Over 27 Years Experience! • International Champion Instructor

Martial Arts





About BJJ Lifestyle Academy.


We teach a unique, modern and open-minded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style for students of all levels, whether they want to excel in competition, defend themselves, or they just want to explore the aspects and techniques of this martial arts practice.


We are an official affiliate representative of the world-renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts team "NOVA UNIAO," which includes famous UFC fighters and BJJ world champions such as Jose Aldo, BJ Penn, Renan Barao, Juior dos Santos, Leonardo Santos, Leonardo Pecanha and Marcio Barbosa.


We are proud to service a lot of families from Scott Air Force Base and offer a Lifetime Military Discount of 25% off for Veterans as well as Enlisted members of the US Military. We also work with children as young as five on bullying prevention.


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"Brazilian" Mike Rethmeyer, Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor.


Mike Rethmeyer is a three time IBJJF Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Medalist and has also won other prestigious championships including NAGA, The Arnold Classic/Gracie World Championship, and The Relson Gracie US Nationals. As a Black Belt, Mike holds the following titles:

  • 2010 IBJJF Chicago International 1st place, Ultra Heavyweight Division; 3rd place in the Absolute Division
  • 2013 IBJJF Chicago International Open 2nd place, Ultra Heavyweight Division; 1st place in the Absolute Division
  • 2015 IBJJF Chicago International Open 2nd place, Ultra Heavyweight Division; 1st place in the Absolute Division


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Morgan Freed, Assistant Instructor.


Morgan Freed is the assistant instructor to Mike Rethmeyer, and is a Personal Trainer at our Belleville location and also serves the Downtown YMCA of Southwest Illinois. Morgan has the following experience:

  • Purple Belt under Mike Rethmeyer
  • 7 Years of Kickboxing / Muy Thai experience
  • 1 Year of Filipino Martial Arts Experience
  • 2010 – C3 Blue Belt 170-185 GI 2nd place (2010)
  • 2010 – C3 Blue Belt GI Absolute 2nd place (2010)
  • 2010 – C3 Intermediate 170-185 No GI 2nd place (2010)
  • 2010 – C3 Intermediate Absolute No GI 3rd place (2010)
  • 2011 – C3 Intermediate No Gi 3rd Place 170-185 (2011)
  • 2012 – 160-170 NO-GI NAGA Chicago Open 1st Place (2012)
  • 2012 – 160-170 GI NAGA Chicago Open 3rd Place (2012)
  • 2012 – 160-170 NO-GI Missouri State Championship 1st Place (2012)
  • 2012 – NAGA Tennessee 3rd place No-GI Expert (2012)
  • 2012 – NAGA Tennessee 2nd place purple belt (2012)


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BJJ Lifestyle Academy

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