BJJ Lifestyle Academy TESTIMONIALS

“After seven years of martial arts training with various team member and coaches, I thought I knew what it meant to be at a Dojo that offered me the skills I needed to perfect my art. That was until I met Mike Rethmeyer, or coach as I refer to him now. Mike teaches both men’s, women’s, and children’s self defense classes, and having trained with a former UFC champion, I can say that Mike is the best coach I have ever had. He is a black belt of the highest caliber and someone that cares about his students. I am a skilled martial artist having won various competitions in Brazilian Jujitsu and having trained kickboxing for many years and I can testify that under Mike’s tutelage, I am learning more and training harder than ever. I hope that those of you reading this come in and meet Mike and the rest of us. Our training will help you find the confidence to be in control of your own life.”

Morgan Freed, School Teacher


19 Jan 2011

Technical Sergeant Bob C. Young
NCOIC, First Term Airmen Center
375th Force Support Squadron
101 Heritage Drive, Suite 375
Scott AFB IL 62225

Dear Mike Rethmeyer

Please accept my sincere appreciation for the outstanding support you provided to the men and women of Scott AFB. BJJ Lifestyle Academy has donated hundreds of hours of free combative training to more that three hundred Scott Air Force Base personnel. You and your team volunteered their time to give military members new tools to use during work, physical fitness and home life. The training the military members received will be used to prepare them to make the right decisions while in exhausting and challenging situations. I received nothing but accolades and positive comments about the training the Airmen have received.

Your professionalism and effort have given Airmen at Team Scott tools they can use for the rest of their lives. Thank you for exemplifying the highest standards of leadership and mentorship.

Bob C. Young, TSgt, USAF


“Brazilian Mike and all of his instructors are highly qualified and able to teach martial arts on any level. Whether you are just beginning, or are a high level competitor, you can train to your fullest potential with Mike. Other than being very skilled and knowlegable of the fight game, Mike loves what he does and puts the time and work in that is necessary. This is what separates Mike’s gym from the rest.”

– Andrew Sanchez

“I have had the privilege of knowing Mike Rethmeyer for several years.  Having myself been involved in BJJ for many years, I can state unequivocally that Mike is the complete BJJ Representative.  He is a top notch coach, competitor and training partner.  Mike has remained true to Rodrigo Vaghi and his instructor Rickson Gracie’s commitment to efficiency and leverage based techniques.  Mike moves like a lightweight and has proven himself on the mat. He is a man of character and loyalty and I would recommend him as a coach for group sessions, self defense, MMA, privates, kid’s classes, combatives etc.”

– Jesse Hernandez, Judo Black belt, 3 Stripe BJJ Purple belt

“I started training with Mike Rethemyer in November of 2008.  Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Lifestyle Academy is like my second home.  The class is like my extended family.  My cardio is amazing and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in.  I’ve learned patience under pressure, and a methodical way to push myself when training.”

– Derek S. Craig

“Mike Rethemeyer is a world class competitor and a world class instructor. He is, without doubt, the best Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ) instructor in the St. Louis Metro East. Mike is committed, loyal and honest, and in return, he expects those same characteristics from his students.”

– Justen Hong

“I started training under Mike Rethmeyer in October of 2006 in Ofallon, IL and now train with him in Belleville, IL.  Mike does a great job focusing on teaching proper technique and has a great desire to see his students succeed. His new gym in Belleville is top notch with plenty of mat space and other students who train hard and check their ego at the door. I consider Mike a great coach, high-level competitor, and friend.”

–Eric W., Accountant

Testimony of the gym: “I’ve been training BJJ for almost a year and I can’t think of a better place to train than Belleville Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Life Style Academy. Not only does the training give you self confidence, it’s a great way to stay in shape and make long lasting friendships with your training partners. When I first started out I had very little, if any training experience. Now I can see the benefits of the hard work and dedication while training on a weekly basis. For me, I love the physical nature of the sport, as well as the seemingly infinite number of moves, submissions, escapes, chokes, etc… No matter how much you know, there’s always more to learn!”

Testimony of Mike: “Brazilian” Mike Rethmeyer has been my coach/instructor for almost a year. Mike is an incredibly patient individual who truly cares about every single one of his students. Mike honestly will help any student in any way he possibly can; which is the biggest reason I’ve continued my training with Mike at Belleville Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Life Style Academy. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner of the great sport, or a new beginner, Mike will give you his undivided attention and instruction in order to see you succeed. Mike is not only my coach on the mats, he is also a great friend off of the mats.”

John M. Ziebka, Human Resources Generalist – 375 FSS/FSMCE

“My son started training under Mike Rethmeyer shortly after his fifth birthday. At the time, he was an anxious child. He would become nervous and sometimes even cry before it was time to leave for class because he was afraid of, doing it wrong. About 6 months later, after watching her brother train, my daughter decided to quit gymnastics and try BJJ at the age of 7. So much has changed in two years! My son was recently awarded his grey belt and his anxiety level has nearly dissipated. My daughter is a four stripe white belt and is becoming less reluctant about rolling with older boys. Both kids have shown remarkable growth. They have learned to control emotional outbursts and they look forward to class.”

“Mike Rethmeyer has extended an invitation to the Belleville school kids to attend classes at the South St. Louis County location and my children were eager to take him up on that offer. Each morning they ask if it is a Belleville day or St. Louis day. They love the St. Louis days because the classes are about 30 minutes longer.”

“I feel the classes at BJJ Lifestyle Academy are critical in making children bully-proof and carry over into real-life situations more so than some other martial arts. Heaven forbid my children are ever involved in a street fight (or an even worse situation for my daughter) when they are older, but if they are I know they will have the skills and the knowledge to protect themselves.”

“As my now 7 year old son always says: BJJ isn’t a sport, Mom. It is a lifestyle.”

Gloria Hogue

I served 8 years in the Marine Corps, and had the opportunity to work as a Black Belt Instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Martial arts has been a passion of mine since I was a child. I am now the father of four boys, and I wanted to share that dream with them. The ability to protect yourself and others is highly important. I am now a police officer, and while most kids think that is cool, some kids my sons go to school with may be the children of parents I have taken to jail! My two oldest sons are now training at BJJ Lifestyle Academy. I started there with my oldest son back in 2011. I had the opportunity to win my first MMA fight Veteran’s Day weekend that year, thanks to the great mentorship of Coach Mike Rethmeyer. The fight took place in the very ballroom that my parents took me to see fights at when I was a kid. If you have the desire to learn the most practical and fun martial art on the planet, BJJ Lifestyle Academy is the place for you. Coach Mike Rethmeyer is one of the greatest people I have ever known. He is not just a coach, he is truly a friend. And the academy is not just a martial arts school, it is more like a family.

Officer Paul Anderson
Belleville Police Department

Former Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps

We have been doing business with Coach Mike for three years. It has been a fantastic
sport for our kids. Our son is 15 years old and our daughter is six years old and they
both love it. It is a sport that creates discipline and respect. During practices they
warm up as a team and are taught to respect each other. The other thing we love about the
gym is they have to earn their stripes and they have to work very hard through consistent
training! Coach Mike has one of the best schools and he trains the kids!!

Krista Tavares