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Nick Salles

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Nick Salles is a professional jiu-jitsu competitor and a black belt under Mikey Musumeci, who worked extensively with other illustrious coaches such as Marcelo Garcia, Jason Scully, and Kurt Pellegrino. Salles is also one of the faces behind the Movement Art Academy, a Philadelphia-based gym Nick co-founded with fellow black belt Daniel Maira.

Nick Salles Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Nicholas S Salles

Nickname: “Tamandua” is the name Nick’s father jokingly appointed him when he was a teenager. This was due to Salles commonly clinging on to his opponents and not letting go when competing, a trait very similar to the Tamandua anteater species when protecting itself from predators.

Lineage : Carlos Gracie Helio Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Rafael Fofitio > Gilbert Burns > Michael Musumeci > Nick Salles

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF Charleston Open (2021***)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Charleston Summer Open (2021)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • F2W Gi Featherweight Champion (2020 brown)
  • 1st Place AJP Grand Slam, LDN (2020 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI Juvenile (2011*)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI Juvenile (2011)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF American Nationals (2019 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2020 brown)
  • 3rd Place AJP Grand Slam, AD (2020 brown)
  • 3rd Place AJP Grand Slam, TYO (2019 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI Juvenile (2011)

* Absolute
** Weight and Absolute
*** Closed Division With Team Mate

Favorite Position/Technique: Berimbolo

Weight Division: Pena

Team/Association: Movement Art

Nick Salles Biography

Nick Salles was born on September 28, 1995, in Long Branch, New Jersey, growing up in Oceanport, a town located in the Jersey shore.

Martial arts entered Nick’s life during his early childhood as a tool for improvement in the self-confidence and self-defense departments. Two fundamental attributes for Salles’ mental and physical wellbeing after a few bullying episodes.

Taekwondo was Salles’ first passion, later moving onto karate while competing extensively in both sports. During his pre-teens, Nick decided to sign up at a local Tiger Shulman’s school where he was exposed to mixed martial arts (MMA). As it happens in every MMA Academy, grappling was a big portion of the curriculum, a discipline which Salles took a particular interest in from early on in his development.

Although he had been practicing striking martial arts from very early in life, Salles became progressively more interested in jiu-jitsu, so much so that, by the age of 13, he decided to focus solely on the mat, removing the other martial arts from his schedule. His love for grappling and the intricacies of this combat style also led Nick to wrestle throughout middle school and for some of high school.

A martial arts practitioner for most of his life, Nick was embedded in the competition side of these combat sports to a great extent, nevertheless, he had never won a tournament in either taekwondo or karate. With his new sporting interest, jiu-jitsu, the reverse happened as the sporting facet of grappling came naturally to the young Jersey native and fit very well with his – near-obsessive – drive to perfect technique over athleticism.

Nick Salles’ first jiu-jitsu instructor was Jason Scully, the founder of the Grapplers Guide series. Scully’s love for the Gentle Art was greatly absorbed by Salles and helped cement his desire to become the best version of himself. While climbing the ranks, Salles’ tuition was handed by a few different instructors, namely Jon Heleotis, Kurt Pellegrino, and Bill Scott – who awarded Nick his brown belt.

Shortly after receiving his brown belt, Nick was nearing the end of his undergraduate studies (Salles has a degree in Biology from Monmouth University) and wanted to branch out from the local jiu-jitsu scene to have a real shot at his lifelong goal of conquering the IBJJF World Championships title. To accomplish this he joined the Marcelo Garcia Academy (MGA) in Manhattan, New York City.

While at MGA the COVID-19 pandemic hit NYC first and harder than most American regions, with the city defending itself by putting in place the hardest restrictions in the nation. Sadly, this meant the closing of all jiu-jitsu activities. As the sport slowly made a return in the US, NYC kept harsher measures, these forced Nick Salles and his teammate Daniel Maira to seek an alternative route for their training. The option was to open their own gym, Movement Art, in Philadelphia. While doing so, they also became Mikey Musumeci‘s training partners/students, and it was the well-known American jiu-jitsu legend who promoted Nick Salles to black belt, in November 2020.

Nick Salles Grappling Record

    2 (29%)
    1 (14%)
    4 (57%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back
    3 (75%)
    1 (25%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Nick Salles Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
26313Lucas ValleLPointsDetroit OpenABSF2021
26433Richar NogueiraRichar NogueiraLPts: 2x2, AdvAmerican Nats70KGSF2021
27104Johnny TamaJohnny TamaLPts: 4x0Charleston SO76KGF2021
27310Diego SodreDiego SodreLPts: 4x2Pan American70KGR12021
25540Edward AllenWChoke from backCharleston Open70KGSF2021
26311Charles McGuireWWristlockDetroit OpenABS4F2021
26312Thiago CintraWAdvDetroit OpenABSSF2021
26429Elijah TagalogWPts: 6x4American Nats70KG4F2021
26600Dez McDonaldWTriangleFury ProN/ASPF2021
27099Joao MarcoWPts: 8x6Charleston SO76KG4F2021
27103Luan AndreiWChoke from backCharleston SO76KGSF2021

Nick Salles Highlight


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