Atos Jiu-Jitsu fighter Gilbert “Durinho” Burns, who after eliminating lightweight division favorite Lucas Lepri, went on to win the silver medal at the 2009 BJJ Mundial.
Like many Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners watching the 2009 BJJ World Championship, we at The FightWorks Podcast are curious to know more about Atos Jiu-Jitsu. Who are these guys that took 5 of the 39 total mens black belt medals (there are normally 40 medals, but…), despite not having one competitor registered under their name just one year ago at the 2008 BJJ World Championship?
While at the Mundial this weekend there were mentions of Atos being tied to Andre Galvao, a very popular Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who has earned medals in the BJJ World Championship black belt divisions from 2005 through 2008. Galvao is currently focused on a budding MMA career but recently finished work on a Brazilian jiu-jitsu book with Kevin Howell, who coauthored the acclaimed Jiu-Jitsu University with Saulo Ribeiro. We caught up with Howell on the phone and he gave us the following account of Atos Jiu-Jitsu and its origins.
When Galvao was a jiu-jitsu brown belt, he trained under the TT banner, a team lead by Eduardo Telles and Fernando Terere (hence the two T’s in the name). It was then that Galvao met Ramon Lemos. The two became close friends, and Lemos ended up bringing his group of students to the TT team as well. Lemos’ students included the Mendes brothers Rafael and Guilherme, as well as Gilbert “Durinho” Burns.
At some point after winning the 2005 BJJ World Championship at black belt middleweight, Galvao left TT and began training with Brasa Jiu-Jitsu, a team adorned with such jiu-jitsu stars like Demian Maia, Felipe Costa, Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros, Leo Leite, Robert Drysdale,and Leo Vieira. When Galvao left TT to join Brasa, his friend Ramon Lemos came along with him, bringing his students to help comprise Brasa. Brasa would in turn go on, like many jiu-jitsu teams, to rupture. While Brasa remains active today with stalwarts Comprido and Costa, Leo Vieira left Brasa and went on to lead a team he named Check Mat BJJ.
So where does Atos come in? Among a landscape of shifting BJJ tectonic plates, Andre Galvao and his close friend Ramon Lemos decided to go their own way to create Atos. Reflecting the religious beliefs of the team’s leaders, the name “Atos” is a Biblical reference to the Book of Acts. The team is small but enjoys a technical level found among few jiu-jitsu camps anywhere. Last weekend the group earned the following medals in male black belt competition:
- Light Featherweight: Guilherme Mendes received the gold medal.
- Featherweight: Bruno Frazatto received the silver medal.
- Featherweight: Rafael Mendes received the bronze medal.
- Light weight: Gilbert “Durinho” Burns received the silver medal.
- Absolute: Claudio Calasans received the bronze medal.
In a follow up email with Kevin Howell, he created a Cliff Notes version of things for us:
Andre Galvao: Careca to Oswaldo Alves to TT to Brasa to Atos
Leo Vieira: Alliance to Master to Brasa to Check Mat
Ramon Lemos: Nova Uniao to TT to Brasa to Check Mat to Atos
Mendes brothers, Rafael & Guilherme: TT to Brasa to Check Mat to Atos
So that brings us to the present, and now we can just wait and to watch to see how Atos Jiu-Jitsu performs in upcoming events! Thanks to Kevin Howell for clarifying the origins of Atos Jiu-Jitsu!