With discipline and core foundations behind their everyday regime and creed, De La Salle University’s very own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Organization makes its way down the mat and introduces itself as one of the premier sports organization within the University grounds.
Headed by coach Russel Santos, with their esteemed trainer JR Rulloda, the organization leads the University’s efforts in promoting the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and developing young martial artists who hope to make it big in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) scene.
The team, however, is a part of a bigger picture. It is affiliated with the national Jiu Jitsu team of the Philippines, DEFTAC Philippines, the pioneer team in the country headed by DLSU alumnus Alvin Aguilar. The team’s operation integrates the national team’s practices and routines since its being accredited as a chapter by the national team.
A trail of greatness
Aguilar, the first Filipino black belter, started the formation of the Jiu Jitsu team in the university. Despite its slow build up and minimized popularity, the team managed to breakthrough to the competitive scene by engaging against different Jiu Jitsu organization may it be in the university tier or the national tier.
As the team racked up medals and awards from different competitions, numerous enthusiasts and hopefuls eventually joined their ranks and started growing in numbers. Eventually, the team evolved into a premier sports organization within the University and their members eventually grew, not just in numbers but also in skill and ability to perform on the mat, which led to their participation in several high-level tournaments such as the BJJ Novice Open, BJJ Philippine National Championships, BKK International Open, Pan Asians International Championships, and the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, also known as the Mundials.
While on the local scene, they also participate in smaller tournaments, such as Rollapalooza which is anchored by Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). When there are no tournaments to keep them busy, the members remain active by competing with various organizations in the local Brazilian Jiu Jitsu industry, such as the Jiu Jitsu organization known as KMA Philippines.
“We recruit new members, we compete, and we continue to represent the University in various competitions. These competitions are going all year round, so it’s not like the UAAP that it’s seasonal. In our case it’s every two months, every three months, or sometimes even every month,” shares coach Russel Santos.
He adds, “Furthermore, we also compete with various organizations like in KMA, which is another Jiu Jitsu Team. Plus we have another competition in Ateneo de Manila, which is called “Rollapalooza”. We compete yearly in those tournaments.”
Go home or go big
Bolstering their abilities and skills, Santos is prepping the team for the bigger prize at hand, The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nationals. Besides the various competitions in line for the team, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nationals is considered one of the biggest leagues in Jiu Jitsu next to the Pan Nations.
The team’s regular trainings now consist of more cardio and muscular movements to increase their versatility and dexterity when it comes to making contact with the opposing player. Furthermore, the team’s central point of practice is in their rolls, which will be the team’s main defensive option when it comes to the competition since these will allow the combatants to avoid getting hurt effortlessly. Although Santos emphasizes that rather than teaching the team something new, they’re just focusing on polishing and sharpening what they already know in order to fully execute their battle routines when the time calls for them to do so.
Santos states, “It’s more on polishing rather than integrating something new. So we’re improving our current game plan so we can improve them and apply them once the competition starts.”
However, before the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nationals begin, the team is still gearing up for other scheduled competitions in their calendar. The team will be suiting up for the upcoming Novis Open, which is where white belts or beginners will get a chance to compete for the lime light and a shot at pride and glory.
Santos and Rulloda hope that the team will be in full force once the Novis Open kicks into full gear since they have a surplus of reserve members from recruitment last year and this year. The coaching staff is planning on sending these new recruits to an opportunity to showcase their skills and talents, while notifying the other teams that the DLSU Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Organization is on a constant road to improvement with reinforcements in the form of aspiring young buds.
Come one, come all
Santos invites everyone to join the Jiu Jitsu team since it is open for every Lasallian or Benildean student. The team usually sets up their recruitment booth along the SJ Walk every other term.
For the sport’s enthusiast and applicants, they only require unwavering commitment and discipline with trainings scheduled every Friday and Saturday outside of the campus and with the other DEFTAC chapters from the north up to the south.
However, for those who want a teaser of what the sport and the team is all about, the DLSU Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Organization is a constant participant in the annual Lasallian Enrichment Activity Program (LEAP). Santos invites everyone to join their LEAP in order to gain the useful knowledge that the program provides, especially when it comes to basic self defense.
“What we do there is that we show the participants basic Jiu Jitsu as well as basic self defense, since even if its just a three hour class, they would still be able to apply them if the situation calls for them to do so,” shares Santos.