Sensei Walter Miller began practicing judo at Yale Judo Club in 1969 after wrestling for five years. At Yale, he won the state championships both times he entered in his respective belt and weight divisions under Sensei Insoo Hwang. After college, he studied Japanese Ju-Jitsu and earned his black belt. He returned to judo as a white belt with his new sensei John Pereira. He competed for the Connecticut Travel Team in his thirties and placed second at the Connecticut State Championships with a black belt. He has taught Ju-Jitsu and Judo ever since, including at his own dojo for several years. Sensei Miller obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale in Psychology and his Masters in Social Work from UCONN. Following retirement from a career as a clinical social worker with a specialty in addiction treatment, he moved to Morriston, Florida. He took over responsibilities as coach of the recently revived Gator Judo Club in November 2015. He holds a Sandan (3rd-degree black belt) in Judo and a Shichidan (7th-degree black belt) in Jiu-Jitsu.
Sensei Ricardo Nieves is originally from Puerto Rico and is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with sub-specialty Board Certification in Pain Medicine (ABMS). Sensei Nieves is also a National Strength and Conditioning Association-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
Sensei Nieves is a Yodan (4th-degree black belt) in judo through USA Judo and the International Judo Federation. While also being a USA Continental Level Certified Coach, Sensei Nieves was an outstanding athlete representing his native Puerto Rico in judo and winning numerous regional, national, and international judo tournaments including USA Junior Nationals. He also won the University Puerto Rico Games in judo and represented Puerto Rico at the University Olympic Games in Kobe, Japan, in 1985. Sensei Nieves also won the 1993 USA Sambo National Championship and currently holds a brown belt IBJJF recognized rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through professor Thadeu Vieira.
Sensei Nieves served as a Team Physician for USA Judo in regional, national, and international competitions, as well as judo training camps. He also served as medical staff at the Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008 and is a volunteer physician for The United States Olympic Training Center (Volunteer Physician Program). He has been involved as a ringside physician for mixed martial arts and boxing and was a featured speaker at the 2007 American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians (AAPRP) Medical Conference.
Sensei Nieves incorporates his extensive medical training and knowledge together with his strength, functional conditioning knowledge, and extensive grappling knowledge to provide his students with a unique training experience.
Sensei Diba Mani began her judo training in 2000 at Northglenn Judo Club in Colorado and then transitioned to Boulder Judo Training Center in Fall of 2006, where she trained with 2004 Olympic Team leader Buck Wessell and Japanese Olympic multi-medalist Noriko Narazaki. As a member of the founding cohort of Team FORCE, she also benefitted from training with U.S. Olympic coach Jimmy Pedro. Sensei Mani has ample experience competing at national and international U.S. events as a junior athlete, as well as senior events (i.e. gold at the Collegiate National Championships in 2009).
Sensei Mani has experience teaching judo to children and novice adults, as well as implementing judo programs for special populations such as disadvantaged youth through the City of Boulder juvenile delinquency program and mentally and/or physically disabled children and adults. Sensei Mani earned her National Referee licensure for USA Judo in 2010 and is currently an International “B” Referee.
Outside the dojo, Sensei Mani earned her bachelor's degrees in Integrative Physiology and Asian Studies, Masters in Integrative Physiology, and Doctorate with a specialty in Neurophysiology, all from the University of Colorado Boulder. She currently teaches human physiology, neuromuscular exercise, and motor control/learning courses at the University of Florida.