Category: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu


One gym I enjoy being a part of is TorontoBJJ. Of late, I made a couple video interviews with my teammates Gabe Sagman and Jon-Taine Hall. Gabe was scheduled to have his third pro fight on May 30 in Burlington, but he had to pull out due to injury.

I shot a lot of video of Gabe and his brother Reuben for a documentary short that I plan to release before Gabe’s next fight, which is tentatively scheduled for late October.

As for Jon-Taine, he is a jiu-jitsu phenom who faced an elite Olympic wrestler at Hard Knocks 44 in Calgary, Alberta on June 26. It was a real struggle for Jon-Taine to find opponents, so he stepped it up and took a really challenging match. He ended up losing a decision, but I believe he will come back much stronger next time around.

I give full credit to both Gabe and Jon-Taine for the commitment they’ve shown to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu throughout the years. Both are brown belts and both proudly fight under the TorontoBJJ banner. Of course, there’s much more to come and I look forward to watching their journeys unfold from the best vantage point in the house.

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As a special treat, Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro, multiple-time world jiui-jitsu champion and ADCC champion, made a visit to TorontoBJJ tonight. He was giving a seminar the following day, but had shown up to watch our evening class.

FIRST PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto demonstrates a move from the guard with instructor Thomas Beach. SECOND PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto (L) and Xande Ribeiro (R).

We learned a very useful sweep where one hand grabs the triceps and the other underhooks the leg. This can also be turned into an armbar if the opponent posts their arm in an attempt to base out.

For the very elite belts, crossing paths with a practitioner of Xande’s caliber is a rare opportunity to test their skills. He is so far beyond the skills of most black belts, it would not be unfair to liken Xande to someone driving a Formula 1 car by comparison.

Xande represents the highest degree of perfection attainable in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I felt very lucky to have met him.