Professor Mark Mireles
3rd Degree JJ Machado Black Belt
Mark Mireles, affectionately nicknamed Big Mark by Jean Jacques Machado is one of Professor Machado's most accomplished students both on and off the mat. Big Mark is a 3rd Degree Black Belt under the legendary Jean Jacques Machado. He is also a black belt in judo and was an All American in NCAA Club Judo. Big Mark was also a distinguished wrestler who earned All American honors in the Olympic style Greco Roman Wrestling. He was also a 4 times Police & Fire Games Gold Medalist / World Champion in Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. He is distinguished authority on wrestling and Judo transitional positions and techniques in the application of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Big Mark was a student and practitioner of leadership when he served in the United States Marine Corps. Upon a Honorable Discharge from the USMC Big Mark was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Academy and subsequent served and protected for 28 years a Los Angeles Police Officer. As a police officer, he was worked the mean streets of Los Angeles in the cities most violent years.
Big Mark is a former IBJJF No-Gi World Champion in the Masters Black Division. Off the mat he had one the most celebrated and heroic polices careers.
Master Jean Jacques Machado always made a point to note that Big Mark's martial arts training and focus of jiu jitsu was protecting people who could not protect themselves - first as a US Marine and then as a career street cop and member of the Los Angeles Police Department. Big Mark was recognized on six separate occasions for saving human lives in perilous events. Big Mark is a three-time recipient of the LAPD's Medal of Valor, the highest award for personal bravery bestowed to its officers. He was also awarded the Police Star and Life Saving Medals.
For dangerous rescue in 2006 Big Mark was awarded the California Public Safety Medal of Valor presented to him at the State Capitol by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was also later presented with the Carnegie Hero Medal the international award recognizing heroic valor in dire situations. Upon honorable retirement with three decades of street police experience Big Mark recognized as one of the most decorated police officers in the history of American law enforcement.
Big Mark accomplished all these feats while under the ledge of Master Machado and a member of the Tarzana headquarters Academy. There is no doubt why he holds a special place in the history of this Academy as a citizen, police officer, and martial artist.
Professor Jean Jacques Machado always said "A black belt is just a white belt that never quit."
This is true in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and this is true in life and Big Mark is so grateful to have had Jean Jacques and his influence in his life.