All our coaches are volunteers. We wouldn’t be anything without their time and sacrifice. We are funded through our camps, adult dues and generous donations from our sponsors.

Our Story

We love this community and work closely with area organizations to identify at risk youth. Hero offers a place for these kids to grow beyond the hand they were dealt and flourish. We strive to lead by example and show the youth of Guanacaste that there is more to life than they may have seen from their home life. The majority of our kids train at no cost and are provided uniforms. In addition we provide school supplies, food, clothing and even disaster relief for families in the area. In exchange, we encourage our kids to give back to the community through volunteerism.

Meet the Team

Rome Za

Founder & Head Coach

Rome started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2007/08, attending different wrestling clubs, but the training was limited, so he bought mats for the house to supplement his training.

He started training at Clockwork BJJ in NYC with Professor Josh Griffiths and earned his purple belt in 1.5 years (December 2009).

Multiple injuries sustained at that time prevented him from training, but it didn’t prevent him from teaching so, He opened up his own academy.

After healing from his injuries, Rome decided to go back to training by himself and chose to go start at the famed Marcelo Garcia Academy in NYC.

He really started making big jumps in the quality of his own training while being exposed to so many different high-level practitioners.

In 2014 Rome decided to close his academy in NYC and move to Costa Rica with his family to open up their non-profit program for Brazilian Jitsu Jitsu.

In 2016 Hero Academy Costa Rica was born.

In June 2017, Rome received his Brown Belt From Professor Chino Ramirez.

Jason Shireman

Head Kids Instructor

A father of 2 girls who excel in martial arts, he is a blue belt and has been training BJJ for 2 years. With an extensive background in Olympic wrestling, Jason finds it very rewarding giving back to a sport which has given him so much.

Jerad Ports

Co-Founder & Instructor

Ron Jarman

Instructor / Retreat Coordinator

Ron started training BJJ in 2011 under Carlson Gracie Jr in Chicago. As a white belt and blue He competed regularly in local and national tournaments winning multiple medals in IBJJF, Naga, grappling Games and other organizations. What started out as a way to get back in shape for him quickly turned into something much more improving nearly every aspect of his life. He and his wife Holly moved to Tamarindo in 2017 and adopted a pup, Choco.

For him, coaching the kids has been an amazing experience passing on what he has learned to the next generation.

Contact us for more information…