In America for 20 Years, Black Belt Analyzes the Jiu-Jitsu Landscape in the Country and Highlights the Importance of Brazilians – 06/20/2021

Duel card between Rob Font and Cody Garbrandt with five Brazilians at UFC Vegas 27;  Check it out - 05/22/2021

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Leo Ramos has been a jiu-jitsu practitioner since the 1990s and inspired by dreams, he left the wonderful city for San Diego, California (USA) in January 2000. Initially, he had a passion for journalism. The intention was to carry out a series of reports with fighters that were on the rise at the time, but at the same time, his passion for jiu-jitsu grew and his trajectory became more and more associated with the sport.

From Blue to Black Belt, Leo Ramos accompanied teachers Rodrigo Medeiros and Stefano Aguirre and as time went on, he believed he could act as a teacher. Thus, he began teaching art at San Diego’s gym in 2009, and between 2014 and 2017, he was in charge of the jiu-jitsu program at the UFC gym in San Diego. In October 2017, another change. The Rio de Janeiro native moved to Las Vegas, where he currently resides, and became one of the head trainers at the Fight Capital Gym gym run by boxer Skipper Kelp. Nowadays, the place has a solid jiu-jitsu program for kids ages 3 to 6, kids over age 7 and adults, as well as boxing and Muay Thai classes for professionals and amateurs.

For more than 20 years, closely following and participating in the development of jiu-jitsu in the United States, Leo Ramos has given his opinion on the current gentle art scene in the country and highlights the role of Brazilians in the process. Dala, noting that many teachers went to the country to teach the gentle arts to Americans.

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– Jiu-Jitsu has evolved a lot in recent years and I was able to follow the development of the sport relatively closely in the US, because when I lived in San Diego, the championships were held in Los Angeles, not Only in the technical aspect. , Jiu-Jitsu has changed, but also in the organization of championships and the frequency of tournaments. The game has spread in an absurd way. Today gentle art is recognized not only in the US but internationally. When I moved to California in 2000, jiu-jitsu was still developing, there were smaller championships promoted by Carlo Franca to Joo Moreira in Southern California, and they were smaller championships organized within academies, where the exponent name derives from these smaller championships. had come. And the jiu-jitsu scene is strong across America today, with the mecca concentrated in Southern California. Brazil’s participation in this process is undeniable, it is 100%! The Brazilians came here, the Gracie family was fundamental and we see the results today. I would say the difference is that in an MMA fight, you have to be perfect… you have to know boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, a little bit of everything. But if you’ve completely sharpened your ground, that’s it. Therefore, I think that Brazilians are extremely important in the development of Jiu-Jitsu on an international level, without a doubt. You can’t fail to thank the Gracie family for spreading the game – highlights Leo.

In the end, the Black Belt anticipates what he expects for years to come and takes the opportunity to praise federations and other tournaments that reward outstanding athletes with money. On the other hand, he lamented the fact that many fighters do not have the proper financial support to make a living from the sport in Brazil, either due to lack of sponsorship or even the support of political authorities.

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– I see the Jiu-Jitsu landscape growing and strengthening, with even more championships that award winners in cash, because it’s worth remembering that Jiu-Jitsu is a sport you can play with a gym spend on kimono. If you are not sponsored, you will also spend gas to compete in the hotel during the contest. In other words, it’s hard to be a competitor if you don’t have a sponsor, so these paid championships are great, especially for this new generation to come. I think the athlete should be recognized, because the merit of a victory goes beyond winning a medal, it is the effort an athlete makes to reach the championship and it should be recognized. And the best way to identify a human being in a capitalist country is through money. So, that’s why I give more support to championships that pay athletes. I hoped that Brazil would come to a day where America has always been, on a level that believes in sponsoring children, that the sport itself is supported, whether from the government, whether from big companies, or from companies to invest in. be the means. But this is not the case in Brazil, it is a shame. We have great fighters and jiu-jitsu teachers, great MMA athletes, but they don’t have the structure to reach the level they deserve – he concluded.

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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