyle and now I promote the beautiful art of BJJ to everyone I know. I love the sport so much, that I’m already planning on signing my son up for BJJ classes at Team Tooke, and he’s not even born yet! (I got his gi in the mail the other day… sweetness!)
The road to a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu is a long hard one, and Lord knows I have quite a ways to go, but with people like coaches Travis, Jeremy, Todd, and Jace there push me and continuing to teach me, I know I will get there. I recommend this academy to anybody who truly appreciates BJJ and is ready to take their training to the next level. … Anybody who can teach me how to properly execute an armbar is truly a special person… :) “
Joshua Perales*
Team Tooke BJJ Student

“To any and all who are considering training with Travis Tooke…Travis is a disciplined athlete and talented teacher. His technical knowledge and physical abilities earned him the rank of black belt, in Brazil, under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Travis never ceased to impress me during our training sessions at Gracie Barra in Rio and I would be glad to have him in my corner any day. Whether it’s training for a hobby or to compete professionally, Travis is a valuable coach for anyone.”
Dennis A. Asche*
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
MMA Fighter
1st Place Finish in the Jean Jaques Open, US Nationals and the Gracie Open, and a US vs.
Brazil Challenge Match at the Pan Ams

“My time training with Team Tooke has been an extremely valuable experience to me. The in depth instruction that I have received from Coach Travis, Jeremy, and the other instructors over the past few months have really helped me to clean up my technique and refine my game. I really appreciate the explanations of how to create angles, the importance of positioning, creating space, and attacking through combinations. I also like the coaches’ insights on the little things they might do in certain situations depending on what the opponent does.
Team Tooke is the most logical choice when compared to other schools I checked out before enrolling. I love how organized the classes are. Other schools seem to lack this organization  in that there doesn’t seem to be much of a lesson plan or theme for each week let alone each class. Also, other Houston area MMA schools seem sloppy (compared to Team Tooke) in their BJJ technique and it seems like many moves are muscled or just done really fast. Team Tooke also gave me 30 days to try out all their classes, but I was hooked within the first few days.
I also like the diversity in the programs offered. There are just so many styles to choose from. I almost exclusively take the BJJ classes but I like the Judo class a lot too. I’ve been shown some judo moves before at a Karate school when I was a kid but I was never taught how to set up my throws, the push pull relationship, the importance of getting my opponent off balance firstly before committing to a throw, the grip game, or even how to fall correctly. All of these principals translate really well into BJJ and they help me immensely in my stand up game.
I can’t go without mentioning how awesomely convenient the schedule is offering both afternoon and night time classes just about every day of the week. This has been a huge advantage to me seeing as I am currently in a transitional stage in my life and I can’t really afford the luxury of routine. Some days I drop in for the morning class, and on other days I might come in the evening.
Ultimately, everyone one is friendly and courteous. No one is trying to outright dominate anyone or overcompensate for something. The name Team Tooke is fitting because everyone works as a team to help each other become better at whatever it is they pursue. Some want to be fighters, others wish to compete. My original intentions were never to step into a cage or to compete at NAGA. I just wanted to learn self-defense. I think I walked into the school not really understanding the culture. Now I am considering and can actually see myself competing at a BJJ tournament sometime in the near future. I find myself now really liking the realm and I can see myself practicing BJJ for the rest of my life. “
Adrian Campa*
Team Tooke BJJ & Judo Student

“Over the four years of me living and training in Brazil I met many foreigners and none showed the discipline, dedication or determination that Travis displayed while training at Gracie Barra. Travis and I shared many good times on the mats training and competing together during our time as Brown Belts in Brazil and I can attest to the fact that his Jiu Jitsu is as authentic as it gets as is his personality and professionalism. I would highly recommend Travis as a teacher, a training partner and a friend.”
Josh Russell*
Gracie Barra Black Belt
Instructor of “Turtle Guard” DVD
Brazilian National Team Championship 2nd place 2004
Rio de Janeiro State Championships
overall champion 2004
Rolls Gracie Cup Champion 2004
Cyclone Cup Champion
3 time Rio de Janeiro State Ranking Champion 03/04

“When the UFC started in the early 90′s, Royce Gracie really caught my attention. The whole Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu thing was very interesting to me but I didn’t understand it coming from a Taekwondo background. I put off my interest in BJJ because of school, work, and playing music. Finally my curiosity got the best of me and in 2005; I started training in a friend’s garage in my spare time. I was the typical bull. I always tried to muscle my way through a sparing match and just tired out. I was having so much fun but wasn’t really learning any technique. One day I was sitting at work and thought to myself, “What am I waiting for?” I didn’t want to look back twenty years from now and think I should have done the things I really wanted to do.
I called my friend I trained with, Tony Lafferty, and asked about his friend that trained him. Tony told me about this really awesome Jiu-Jitsu guy named Jayson Rogers. Tony said that there is a place that Jayhson trains at that he heard is really good. So I asked Tony to find out where this place is so I could go check it out. Tony finally calls me one day a said, “Hey! I found out the place Jayson trains at. Look up a guy named Travis Tooke that is T-O-O-K-E, this guy is really awesome.”
So I look up Travis Tooke and found the website. I read just about everything there, filled out the contact information and clicked “SUBMIT”; by the way, I think that’s pretty funny,”SUBMIT”. It must have been an hour or so and my cell phone rings, It’s Coach Travis! I told him my story, who I knew and how I was referred to him and Travis, being the friendly and positive way he is said to come by to check out the class.
My first warm-up with Travis was something else. I got pretty tired. What was going on? I thought I was in pretty good shape. I quickly learned that there is more to fitness than running and lifting weights. The first guys I practiced with were Jay Mathis, Brian Laborde, and George my first day.
I was hooked! Four months later I enter my first tournament and had so much fun! I didn’t win my first match but had a great time trying. Everyone said they saw the guy tap. I didn’t make a big deal about it, I was having fun! Less than one year after I started training I entered NAGA and won 1st place in gi beginner and 2nd place gi advanced, there were only two of us competing in advanced. Four months later in December 2008 I enter NAGA again and take 1st place in no gi.
The atmosphere in the school is top notch! Everyone has a great time together; the camaraderie is second to none! I personally like the facility but I wish it was closer to home; I drive close to 30 miles to train but it’s absolutely worth it.
The coaching staff has always been great! When I started training, I got a lot of quality time with Professor Travis. As the school grew, the more advanced belts stepped up to help coach. I can tell you from first hand experience, everyone Travis refers to as a coach is more than qualified! These guys are very helpful, knowledgeable and willing to take that extra minute or two to be certain your question is answered. I proudly wear my Team Tooke shirts and recommend to school to everyone that asks about it. “
Chris Martinez*
Team Tooke BJJ Purple Belt

“Whoever coined the phrase, “Nice guys finish last”, obviously had never met Travis Tooke. Travis is living proof that nice guys can, and often do, finish first. His credentials as a competitor are impressive; just check out his bio if you have any doubts. In fact, I don’t know of a more decorated champion in his weight class anywhere in Texas, but what is equally impressive is the way in which he treats his students and the positive atmosphere that he has created at his academy, Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts. I have been in a number of schools around the U.S. and I can honestly say that I have never seen an atmosphere of brotherhood and support as found in Team Tooke MMA. Travis is a consummate “professor” of jiu-jitsu; he shows, explains, and corrects detail in such a way that you walk away from each lesson with a better game than when you walked in. I had the privilege to be introduced to Travis about a year and a half ago. Since working with him, my skills and knowledge have increased tremendously. In fact, with Travis’s help, I finally gained the confidence to start the first jiu-jitsu program in a public middle school in the Houston area. Travis provided the curriculum and is consultant to the Ser-Ninos Charter School Jiu-Jitsu Team. I needed a program that would give my students a sound knowledge of fundamentals, improve their fitness levels, and be dynamic enough to hold their attention and interest. I knew from experience that Travis would be the ideal master instructor to handle this project. The students involved in our program have grown tremendously in both their physical skills and mental/character development. The collaboration with Travis has been a blessing for our school and the students have benefited greatly from it. If you are looking for an awesome place grow as a student of the grappling arts, and want to train in a supportive, positive atmosphere where national champions share their knowledge and skills with every single student who steps on the mat, you can’t go wrong with Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts.”
Robert Strane*
Teacher -Ser-Ninos Charter School
Houston, TX

“I have always been interested in Martial arts. Before I joined the Marine Corps, I had limited formal training. The Marines taught me a lot of the basics in a mixed form of genres to be what are considered combat effective techniques. Basically I could hold my own in a fight. I have always had the itch to improve though. Once I reached my Brown belt in the Marine corps, I started to look outside my traditional forms of training for more technical moves and better workouts to round out my skills, and build solid game, . Since I began training with Team Tooke, my game has grown 10 fold. I have gained confidence both on and off the mat like I would have never expected. But what got me the most was my overall level of athleticism. I have been working out harder. Pushing myself farther. Running faster, and longer. Other guys I train with can’t keep up with my cardio ability. I had my hand raised 4 times in my last tournament which was also only my second tournament. My peers in the Marines have noticed the improvements in my ground game and my athletic ability. When I compete, I feel like my game is stronger than a lot of opponents. Recently, I have been looking to push myself harder and farther than ever. I watch your Fundamentals DVD when I am training at home to fine tune my techniques, and find new exercises. When I talk to other competitors, they know the Tooke name well, and have always had good things to say about our team as well. All in all, I am at a new level, and I only want to be at the next one. My job makes it difficult sometimes, but when I am not in class I am at home training. Your class has inspired me to shoot for new limits. Thank you all for everything you do!”
Daniel Hoffman*
Team Tooke BJJ Student

basics_web_pics_079.jpg“After spending a year training with Travis in Brazil and having regular private lessons, I would highly recommend not only training with him but also private tuition if you are serious about your Jiu Jitsu. Due to clear explanations and an in depth knowledge he has helped my Jiu Jitsu significantly. Sometimes correcting basic techniques and other times looking at more complex positions and strategies. It was also reassuring watching him use the same techniques that he teaches to win both his fights in the Brazilian National Team Championships against black belts when he was still a brown belt. “
Steve Campbell*
Gracie Barra Black Belt
Rio de Janeiro State Champion

jennysoto.jpg“Being part of team Tooke is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Even though I haven’t been here long I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve met great new people, I’ve learned to be more confident, and I had never been so motivated to do something before. That has to do a lot with the coaches, you guys know how to motivate people, because you show the passion you have for what you do. The fact that you give everyone as much attention as you can, and that when someone doesn’t get something right in the first attempt you don’t give up on them is very unique. You actually help them get the techniques down, and encourage them to not give up. I haven’t met coaches on other sports with that type of motivation before. It is actually one of my favorite things about joining team Tooke, but my ultimate favorite thing about team Tooke is all the respect everyone shows towards each other.”
Jenny Soto*
Team Tooke Student

drake_1.jpg“My personal experience with Travis is that he is one of the best teachers that I have worked with. I know that he has always tried to help me if I had a question. I have to say that he has the best set ups to reversals that I’ve ever seen. If you have a question about reversals or anything on the ground, he is definitely the guy to ask!”
Drake Dudley-NAGA Worlds Kids Champion
Multiple Time Grapplers Quest Champion
2002 – Brazilian Children’s Championship
Multiple time State and National Champion
Combined record of 128-12 in Boxing, Wrestling and Jiu Jitsu

jessesoto.jpg“For over 20+ yrs. of my life I’ve wanted to take some form of Martial Arts. See, growing up was never easy for me. Fighting in the “HOOD” to defend myself from crack heads trying to steal my shoes or dope dealers trying to holding me at gun point for my jewelry. Street fighting was my only solution. I would always tell my dad to enroll me in a school, but we could never afford it. Yet now at 24 with a sister at 18 I’ve never been more happier and proud to be enrolled in such an AMAZING school. There is deep respect from the Instructors to the students and visa versa. They are very very helpful with not just teaching what they know, but with advice that will help you out of the school as well. I especially love how there is no cockiness among peers. Everybody is willing to help each other to better themselves. Joining this Team has honestly and I truly, mean this with everything in me, been the best thing that I could have ever done. My family and friends support me 1986% percent with this and it makes me happy to see when my sister is ready to be on her own. I will be able to sleep knowing she will be okay where ever she maybe. Thank you Team Tooke for everything that I have been tought and learned and the rest of great things I have left to be taught. Wish Much love to my team…”
Jesse Soto*
Team Tooke MMA Student

rodgers.jpg“I have been training jiu-jitsu for over six years and the training I receive at Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts has undoubtedly pushed my skill level to an all time high. Team Tooke MMA is in a class of its own. A far cry from traditional martial arts, here you learn grappling and self defense in its most technical form. Much respect for coach Travis Tooke and everyone at Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts. Keep it coming!!!”
Jayhson Rodgers*
BJJ Black Belt
North American Grapplers Championship-Champion
Grapplers Quest-Champion

cesargarcia.jpg“Jiu-Jitsu has helped me with ground speed. The conditions and drills that I work on have helped me get fit and stronger. The techniques have helped me remember and get to know my positions, submissions, throws, sweeps and escapes. The Team Tooke instructors have taught me very well on what I need to know. It’s a good gym for training in. The classes keep me motivated to keep going and want to do it more.“
Cesar Garcia
Team Tooke Kids Grappling Student

“I have trained with Travis Tooke for over two years now. After looking at other martial arts schools, I feel that his instruction is probably the best that Houston has to offer. His attention to detail is unlike any instructor I’ve trained with. Travis understands different body types and will help you progress by leaps and bounds faster than you could anywhere else. The classroom is dedicated to hard training. Be prepared to sweat, but the reward is justified in knowing that the training you receive will take your skills to the next level. Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts has a great group of guys that are here to help you every step of the way. In a nutshell…AWESOME EXPERIENCE.”
David Sowell*
BJJ blue belt

david_selby.jpg“I like Team Tooke because all of the coaches are so nice to everyone in the class. The coaches train us good. All of the coaches make everyone feel welcome.”
David Selby
Team Tooke Kids Grappling Student

“my personal opinion is: we need more people like ya’ll; to keep the kids with that great attitude, when they think how far they’re going to get if they stay in your school so that have to do with ya’ll method of training that motivate the kids to think like that thanks for all your help with our kids to make them be the mans of tomorrow… “
Helmer Landaverde*
Team Tooke Parent

“As a law enforcement officer it is important to be prepared for a physical confrontation. My preparation starts with Travis Tooke. At Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts we train hard, but safe and we are constantly learning more. I have trained grappling with other instructors and it is apparent that Travis is a gifted instructor and practitioner. His attention to detail is unmatched and the training environment is very positive. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, Travis can definitely improve your game.”
Don Mouser*
Law Enforcement Officer
BJJ Black Belt 

Thanks for everything the experience that I had I will never forget. I really enjoy every bit of it and wish that I could go back. Its the best MMA school I ever attended in my life. maybe in the future. Thanks you! If it wasn't for TTMMA I would have not know how to move forward in life. You guys gave me the motivation of becoming someone I thought I would have never been. when I stared I at first didn't know what to do or what to say. Over time I became stranger and better and it became very clear that there is more to life then just setting around and wishing for something to happen. Till this day I carry that motivation and knowledge of what it is to be a member of TTMMA. Thank you again for everything!
Rolando Reyes-Team Tooke Student*