“Finally, an academy and an instructor that make you feel welcome.  A true home away from home.  The perfect place to accomplish your goals both on and off the mats.”


Diego Saraiva

Owner/ Head Instructor

Born in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, Diego began Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 12 years old.  By 20, he had moved to the United States to compete and teach.  He received his black belt in January 2002 from Guilherme Santos.  Jiu Jitsu is a family affair in the Saraiva household.  His wife, Fernanda, is a purple belt.  Their 16 year old daughter, Milena Costa, are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belts. 

With over 30 black belt medals in the most prestigious events (IBJJF), Diego is one of the most decorated BJJ athletes in Atlanta.  He is also a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) OG with over 40 fights including the biggest events in the sport: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator, World Extreme Fighting (WEF), International Sports Combat Federation (ISCF), Palace Fighting Championships (PCF), and American Fight League (AFL).  He held titles in the AFL, PFC (2 weight classes), and the WEF.

Off the mats, Diego is known for his always smiling, happy, friendly, and upbeat demeanor.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


IBJJF black belt medals

  • World Championship – Silver medalist
  • 8-time Pan American Championship medalist
  • 7-time Atlanta Open Champion
  • American Nationals Champion
  • European NoGi Champion
  • Multiple-time IBJJF Open Champion (Miami, Cincinnati, Nashville, Washington DC, Lisbon, & Rome)

DJ Wegesin

Assistant Instructor

Born in Muncie, Indiana, DJ started wrestling at 5 and continued until the age of 21.  He earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Steve Headden in 2011 and his second degree from Diego Saraiva in 2018.  DJ also holds a black belt in American Karate, a brown belt in Judo, and he has extensive training in tactical defense with edged weapons and stick/baton. 

DJ had 7 mixed martial arts fights after the age of 42 showing that age is just a number.  His passion for the jiu jitsu lifestyle and helping others find joy in the sport are contagious.  Off the mats, he likes spending time wake surfing behind his boat.

Fernanda Saraiva

Kids Program Instructor

Fernanda is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, avid competitor, and an instructor in our Kids Program.  She is also the wife of head instructor, Diego Saraiva.

Born in Brasilia, Brazil, she moved to Atlanta in 2004.  She started BJJ in 2003 but didn’t practice consistently until 2017.  Since then, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a huge part of her life. Whenever she isn’t at the gym teaching and training, she is traveling the world competing or working at tournaments with Diego and their daughter.

Competition Highlights:

  • Europeans – Silver medalist (2020)
  • Master International – South America: Silver (2019); Gold (2018)
  • Atlanta Open – Gold (2019)
  • Houston Open – Bronze (2019)
  • American Nationals – Gold (2006)

Our Facilities

We are located in Norcross near the intersection of I85 and Jimmy Carter Blvd at 6290 McDonough Dr NW, Suite H, Norcross, GA 30093.

 Newly Renovated

  • 2,500 Sq Ft
  • New Zebra Mats
  • Men & Women’s changing rooms
  • Lounge/ Seating Area
  • Free Wifi

our Team

Our Family
Nova UniÃo

Diego has represented Team Nova União for over 20 years, and our academy is the Atlanta affiliate – Nova União Atlanta.  Nova União has an enduring history in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.  As one of the most accomplished MMA teams in the world, it is the team of Jose Aldo, Renan Barão, Tales Leites, and Wagnney Fabiano.  Its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu history includes some of the most famous athletes in history: Vitor Shaolin, Robson Moura, Shaolin, Leo Santos, Bruno Bastos, and Marcio Andre.

In addition to its athletic successes, Nova União is famous for charitable contributions – especially by providing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in impoverished communities.  It is known for its friendly, familial atmosphere that prioritizes highly technical jiu jitsu instruction in a fun & encouraging setting.

Academies Worldwide

Athletes in UFC, Bellator, or other big events

BJJ World Champions

Students Worldwide