Pura Vida Martial Arts Instructors

Pura Vida Martial Arts Pura Vida Martial Arts Instructors

Carlos “Charlie” Canales

Owner & Head Instructor


Head Coach and Owner Carlos A. Canales. I was born and raised in Costa Rica, I started my martial arts career when I was eleven and I never stopped training! My life goal and mission is to pass to others the knowledge I have gathered and breed the new generation of Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai fighters in North Carolina!

I am a Muay Thai Instructor with 25 years of teaching and coaching experience. Judo and Jiu Jitsu Black Belt certified by the American Jiu Jitsu Federation, Danzan Ryu Kodenkan, Henry Okazaki & United States Judo Association.

I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under 8th degree coral belt master Carlos Machado.

Pura Vida Martial Arts Pura Vida Martial Arts Instructors

Monte Massey

Assistant  Instructor


I am a Martial Arts enthusiast who loves learning the arts of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai just as much as he loves helping others grow in those arts! I started my Martial Arts career in 2009 learning the traditional styles of Oh Do Kwan and Moo Duk Kwon Korean Karate (combative styles of Tae Kwon Do) and attained the ranking of Black Belt 3 rd Dan in 2016.

I began training the arts of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2014 and they have since been his main focus ever since. My goal is to help others build a strong skill set in striking / grappling and have more than 15 years of teaching experience as a Coach. Now I am in my forever home Pura Vida Martial Arts where I continue to share my passion with others.

I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under 8th degree coral belt master Carlos Machado.

Pura Vida Martial Arts Pura Vida Martial Arts Instructors

Mark Yelton

Assistant  Instructor


Robert Mark Yelton was born in South Carolina and raised in West side North Carolina. I first began my jujitsu journey 8yrs ago after watching my oldest son train for a year and actively use it to defuse a bullying situation in school. My first day a much smaller female student not only dismantled me but put me to sleep. From day one I was hooked.

Over the years I began training judo and recently added Muay Thai as a part of my consistent training. I love teaching as much if not more than I enjoying training. The thrill I get when a student not only is able to perform what we show them, but the smile on their face is what we do it for. I’m currently a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt under 8th degree coral belt master Carlos Machado and have over 7 years of teaching experience as kids and adults assistant coach! Pura Vida!

Pura Vida Martial Arts Pura Vida Martial Arts Instructors

Michael Wiese

Assistant  Instructor


Born and raised in the Long Island village of Lindenhurst, New York, Michael Wiese started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 14 under Rich Korfhage, a 3rd degree black belt under Renzo Gracie and Matt Serra. It was under Mr. Korfhage that Michael received every promotion (belt and stripe) upon being rewarded his black belt on December 22 2018 at the age of 24.

A year later, Michael moved to North Carolina where he met Charlie who has been a main training partner of his ever since. It was not until the opening of Pura Vida in he was given the opportunity from Charlie to teach on a regular basis. It’s at Pura Vida where Michael is at his happiest, spending time outside of his full time occupation training with and spreading his knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with students eager to learn the art.

About Our


Martial arts classes provide a strong foundation of strength and discipline for children and benefits adults as well.

Additionally, young students learn to be kind and stand up for themselves. Adults learn to be patient and are able to find peace in MA training at Pura Vida Martial Arts. Moreover, we build strong bodies and spirits that are resilient throughout life! In addition to their technical expertise, our instructors are also excellent teachers who know how to create a supportive and challenging learning environment. They understand that every student is unique and tailor their approach to meet the needs of each individual. Our instructors also prioritize safety, ensuring that all students learn and practice techniques in a safe and controlled manner. They are committed to helping our students build strong foundations in Jiu-Jitsu, and are always available to answer questions and provide feedback.

Pura Vida Martial Arts

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Pura Vida Martial Arts has everything…except you! Join our community today and discover the strength within you!