The Way of the Black Belt

In October, I will have had my black belt for 30 years, so I wanted to share with you my opinion of what it is to be a real black belt. I remember that day as if it was today; that moment when I received my belt from Master Jacaré’s hands at his small gym in Ipanema.

It was not a common event, in fact, it had never happened since I was the first black belt to graduate from him. The feeling of that achievement at 19 years of age was something unforgettable – it was the realization of a dream and certainly my greatest achievement until that moment of my life. I actually felt ready for that moment; I had been teaching for a while, I had a good technical level and great results in competitions – yes I was a black belt. But of course how much can a 19-year-old really understand about what it actually means to be one. And so, I decided to share with you here my understanding of what it is to be a real black belt after I have almost covered this entire journey.

Going back to the beginning when I received my belt, technical evolution was my priority, and I thought being a black belt meant knowing the fundamentals and “all” the techniques of Jiu Jitsu. What makes that more difficult today is there are so many more techniques to learn, and it is impossible to know all of them, but we must get as close as we can, and in order to make that possible, we need to always be open to learning. The black belt is not an arrival but rather a “way”. You have to master the techniques to the point where you can pass them on, whether you are a professional teacher or not, sharing knowledge as I understand it is a must for every real black belt.

When you teach there are two very important things to think about, the first is your example, don’t give me this talk of “do what I say….don’t do what I do” your student tends to mirror you so be responsible, and always be a good example. Your attitudes will always speak louder so watch out!

The second thing is: respect – understanding that people have different abilities and goals and to be able to respect their differences. Making Jiu Jitsu part of their lives for as long as possible should be the real black belt mission. For you to pass on knowledge, you need to have lived the experience. How will I understand my student if I have never been there? This goes for championships and many other experiences that Jiu Jitsu can bring you, for example: have you ever trained with your finger injured? no? so how can you tell a student to train or not in this situation? Accumulating experience and passing it on is what you expect from the black belt. Allow yourself to live the challenges that come your way, throughout the process seek victory but understand that it is not the most important – being TRUE is.

Keep yourself eternally open to learning, never pose as the owner of the truth, you are not, and if you do I can guarantee you will be a lie. Jiu Jitsu has taught me all these years that different people do techniques differently and there is no right or wrong, but what works and what doesn’t. To be real is to keep training even though you understand that you won’t be that fighter of the era. Maybe you’ll lose your explosive power, maybe strength, certainly reaction time – all of which will compromise your performance…. so adapt. Don’t hide behind your belt, train with everyone who invites you to train; with those you can win against, with those you lose against, and with those that really test you. Do it no matter what their rank. This black belt “chat” where less graduated students can’t call you to train, is typical of those who are not real. This has nothing to do with respect.

Being a black belt does not make you better than anyone else; respect everybody in the same way on the mat. You know that situation where the black belt bumps into another duo and demands them to leave their space just because they were less graduated? This is typical of a black belt living a lie.  Carry the image of Jiu Jitsu everywhere you go, and with everything you do. Practice kindness all the time, aggression most often denotes insecurity, seek that peace within you. Have a lot of opponents but don’t cultivate enemies when the fight is over or sometimes be grateful for that rivalry period which makes you train harder and with more dedication. This will make you better than what you were before.

Understand that in Jiu Jitsu, no one is ever good enough, and having a black belt around your waist doesn’t make you automatically someone of TRUTH – this is built daily with our actions, remember we are all on a journey. Make your attitudes a reason to be proud of when you look back. If you get it wrong, accept the mistake, apologize and keep evolving.

And remember, it’s never too late to become a real black belt.

 

Do your students still “run the gauntlet” during graduation ceremonies?

I made a lot of mistakes as a Jiu Jitsu teacher since I started teaching at the age of 15: I was wrong because I didn’t understand what my student needed, I was wrong to exhaust my students before training even started, I was wrong to want things to always go my way (after all I was the teacher), and that was just the start. But perhaps my biggest mistake and it must have cost me hundreds of students, was creating the “gauntlet run” to celebrate their graduation, where the student runs between two lines of people whipping him with belts.

It all started as a joke at my academy at the Federal Club in Rio where I started teaching alone in 1988, (at my master’s academy we didn’t have that custom), so I’m not sure where I got this terrible idea, but the fact is that I used it for a long time and it has spread through Jiu Jitsu at a frightening speed.

Possibly other teachers like me started this on their own and maybe some I influenced. For these, I sincerely apologize, but the fact is that this ritual became part of the environment of Jiu Jitsu academies. The students endured it and even enjoyed it because it seemed like a test, like the ones we see in war movies where military barracks prepare their soldiers to face upcoming difficulties. The students felt they deserved that new belt because they had endured the beating.

Time passed, and the Jiu-Jitsu academies increasingly focused on competition, always prioritizing the participation of tough students. There was no necessity to change the graduations because, being tough and thick-skinned was basically an obligation. After all, these were guys training for competition, so running the gauntlet was nothing.

One day I had an experience that made me rethink everything. With every passing day, I started to understand we were moving away from what Jiu Jitsu needed in terms of offering Jiu Jitsu to everyone, and not just to the competition class. At a graduation ceremony, the mother of a student was present, and her son was going to graduate that day. She was proud at first, probably expecting a glamorous ceremony, when suddenly the corridor was formed. Death screams were yelled out by nearly all of the 100 students on the mat, and there was the boy, going through that insanity. His mother was terrified and told the boy’s father to report it to the police! The father was torn between the pride of seeing his son graduate, or, calming the mother down. In the end, the son was graduated, and his happiness made the mother abandon her complaint. Instead, she just congratulated her son. It was however the last straw, and proof that something very wrong was happening. It had to change.

I never allowed it to happen again in my academy. On the contrary, now the test is not of endurance but of technique. The belt exams have taken the place of “running the gauntlet” and the result is arguably better. My students are subjected to a fair exam, which tests them with what really matters. It’s also a metric to know if my school is succeeding in teaching them good jiu-jitsu.

This change did not happen in isolation, and I can’t attribute the growth of my academy to that alone. I have told you some of changes that I implemented in my school, and all of these together produce the result I have today. But certainly, running the gauntlet should be abolished from all Jiu Jitsu schools in the world.

How do you guys celebrate your student’s graduation?

A big hug. Until next time

Fabio Gurgel

I sold Alliance SP

Hi guys,

Today I have some important news to tell you. However, I need to look back through my time here in São Paulo and to what I believe Jiu Jitsu should be, and particularly what Alliance should be. I arrived in São Paulo at the end of 1993, 26 years ago. I came here because I didn’t see much future for the sport in Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, I was right and the Jiu Jitsu there has only worsened since, ceasing to be the largest worldwide hub, to
becoming a place where very few gyms still survive.

I was unsure if I should come to São Paulo, or if I should leave Brazil, but once again I think I made the right decision. I came here and it’s where I made my best friends and I could build the best team in the world at the best academy, which consequently provided me with a great quality of life; all of which I had done through Jiu Jitsu, which has always been my dream.

Along this path, there have been innumerable obstacles. It was a very difficult time. I remember when I was close to retiring from competitions and my academy had only 80 students, I had to give 12 classes per day at that time. This pace of teaching lasted for many years, and along with that came the recovery from the Alliance rift, and the necessity to live under the same roof with so many stars. It was definitely a difficult mission.  The same team that filled me with pride and initiated the process of becoming the best team ever, brought one more responsibility – creating the opportunity for those who also wanted to live the same dream as me. Perhaps that was the dark reason for the Alliance split, that the people involved thought there would be no room for them, and decided to make their own way.

I think they made a bad mistake, but I don’t blame myself for not seeing this or for not being able to provide for it at that time. This somehow became an objective that merged with the expansion of our team around the world. The question became how to create an opportunity for people who were by my side, and it has become critical to Alliance’s success. The process started with Marcelinho (Marcelo Garcia) going to our New York branch, which felt like taking an arm off.  Losing Marcelo was very difficult, but I knew it was the best way. This was followed by so many other examples like Cobrinha to Atlanta, Lucas to New York (replacing Marcelo who had gone to Florida) Malfacine to Orlando, Bernardo to New York, Leo to Atlanta, Tarsis to San Diego, Thominhas to Vancouver. This was not even counting the many others who went to Abu Dhabi.

It would be impossible to have so many stars for so long within the same space, but it is possible to have them all on our team happy and proud to be part of our family. Since the split, there have been very few people who left our team because most people understand that there is no better place to be, and who dedicates themselves to that opportunity.

We recently had some moves in this direction. Gui moved to Arkansas and is in charge of our academy over there, and Caio Quilombola received a proposal to run the Calgary school and participate in an ambitious project with the aim of expanding our schools in Canada. This process will be intensified once our affiliates feel the need to bring more quality to their academies, and when the seal of quality that our teachers put on their work is valued – sometimes it’s more than we can evaluate.

I wanted to tell you this introduction, so you can put it into context and understand how I think about the renewal and expansion of our team. I think things need to be rebuilt and sometimes moving an important piece like Caio, for example, brings a challenge to everyone involved and makes us move in order to be better. I don’t think we can get used to the lows. They have happened often in my life – the first one I remember was the decision to stop competing. I thought that my performance was no longer satisfactory.  My body could no longer keep up with my mind, so I felt it was time to dedicate myself and succeed in something else. I focused my energy on having the best team in the world, and therefore trained and led my athletes to win 9 consecutive world titles, but I knew I wouldn’t have that energy forever.

Of course, these things are mixed in together. There’s an overlap, it’s not like you stop one thing and instantly start another but doing too many things at the same time, pulls your energy in too many places. I dedicated myself to study the management of my business and to digital marketing, and we reached our target of over 500 students. We set up a team of dedicated and professional teachers who allowed me to do that, even when I’m not as present on the mat as I was in the old days. But this also follows a natural order, and next month I will have been a black bet for 30 years, entirely dedicated to our beloved Jiu Jitsu.

Parallel to the growth of the academy I was already looking ahead and seeing the need to organize Alliance in a better way, not only as a team but as a company. I have defended my ideas with Alliance since it was founded in 1993 with huge frustrations. It was always very hard to convince the people of Jiu Jitsu that we could do something bigger but I had some victories too and in 2014 Alliance became a real company. Today Alliance has 312 schools in 22 countries and has a plan to expand to 600 schools in 3 years. We just received an international investment which will offer even more opportunities in the near future. This, of course, brings me greater responsibility and the need for the same dedication that I have done everything in my life. But it also brings me great satisfaction, because this move opened yet another door.

I just sold 50% of Alliance SP to a very special guy who was chosen to have this opportunity, because of his competence, character, and commitment to our cause, which is to provide the best Jiu Jitsu in the world for as many people as possible. Other percentages will likely be distributed in the near future.  I understand that my legacy needs to be renewed, and this academy needs to always be a reference within the world of Jiu Jitsu.  And today I need help making this happen so you can accompany me in challenging and trying to make Jiu Jitsu the best it can be. I hope this opportunity, perhaps the biggest I have ever created is just one more to come along, serving one day as an example for people to replicate, and to keep our story alive.

My dear students, I ask all of you to give warm applause to the new CEO of Alliance SP – Michael Langhi

 

 

Vendi a Alliance SP

Olá turma,
Hoje eu tenho uma importante noticia para dar para vocês
No entanto é preciso fazer uma retrospectiva de minha história aqui em São Paulo e
um pouco do que acredito que o Jiu jitsu e particularmente a Alliance deva ser.
Eu cheguei em São Paulo no final de 93, já se vão 26 anos.
Eu vim para cá por que não via no Rio muito futuro, infelizmente eu estava certo com
relação ao Rio e o jiu jitsu de lá só piorou desde então deixando de ser o maior polo de
jiu jitsu mundial para ser um lugar onde pouquíssimas academias ainda sobrevivem.
Eu tinha a dúvida se deveria vir para São Paulo ou ir para fora do Brasil, mais uma vez
acho que acertei na decisão vim pra cá onde fiz meus melhores amigos e pude
construir a melhor equipe do mundo na melhor academia, o que consequentemente me
proporcionaram ter uma ótima qualidade de vida através do Jiu jitsu o que sempre foi
o meu sonho.
Nesse caminho que obviamente não foi nada fácil tiveram inúmeros obstáculos alguns
bem difíceis, lembro da época quando eu estava próximo da minha aposentaria de
competições e minha academia tinha apenas 80 alunos.. eu tinha que dar 12 aulas por
dia nessa época.
Esse ritmo de aulas perdurou por muitos anos, junto com ela veio a recuperação da
equipe após o racha e a necessidade de conviver no mesmo teto com tantas estrelas o
que definitivamente foi uma missão bem difícil.
A mesma equipe que me enchia de orgulho e iniciou o processo para que fossemos a
melhor equipe de todos os tempos trazia mais uma responsabilidade, como criar
oportunidade para aqueles que queriam viver o mesmo sonho que eu?
Talvez esse tenha sido o motivo obscuro do racha da Alliance, mesmo sem saber as
pessoas envolvidas acharam que não haveria espaço para elas ali e decidiram sair e
fazer um caminho próprio.
Acho que elas erraram feio mas não tiro minha parcela de culpa em não ter enxergado
essa necessidade ou não ter tido condições de proporciona-la naquela época.
Isso de certa forma se tornou um objetivo que se fundia também com a expansão de
nossa equipe pelo mundo. Como criar oportunidade para as pessoas que estavam a
meu lado se tornou fundamental para o sucesso da Alliance.
O processo começou com a ida do Marcelinho para nossa filial de NY, foi como
arrancar um braço de mim, perder o MG foi muito difícil mas eu sabia que era o
melhor caminho, a ele se seguiram tantos outros exemplos como Cobrinha para
Atlanta, Lucas para NY (substituindo o MG que havia ido para a Florida) Malfacine para Orlando, Bernardo para NY, Leo para Atlanta, Tarsis para San Diego, Thominhas para Vancouver entre outros, fora todos que
foram para Abu Dhabi…
Seria impossível ter tantas estrelas por tanto tempo dentro do mesmo espaço mas é
possível ter todas elas na nossa equipe felizes e com orgulho de fazer parte de nossa
família. Desde o racha foram pouquíssimas pessoas que deixaram nosso time pois a
maioria entende que não existe lugar melhor para estar e que quem se dedica e se
coloca disponível geralmente recebe uma oportunidade.
Recentemente tivemos alguns movimentos nesse sentido, Gui se mudou para o
Arkansas e esta no comando de nossa academia por lá, e o nosso Caio Quilombola
recebeu uma proposta para comandar a escola de Calgary e participar de um projeto
ambicioso de expansão de nossas escolas no Canada.
Esse processo vai ser intensificado uma vez que nossos filiados vão sentindo a
necessidade de trazer mais qualidade para suas academias e o selo que os professores
que trabalham aqui recebem é muito valorizado, as vezes mais do que conseguimos
avaliar.
Quis contar essa introdução para vocês entenderem o contexto e como penso na
renovação e expansão de nosso time, acho que as coisas precisam se renovar e as
vezes mexer uma peça importante como o Caio por exemplo traz um desafio para
todos os envolvidos e faz com que nos movimentemos para fazer melhor.
Acho que não podemos nos acostumar com o declínio, isso aconteceu algumas vezes
em minha vida a primeira que me lembro foi na decisão de parar de competir, achava
que minha performance não estava mais satisfatória meu corpo já não acompanhava
minha mente, era hora de me dedicar e me realizar em outra coisa.
Foquei minha energia em ter a melhor equipe do mundo, treinei e liderei meus atletas
a conquistar 9 títulos mundiais consecutivos, mas sabia que não teria essa energia para sempre
então ter a melhor academia de jiu jitsu do mundo passou a ser a prioridade.
É claro que essas coisas se misturam não é que você para uma e começa outra você vai
fazendo coisas ao mesmo tempo apenas passa a colocar mais energia aqui ou ali.
Me dediquei a estudar a gestão do meu negocio o marketing digital e atingimos nossa
meta de mais de 500 alunos.
Montamos uma equipe de professores dedicados e profissionais que me permitiram
fazer isso mesmo  não estando mais tão presente no tatame como
antigamente.
Mas isso também segue uma ordem natural afinal mês que vem farei 30 anos de faixa preta inteiramente dedicados ao nosso amado jiu jitsu.
Paralelamente ao crescimento da academia eu já olhava adiante e via a necessidade
de organizar melhor nossa Alliance não só como time mas como empresa, venho
defendendo minhas ideias na Alliance desde sua fundação em 93 com enormes
frustações, sempre foi muito difícil convencer as pessoas do Jiu jitsu que podíamos
fazer algo maior, mas tive algumas vitórias também e em 2014 a Alliance virou uma
empresa de verdade.
Hoje a Alliance tem 312 escolas em 22 países e tem um plano de expansão para 600
escolas em 3 anos. Acabamos de receber um aporte internacional na empresa o que nos
permitirá em um futuro próximo oferecer ainda mais oportunidades para os nossos.
Isso claro me traz uma responsabilidade maior e a necessidade da mesma dedicação
com que fiz tudo em minha vida porém isso traz também uma das maiores satisfações
pois esse movimento fez uma outra porta se abrir.
Eu acabo de vender nada menos que 50% da Alliance SP para um cara muito
especial, que foi escolhido para ter essa oportunidade pela competência, pelo caráter e
claro pelo comprometimento com a nossa causa de proporcionar o melhor jiu jitsu do mundo
para a maior quantidade de pessoas possível.
Outros percentuais provavelmente serão distribuídos em um futuro breve.
Entendo que meu legado precisa continuar renovado e essa academia precisa ser
sempre referência de qualidade para o mundo do jiu jitsu.
E eu hoje preciso de ajuda para fazer isso acontecer para que possa seguir me
desafiando e tentando engrandecer o jiu jitsu da melhor maneira que eu conseguir.
Espero que essa oportunidade, talvez a maior que eu já tenha conseguido criar seja
apenas mais uma de outras que virão e que sirva também de exemplo para que um dia
todos que passaram por aqui possam replicar isso e manter nossa história viva.
Meus queridos alunos peço a todos vocês, claro além do total suporte uma calorosa salva de palmas ao novo CEO da Alliance SP
Michael Langhi

Managing your team of teachers

 

We have often talked about the design of effective timetables, we’ve talked about the division of levels, and you must be wondering, I’m going to have to work a lot.

You’ll have to work a little more, but you won’t necessarily have to do more classes than you do today.  What you need to do is start thinking about your team of teachers. You’ll need help to make your gym grow. It would be impossible for me to have the size of the academy I have today if I didn’t hire teachers, and to work within what I believe to be the right method so that my academy could grow so I can deliver more classes and better service to my student.

So, when you start to divide the timetable and divide the levels of class, you are obliged to hire teachers to help you. What normally happens with regards to staff in Jiu Jitsu academies? Usually, it’s to take a student who is older, who is more advanced, who likes to teach and put him to work for free, this is what the academy often does. They take a helper, and often in exchange for the monthly fee, they make this guy work.  What’s the problem with this? The guy who doesn’t get paid isn’t likely to commit strongly. The probability that he’ll call up tomorrow and apologize because he can’t come, that he has another job that pays well, will be high. So, you can’t run this risk, if you want to grow your academy as a business. This relationship has to be created from the beginning. You will hire the teacher, you’ll pay him, and he will work and deliver the service you expect. It’s a normal working relationship, not because he’s your student, or because he learned Jiu Jitsu from you, or that he owes you anything, and it’s this concept that people in Jiu Jitsu academies normally have.

For example, Let’s imagine I am the teacher of that student, and he has to work for me for free, for me to make money at the end. This agreement isn’t fair, doesn’t work and this kind of agreement will generate a sense of ingratitude that you shouldn’t have. This happens with students too, but with a teacher it’s more serious and it’s what we’re talking about at the moment, so I’ll focus on the teacher. This culture of giving a scholarship and expecting something in return is harmful to the entire academy at all levels, and the teacher should never enter into this kind of relationship. Your teacher has to be highly valued, you have to create a career plan for him, for him to look at your academy and say, “if I can help my teacher grow here, maybe I’ll have better opportunities in the future.”

I have teachers who have been with me in the gym for more than 20 years. They have a financial situation that’s greatly different today, compared to when they started. I have teachers here who are now business partners in my gym, so you need to create something for that teacher, so he can get involved, and want the best out of your business, because only then can your business grow. Alone, without help it’s impossible for you to do, and I will explain how you will make this agreement with your teacher, because you can’t say, “I don’t want the cost,” and then have your teacher earn a percentage. I’m telling you right away, don’t do it.

Your teacher is not your partner, he’s your teacher, the academy is yours, the profit in the end, it’s yours, for you to do what you want, to invest in the gym or not.  In the end, it’s your earnings. At this moment, your teacher will come as a cost for your gym, just as you will also be a cost to the gym because you also are a teacher. You will also receive pay from the gym for your class load, and this is how we will treat the teacher: by work load, so if he has x classes per week, x class hours per week, that is what he will receive. When the end of the month comes, the teacher has given 50 hours of classes, you pay R$20 an hour, he will earn R$1000 a month for group classes. You’ll create with your teacher a relationship based on partnership geared towards him buying your idea and doing your method, but it’s a working relationship of employee and boss, from the company that pays the salary, to the employee to fulfill his obligation in the best possible way. With this kind of relationship, you can make your teacher responsible, so that he’s always punctual, always in a clean kimono, always with cut hair, always with a groomed beard, whatever you think is important for your gym. He’ll need to be in the gym for so many hours, he’ll have to give classes to x number of different levels, you’ll set the rules for him. You’ll set class rate for him and you’ll pay him at the end of the month. That’s the healthiest and easiest way to manage the growth of your school’s timetable. Let’s take an example: if you pay your teacher R$20 per hour class, if you assemble a group 3 times a week which is the responsibility of that teacher, he will be getting R$120 a week, he’ll be getting R$480 a month. How many students do you need to cover that cost? If you have a monthly fee that’s around R$150 – with 4 students you’ve paid the teacher and you’re already earning, and now you have one more product to put on your shelf to offer your new student.

You’ve created another class, one more product to sell, and little by little your timetable is growing. Obviously, when you grow your timetable you grow your fixed cost for your class, so where’s the good news?

You exponentially grow your capacity for new students, so this agreement you’ll have with your teacher is the cheapest negotiation you’ll have. Charging for the hour is the cheapest option. When I have the opportunity, I search for a time I don’t yet have on my timetable, and I open it, because that hour for me although it’s a cost, is cheap when I think of the possibility I have to generate new students and earn a monthly fee. So, I have no doubt, when I sense the possibility of a new time slot, I open the class. For this reason, my gym today has more than 120 classes per week between private and group classes, which is another subject that we’ll talk about later that is super important; you’ll get to see how your teacher will be happy to be part of your gym and to enjoy this new product which alone he has no ability to do. We’ll set up a structure in the gym so that you can also cater to these private students, and consequently give even better financial return to your teacher. In this way the private lessons and the group classes at various times will work very well for your academy, and I’m sure you’ll have great partners to build a great business.

Happy training!

 

 

Retiring from Competitive Sport

“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.”

Benjamin Disraeli

The choice to retire from competitive sport is always a delicate and often reluctant moment in an athlete’s life (as it is in other professional fields), but in sport, even more so because there is that ghost of indecision that hovers around for a few years before it actually happens. Without planning for this it can be a complicated transition, just look at Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Taylor or OJ Simpson.

In my particular case, I made the decision to retire for two reasons. The first was because my performance was no longer satisfying me, my body couldn’t keep up with the demands I made on it. But the second and main reason was that I was beginning to enjoy watching my students win more than my own personal victories. The teacher’s road was something I was starting to enjoy, and it was something that I wanted to do well and be recognized for. Jiu Jitsu was what I had chosen to live for. You may be wondering, why this talk now after so many years?

I stopped competing professionally in 2001 which is a while ago now, but the point is not that, the point is making the decision to stop must be preceded by something else. In my case, it was teaching – a new purpose filled challenge.

And so, I began to understand that there is not really a farewell, but a change of direction. I began to dedicate myself to my new mission of training students in the best way and with the same dedication that I had always done. When I was building my school, along came the challenge to build the best Jiu Jitsu team in the world, all my energy went into assembling, teaching, caring, managing, encouraging and training my team, which has now become an army of champions. Over a period of 12 years, we won all the possible titles per team and we became the team that had won most throughout the history of the sport.  At that time, I gave more than 10 lessons per day between private and group classes, and this lasted at least 15 years. My focus was shifting though, and I was beginning to look at the role of academy administrator as a big challenge because although I had always had that desire, I had not done it with the energy and the necessary knowledge.

So, I dedicated myself and started to do it; I had to reduce my classes and pass all my private students to other teachers, so I could dedicate myself to the administration of all aspects of it equally. After some time, I got another victory – my academy reached maximum capacity exceeding 500 students. I was able to define a successful model for a Jiu Jitsu academy and felt it was time to share it with the Jiu Jitsu community. I set up an academy management course to show teachers how to live off Jiu Jitsu. I expanded this and took the content to an online platform that I call “Live off Jiu Jitsu” which has been a success serving hundreds of professionals.

I am always working on many fronts, but it is impossible to do many things well, so my energy is always on one particular thing while the other things follow, and wait for their time. As I step away from leading one project, I make sure I find someone who can continue that mission with the quality and the same principles I have, because without a team nobody goes very far.  Since 1993 when we founded Alliance I have been working on it as a competition team, developing our teaching methodology, taking care of the brand, expanding the association and helping as I can, so after 25 years we have reached nearly 300 schools worldwide with more than 30,000 students. This in turn becomes another huge challenge, I feel the time has come to put my energy into making our school not only the best but the largest Jiu Jitsu school in the world, doing things that have never been done, and raising Jiu Jitsu to its greatest potential. I want to see how high we can go.

See you soon!