Filipino Jiu-Jitsu competitors flock to Japan for the 2016 Asian Open

The land of the rising sun is set for a Pinoy invasion this September, as competitors representing their teams test their skills against some of the world’s best and toughest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors at the 2016 Asian Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Over 100 Filipino competitors are expected to take part in the annual tournament, coming from some of the country’s top teams. From Atos Philippines are black belts Ali Sulit and Hansel Co, Stephen Salazar from Team Fabricio, and John Michael Jayme from 90/Eight BJJ.

Image credit: Atos Philippines Facebook Page

Image credit: Atos Philippines Facebook Page

Representing DEFTAC-Ribeiro are black belts Allan Co, and Pichon Garcia, ONE Championship referee and purple belt Joey Lepiten, and the team’s chieftain and URCC founder, Alvin Aguilar.

The 2016 Asian Open will take place on September 10-11, at the Tokyo Budo-Kan gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

DEFTAC Pilipinas: Factory of champions, family above all

The weekend of May 20th-22nd marked another feather in the cap moment for DEFTAC Pilipinas, winning the overall championships at the 2016 Pan-Asian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament.

And early this month, two of the team’s feistiest female competitors ended with podium finishes at the recently concluded IBJJF World Championships in California. Kim Custodio bagged the silver medal for the women’s galo division for white belt, while May Masuda took home the bronze medal, also for the women’s galo division for purple belt.


Photo credit: DEFTAC Philippines Facebook page

Photo credit: DEFTAC Philippines Facebook page

Photo credit: DEFTAC Philippines Facebook page

These were feats that were nothing new for the team. But as an old adage goes, success in life can never be an accident. Champions are not the people who never fail, but the people who never quit. And like any other distinguished group of individuals, DEFTAC had its own share of struggles during its infancy.

With it roots going back to the more colorful scene in the 90’s, when street brawls were a common occurrence, conventional martial arts had a more underground nature to it. As shared by the team’s chieftain Prof. Alvin Aguilar, it took a lot of time and effort to clean up the mess.

When the negative stigma was finally eradicated, it was when the true beauty of the art of Jiu-jitsu began to surface.

“What happened was, when the stigma was taken out, a lot of people started joining. They saw we had something to offer. And ever since we’ve been changing lives. We produce the most national and international champions in MMA and jiu-jitsu combined in the whole of Asia. And we’re going to keep going.”

Photo credit: BAMF Facebook page

Photo credit: BAMF Facebook page

Prof. Aguilar himself was no stranger to Manila’s mean streets back in his heyday. Having been there and done that, he instead chose to share the knowledge that was imparted upon him by the best instructors in the world.

But it was when he stepped inside the gym of Saulo Ribeiro in San Diego that became the ultimate eye-opener.

“In Saulo’s gym, everybody wants to be a Mundial champion. Everyone wants to take it to the next level. It just so happened, when I went there, we were all training for the Mundials also.”

“He really brought me to the next level. And because of my exposure there with Saulo, I rolled with a lot of World Champions. Now, I’ve rolled with a lot of people who are name guys. I’ve done pretty well with it because of the training I got there. And I want to keep going for it.”

Prof. Aguilar mainly attributes DEFTAC’s success to Ribeiro’s mentorship, crediting him for the having a deep understanding of the techniques.

“Until now, we’re still the Pan-Asian champion. Ever since we were with Saulo, every year, we win it.”

To date, a good number of DEFTAC gyms have been established all over the archipelago, and the talent level has been at its peak, to say the least. It has produced a long list of champions and medalists from almost every age group.

As far as the continued triumphs of the team goes, Prof. Aguilar says it all boils down to the camaraderie that runs deep.

“The bonds you have in jiu-jitsu are something else. I mean, people think now that you’re on the mat by yourself. No. What you are on the mat, it’s what all of your training partners made you. The whole team made you. So that’s just an awesome, awesome thing.”

“We’ve changed a lot of people’s lives for the better. A lot of people are more confident in their lives. They’re achieving more in their lives because of jiu-jitsu. They’re not afraid of anything, which you shouldn’t be, because there’s no such thing as mistakes. There’s only lessons.”

“In the end, we always get along. We always back each other up. And once you’re DEFTAC, you’re always DEFTAC.”

Photo credit: BAMF Facebook page

Photo credit: BAMF Facebook page

Women’s Self Defense That Works!

Maintaining the Mount Position

Position before submission, that is the main principle in trying to improve your game in BJJ.

Here are some basic tips in maintaining the mount position.

BJJ Counter Attacks

Demian Maia demonstrates counters to common BJJ attacks.

In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, it’s always a chess game of attacks and counters. Knowing your attacks is one thing, but knowing how to counter will make your game more interesting.

Armbar from the Back Take by the Miyao Brothers

Here’s an alternative attack that you can practice when you get your opponent’s back.

The Miyao brothers demonstrate a technical execution on how to initiate the armbar from the back take. Enjoy!

Opening the Guard by Professor Saulo Ribeiro

Having all that passing techniques in mind would be useless if you can’t open the guard. This is the first step before you can do any kind of pass.

Professor Saulo Ribeiro demonstrates how to pass the guard by securing your base and actually not using too much strength. One of the takeaways here is that your training partner is not your enemy, you don’t want to hurt him and use sheer strength. It is important to mind our technique when training.

Side Control Concepts from Xande Ribeiro

One of my favorite positions would be the side control. It’s very convenient and at the same time opens up a lot of opportunities for you to attack.

But before you can do any submission, position should be the priority. As they always say – Position before Submission.

Know the concepts and be able to keep your opponents flat and execute the side control correctly.

Technique of the Day: Open Guard Sweep by Rafael Lovato

Rafael Lovato demonstrates an open guard sweep.

Congratulations Kyle Kapunan for Winning Gold at the Philippine BJJ International Open 2015

A big congratulations to Deftac Ortigas one and only competitor Kyle Kapunan celebrated his brown belt debut with a gold! Kyle has been studying hard for his entrance test for law school and still managed to bag the gold. Truly an inspiration!

Props to everyone who competed and special mention to our team Deftac-Ribeiro for representing and bagging medals in the men’s and women’s divisions.