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Kayla Harrison is a World & Olympic Champion in the sport of Judo. Kayla made history at the 2012 Olympic Games when she became the first athlete in the history of American Judo to win an Olympic Gold Medal and again repeating her success in 2016 ...
Kayla Harrison is a World & Olympic Champion in the sport of Judo. Kayla made history at the 2012 Olympic Games when she became the first athlete in the history of American Judo to win an Olympic Gold Medal and again repeating her success in 2016 by becoming a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist. Along with her Olympic Gold, Kayla has won two World Titles and three World Medals. Kayla’s judo career has been undeniably impressive. However, it is her perseverance through incredible personal struggles that is truly inspiring. At the age of 16, Kayla brought to light that she had been for years sexually abused by her former coach. As the story came about, she packed her bags for Boston, MA to train with Four-Time Olympian, Two-Time Olympic Medalist & World Champion Jimmy Pedro and his father Jim Pedro Sr. With their guidance and support Kayla persevered through many emotional obstacles and ultimately transforming herself into a strong, confident, articulate woman who happens to be a world-class athlete.
After the 2016 Olympic Games, Kayla is far from "taking it easy". She is currently traveling across the United States giving speeches/seminars for people of all ages on confidence, goal-setting, and perseverance. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Doc Wayne, an organization that provides sports-based therapy for at-risk youth, and uses her voice on behalf of countless organizations dedicated to protecting children and women.
To date, Xande is a 4th Degree Black Belt, a 7-time Black Belt World Jiu Jitsu Champion, a 2-time Black Belt World Absolute Champion, a 2-time ADCC World Champion, and an IBJJF Hall of Fame member, among many other accolades.
He is revered by many as one of the top all around Jiu-jitsu fighters of all time. Xande is also one of the original founders of the Ribeiro Jiu Jitsu Association along with his brother, Saulo. The two also founded the University of Jiu Jitsu and teach out of their current RJJA Headquarters. Additionally, the RJJA currently has over 50 affiliates spanning across the entire the world including in Brazil, Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia.
“I am so happy to be part of FUJI at this level of my career,” commented Xande. “Being part of a company with over 50 years of experience, surrounded by amazing professionals, martial artists, Olympians and a product that it is outstanding, makes me so excited about our partnership and bring to the BJJ world a product that they can trust. Looking forward many years of amazing stories and being embraced by an armor that will endure and allow me to give it an extra push in my next adventures.”
Travis Stevens has been dubbed the "Olympic Warrior” since his semi-final match at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Since then Travis has been feared at International Judo competition around the globe. Known for his rigorous training regiment, Travis truly embodies the mental drive and passion to be a true champion on and off the mat. In 2016, after many injuries and set backs, Travis never lost his vision of becoming an Olympic Medalist. After dominating the world #1 ranked athletes in the semi final match, Travis made his way to the Finals of the Olympic Games where he ultimately took home the silver medal.
Travis currently holds a black belt in both Judo & BJJ. Along with his full-time training schedule, Travis is involved with two BJJ schools; one in Wakefield, MA and the other in Fort Lee, NJ.
Since officially retiring from competition, Travis focuses on coaching up-and-coming USA Judo athletes looking to pursue their Olympic Dreams at Pedro's Judo Center. He also teaches full time at his school, FUJI Gym.
Jimmy Pedro is a 6th degree black belt and one of the most decorated judo players in American history. Jimmy is world renowned for his judo expertise, coaching ability, and training methods. A newaza (ground techniques) specialist, Jimmy currently owns and operates Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, MA and teaches clinics and seminars throughout the country. Along with Jimmy’s impressive judo accolades, Jimmy is also a graduate from Brown University with a degree in Business Economics and OBM. Jimmy has coached some of the best athletes in the world such as the first ever US Olympic Gold Medalist for Judo Kayla Harrison, UFC Bantam Weight Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Ronda Rousey, two US Olympian Travis Stevens and 2004 Olympian & MMA Fighter Rick Hawn.
A dominant collegiate judoka, Colton Brown has been focused on qualifying for the Rio Olympics since before he even graduated. In 2013, he won a bronze medal at his first-ever international Grand Prix event. Brown has earned numerous medals at national, continental and international championships. (From NBC Sports)
A first-generation American, Angelica Delgado’s parents originate from Cuba – a country with a prolific history in judo. At 9 years old, she began to study judo at the insistence of her father, Miguel Delgado, who had previously been a member of Cuba’s national team. Angelica won her first national championship in 2010, then nearly qualified for the London Olympics in 2012 but fell one spot short in the rankings. Despite that disappointment, Delgado has maintained an unwavering focus on competing year-round in preparation for the 2016 Games. (from NBC Sports)
David Branch is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Renzo Gracie and currently, holds the Middleweight Title Belt in World Series of Fighting. David is a very versatile MMA fighter who has made his way throughout all the major organizations such as the UFC, Bellator and World Series of Fighting. Announced in February of 2017, Branch is now back in the UFC looking to earn himself a WORLD TITLE.
Joao Zeferino is currently an MMA fighter in the Professional Fighters League. He started training Jiu Jitsu in 2002 when he was 16 years old at “Ataque Duplo” academy where he stayed until he was a purple belt. In 2005 he moved to train with Claudio Arrais with whom he stayed for one year. In 2006 he moved to the stronger team in Gracie Barra, a team led by one of the best in Floripa, Alexandre de Souza. Now he currently trains with BJJ Legend Renzo Gracie. He trains in Yoga and Judo to help in his Mixed Martial Arts career.
Danillo “Indio” Villefort is a highly ranked, well rounded Brazilian middleweight mixed martial artist, renowned for his powerful knee and elbow strikes, aggressive submission and ground fighting game, and a unique style of celebrating victories. Training in South Florida, this versatile MMA fighter is eager to take on new opponents and continue to finish his fights with impressive knockouts or submissions.
Coming from a family of 16 brothers, Danillo “Indio” was raised on the mat, being the son of the legendary Vale-Tudo Brazilian fighter Francisco “Master Indio” Pereira da Silva, and the godson of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. “Indio” started training judo at a very young age, and earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2005, Danillo “Indio” started his career as a mixed martial arts fighter in Brazil. After establishing himself as a great fighter in his home country, he decided to take his career to a new level and moved to the United States.
Jena Bishop is a 4x Pan and 5x World medalist, 2013 World Jiu Jitsu Champion at brown belt, and 2014 World Pro Trials champion at black belt. She is also a World No-Gi Champion and World Masters Champion. Jena has accumulated over 60 wins via submission in the last 4 years, and received her black belt from Master Royler Gracie in July of 2013. She is also currently a Gracie Humaita womens instructor, and co-founder of the popular website, BishopBjj.com. Jena splits her time training between he Gracie Humaita Headquarters in San Diego, and Gracie Humaita St. Louis in Weldon Springs, MO.
Igor Gracie is a 3rd degree Black Belt and son of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Rolls Gracie (1951-1983). Rolls Gracie was one of the most important members of the Gracie family, and is considered to be the father of modern Jiu Jitsu by incorporating cross training in various martial arts, including Freestyle, Greco Roman Wrestling, Sambo, and Judo. Igor began his training at the age young age of 5 in Ipanema Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with his uncle Master Rillion Gracie.
When he was 18 years old he started training full time. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle to the Gracie family as opposed to a hobby, and with that mind set and work ethic Igor earned his Black Belt at the age of 23. Igor actively continues to test his skills on the mat as well as in the cage.
Igor’s philosophy on teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is simple because of his emphasis on the lifestyle and leading by example. He often explains that if you think Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a hobby you will get hobby like results. On the other hand once you embrace the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle you will grow as a true practitioner and see the change immediately. Igor stresses the importance of commitment and training a minimum of 2 times per week in order to keep progressing and not falling behind.
Sophia McDermott Drysdale began her Jiu Jitsu career in Australia in 2002 after an extensive and impressive gymnastics career which lasted nearly 10 years. Using the leadership skills she developed from gymnastics she easily transitioned into Jiu Jitsu. Progressing through the ranks she became the first woman to earn her black belt in Australia.
Sophia travels the world conducting Women BJJ Seminars and helps women excel in the sport. She also provides fitness and dietary advice for women.
Tyler Bishop is a Gracie Humaita Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt from St. Louis, MO. Tyler holds state, national, and international titles in Brazilian jiu jitsu that in include gold medals in IBJJF, World Pro Jiu Jitsu, and other leading jiu jitsu tournaments. Tyler is also a former amateur MMA champion. In 2007 he became the Beatdown Fighting lightweight champion. Shortly thereafter, Tyler discontinued his MMA career to focus solely on jiu jitsu competition. Tyler is an 8x state absolute champion in his home state of Missouri, and is recognized is one of the Midwests top competitive black belts.
In the past several years, Tyler has become a leading voice in the jiu jitsu community. Tyler co-foudned the popular jiu jitsu research website, BishopBjj.com; where he conducted the first scientifically-validated research study on Brazilian jiu jitsu. Furthermore, Tyler is a regular writer and contributor to both Jiu Jitsu Style Magazine and Jiu Jitsu Magazine. Tyler also is the host of the "Science Of Jiu Jitsu Podcast", a monthly internet podcast for jitsu jitsu enthusiasts. Tyler uses these platforms to advocate for jiu jitsu competition reform, the removal of PED's from competition, and the continued growth of sport jiu jitsu.
Rolles Gracie is a 3rd degree black belt and the son of Rolls Gracie. An accomplished professional Mixed Martial Artist with a record of eight wins and two losses, Rolles now resides in Holmdel, New Jersy and is the main instructor at the Renzo Gracie Academy Holmdel. He also instructs at the Renzo Gracie Academy in Brooklyn, NY with his brother and TeamFUJI athlete Igor Gracie.
Bruno Bastos is a 4th Degree BJJ Black Belt, leader of the Bruno Bastos Association and Co-Owner of Bastos BJJ Midland. Doing Jiu-Jitsu for 26 years, Bruno won numerous International Championships and also coached numerous students to become champions in an international level. Bruno started in 1990 at 10 years of age and became Black Belt in January of 2001 after beating several World Class Black Belts in a Grappling tournament. As Black Belt Bruno won the IBJJF Master Worlds 1x with Gi and 3x NoGi. Also Bronze Medalist at the IBJJF Mundials, 2x ADCC Veteran, EBI Veteran, Copa Podio Veteran, Five Grappling Super League Veteran, UAEJJ Abu Dhabi Bjj World Pro Silver Medalist, 3x CBJJO World Cup Champion, IBJJF Pan American Champion, 2x IBJJF European Champion, IBJJF PRO LEAGUE Silver Medalist and former member of the Brazilian National Grappling Team. As a Coach, Bruno being able to make waves with students winning all Bjj major titles from Kids to Masters division, creating a big impact in the Texas State, earning Association if the Year for 2014 and Academy/Coach of the Year for 2015 from TXMMA Awards.
Rick Hawn is a former 2004 United States Olympic Judo team member and retired Pro MMA Fighter. As a judoka, he won numerous medals at U.S. national championships, 2 medals at the Pan American Games, and finished 9th at the 2004 Olympics. In 1996, after high school, Hawn qualified to live at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. There he trained judo for eight years and ultimately qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games. After the 2004 games, Hawn moved to Boston to train with two-time Olympic bronze medalist Jimmy Pedro, and soon after began training for a career in mixed martial arts. Rick currently owns and operates his own dojo in New Hampshire.
At first glance you would probably think Koji Ando was a welterweight. A judo standout in high school, “The Commander” uses his massive frame and slick judo throws to get his opponents to the ground, where he often unleashes a vicious brand of ground and pound. He is the Legend FC lightweight champion.
Tateki Matsuda was born and raised in Tokyo and used to play baseball for my life. After years of playing baseball, he made a big decision to study sports science in U.S where he could study more advanced sports science than in Japan. In opposite of his passion and dream of contributing to the Japanese sporting world, he was uncertain of what to do physically after the last season of baseball in his high school senior year.
While studying English and preparing for studying abroad, one of his friends gave him an opportunity to put boxing gloves and train in Karate/kickboxing at a school classroom. Without facilities and Martial arts coaches, he truly enjoyed training and was absorbed in martial arts. When he first came to the U.S, he didn't think he would take up martial arts. Meeting Kru Mark DellaGrotte was just start for a long journey in U.S. “It was like the karate kid in reverse,” joked DellaGrotte. “He was the Asian guy with the busted accent and I was the teacher. I knew right away the type of person that Tateki is. He's the type of student that I look for – hard worker, dedicated, very traditional, and very loyal.”