We, as coaches of Hero Academy, honor our students, teach them to be humble and patient, show them how they are able to achieve whatever they want by being courageous, we respect their uniqueness and always make them have fun, laugh and smile

Rome Za

Head Instructor

Rome started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?in 2007/08, attending different wrestling clubs, but the training was limited, so he bought mats for the house to supplement his training.

He started training at Clockwork BJJ in NYC with Professor Josh Griffiths and earned his purple belt in 1.5 years (December 2009).?


Multiple injuries sustained at that time prevented him from training, but it didn?t prevent him from teaching so, He opened up his own academy.?

After healing from his injuries, Rome decided to go back to training by himself and chose to go start at the famed Marcelo Garcia Academy in NYC.?

He really started making big jumps in the quality of his own training while being exposed to so many different high-level practitioners.

In 2014 Rome decided to close his academy in NYC and move to Costa Rica with his family to open up their non-profit program for Brazilian Jitsu Jitsu.?

In 2016 Hero Academy Costa Rica was born.?

In June 2017, Rome received his Brown Belt From Professor Chino Ramirez.

Tournament Results: ??

2008 Naga World Championships No Gi 1st place2008 Grapplers Quest US nationals No Gi 1st place2008 Submission Shootout Tournament No Gi 1st place2009 New Jersey State Championships No Gi 1st place160 lb Gi 1st place2009 Grapplers Quest Beast of the east No Gi Bantamweight 1st placeNo Gi Flyweight 1st placeGi Bantamweight 1st place2009 Naga World Championships No Gi 1st place


Gi 2nd place2009 Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championships No gi flyweight advanced 3rd place2009 Grapplers quest Lancaster PA Gi under 130 1st placeGi under 150 2nd place2009 Naga North American Grappling Championship Gi Fly weight 2nd place2009 Inhouse Clockwork BJJ Tournament December 165 and under Gi 1st placeAbsolute 2nd place2010 Naga World Championships Expert division no gi 1st placePurple Belt Gi 2nd place2013 IBJJF No Gi Pan American Championships 2nd place

Jason Shireman


A father of 2 girls who excel in martial arts, he is a blue belt and has been training BJJ for 2 years. With an extensive background in Olympic wrestling, Jason finds it very rewarding giving back to a sport which has given him so much. 

Mike Chulack


Mike has trained in Martial Arts since childhood. After Wrestling in High School, and then practicing Kickboxing, and Boxing he discovered Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu in 2010. He fell in love with the complexity and physicality of the sport and set a goal of working towards a black belt. Moving to Tamarindo in 2016 from the hectic pace of NYC, allowed him to dedicate more time to training himself, as well as to assist with the children?s program at Hero. Working with the children and seeing their progress both physically and mentally has been an incredibly rewarding experience for him.

Ron Jarman


Ron started training BJJ in 2011 under Carlson Gracie Jr in Chicago. As a white belt and blue He competed regularly in local and national tournaments winning multiple medals in IBJJF, Naga, grappling Games and other organizations. What started out as a way to get back in shape for him quickly turned into something much more improving nearly every aspect of his life. He and his wife Holly moved to Tamarindo in 2017 and adopted a pup, Choco.

For him, coaching the kids has been an amazing experience passing on what he has learned to the next generation.