Luka

Luciana "Luka" Tavares was born on December 4, 1962, and began her martial arts career training in Judo while studying physical education in university. Luciana's first instructor was Petrucio Monteiro. She had been training for about two years with Petrucio when she first met Wellington "Megaton" Dias at a summer camp in Rio de Janeiro in 1986. At that time Megaton was studying both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It was at that summer retreat that Megaton first introduced Luciana to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She continued training with Megaton, and earned her blue belt under him in August of 1988. At that time Luciana was training and competing in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After her graduation from university, Luciana decided to move to the United States, arriving in Florida in October of 1989.

Luciana soon relocated to California, and took a sabbatical from training martial arts until she hooked up with Megaton again in 1996 at Joe Moreira's tournament. Since that time, Megaton has supported Luciana in her return to the mat. Luciana continued her training for a time with the Machado Brothers in Torrance, California, until she moved to Phoenix, Arizona in July, 1999, where she now lives, teaches, and trains under Megaton.

She considers Megaton to be her role model, and more importantly her idol, because she would never have achieved what she has without him.

On March 10, 1998 Luciana was awarded her purple belt by Joni Machado after winning 1st place in her weight class, and 2nd place in the open division at the 4th Pan American BJJ Championships in Hawaii. On August 20, 2001, she earned her brown belt under Royler Gracie after a demanding test of her physical, instructional, and self-defense skills.

On March 27, 2003, finally after 15 years of dedication, hard training, humility, and loyalty to the Gracie flag, Luciana earned her black belt under Royler Gracie and Megaton Dias after earning 2nd place at the 9th Pan American BJJ Championships against her respected friend Leka Vieira.

Certifications
First Degree Black Belt, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu First Degree Black Belt, Judo

Awards
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Rio de Janeiro Individual Silver Medalist 2007 Open Division Silver Medalist 2007 Individual Bronze Medalist 2006, 2001

International Master and Senior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Rio de Janeiro Individual Gold Medalist 2007,2011 Open Division Gold Medalist 2007,2011

European Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Lisbon Individual Gold Medalist 2006

U.S. National Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Individual Silver Medalist 2006, 2007

U. S. Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship Individual Silver Medalist 2005

Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship Individual Gold Medalist 1998, 2001, 1002, 2005, 2006, 2007 Individual Silver Medalist 2000, 2003, 2009

Korea Black Belt Challenge – Individual Gold Medalist 1998, 2000

Pro-Am Challenge – Individual Gold Medalist 2000