After 17 years of dedication to constant improvement, powered by core values that shape the team, the DLSU Brazillian Jiu Jitsu they established themselves as an official DLSU sports organization. The team first planted its roots in 1993, under the guidance of Alvin Aguilar, the pioneer of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in the Philippines.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is on the rise, alongside the famous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), around the globe. Despite this, many Filipinos are unaware of what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is.
Jiu Jitsu is a distinct self-defense system and marital art, centralized on grappling and mainly ground fighting; it was derived from the Japanese martial art, Kodokanjudo, in the early 20th century.
The DLSU BJJ organization along with DEFTAC, the Philippines’ pioneer team in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, has a definite goal, “to promote the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by joining various BJJ and MMA tournaments, both locally and internationally, while empowering students and raising their self esteem,” shares BJJ blue belt and team trainer JR Rulloda.
The BJJ training is more complicated than other sports. A true practitioner keeps a well-tuned body, sharp senses, clear mind and a healthy dose of confidence.
Beginners in the art of BJJ are always confronted with the intense cardio training. BJJ involves a lot of movement and adequate strength to execute holds, joint-locks and positional advances.
“Flow with the go,” summarizes the importance of sharp senses. Timing dictates the success of executed movements especially for sweeps or reverses.
Rulloda says, “In BJJ, it is not in the number of moves you know, but on the learning based on repetition and refinement of techniques”. Furthermore, he describes that smooth and relaxed movements characterize a good grappler.
Mental conditioning is just as important as cardio training and skill. Unnecessary movements drain more stamina and indecisiveness slow movement. These are caused by uncontrolled fear and lingering doubts—typical symptoms of a clouded mind.
The BJJ team is always on the peak of confidence as they live soaked in battle aside from the usual mat sparring. The brigade grapples yearly against top-tier competitions at prestigious tourneys such as the BKK International Open, BJJ Philippine National Championships, Pan Asians International Championships, BJJ Novice Open and the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, also known as Mundials. They also participate in two smaller tournaments hosted by Ateneo De Manila University, and two other in-house tournaments.
The club’s training regimen produced outstanding BJJ practitioners through the years. Recent additions to the list are Maybelline Masuda, Andrew Laxa, JR Rulloda, Russell Santos and John Sarao. Maybelline Masuda notably attained the group’s first world championship at the 2009 Mundials. Purple belter Andrew Laxa represented as well during last year’s Mundials.
More than just a team
“The benefits of learning BJJ are limitless; it goes beyond the physical, emotional and mental aspect.” Rulloda expresses. Becasue martial arts transcends simple self-defense, jointlocks and form training, and basic body exercises—ultimately becoming a way of life.
“Our members to this day still hold true to the values of loyalty, integrity, family, honor, discipline and achieving all goals,” Aguilar shares.
The team has its own version approved by Rulloda. He furthers, “Values that we live by are honor, attitude, discipline, loyalty, family, and respect. For us, these six are the most important core values that a samurai warrior live by and we strive to pursue each in order to better our daily lives.”
He adds, “It is not what you do with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it’s what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does to you. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s beauty is shown in the uniqueness of an individual. You have to experience it yourself for you to find out.”