Family is everything at Pacific Top Team.
We take pride in providing a welcoming and safe place for family BJJ at Pacific Top Team — with a range of kids and adult classes, we are always looking to bring families together under the PTT umbrella.
How long have you been training jiu-jitsu? How did you get into it?
I started training jiu-jitsu April of 2015 at Pacific Top Team. The kids enrolled in March they attended a spring camp with Professor JP. We didn’t realize how much we were going to enjoy the sport and environment.
I understand jiu-jitsu is a family affair for you. How did your kids get involved in BJJ? What has it been like to grow in jiu-jitsu as a family?
Yes, a huge family affair. When my family registered, I also brought the family of my oldest brother, my younger brother, my sister, and a cousin. I think at one point Pacific Top Team Corona was all my family.
We were heavily involved with soccer when my kids attended Prof JP’s camp. We thought it would be fun for the kids to try something new. After the camp, Professor JP approached us and told us he was very impressed with my kids, especially with my daughter Nautica. We decided to sign them up after the kids told us they loved the gym and the instructor.
I started training a month later. I drill as much as I can with the kids and my wife. The kids and I decided to try out our first competition with 4 to 5 months of training at a small tournament. We didn’t medal but we got hooked. Since then, the kids have been competing every month.
How did that tournament go?
The first tournament was very disorganized. Ivan was put up against a yellow belt even though he only had 2 stripes on his white. When we saw the Yellow belt, Professor asked me to pull Ivan out, but it was too late. He was submitted in like 5 seconds. I thought he wouldn’t want to compete anymore but I was wrong. He came off the mat and said he wanted to come back to compete and win, now that he had a taste.
He must really love jiu-jitsu.
These kids breathe and sleep jiu-jitsu. Seriously. The other night we found out Nautica doesn’t sleep walk, she sleep rolls. Rose woke up the other night in Nautica’s side control. The next day, Rose asked Nautica if she remembered what happened at night. Nautica said no, but that she was dreaming about jiu-jitsu.
You and your kids did very well in a number of tournaments lately. Tell me what you and your family has in store for the 2017 competition season.
We just finished NABJJF San Diego international Open. I won gold in my first ever no-gi competition. The kids scored silver in their gi and no-gi class. Ivan Jr. is doing really well, everything is flowing so naturally for him. We are always looking for ways to compete out of our comfort zone. Traveling around the country, far from home and from the team with only each other, is a great test.
Ivan Jr. ended with 10 medals last year and Nautica Ended with 11. Its always a goal to earn more medals. 2017 has started off good. Ivan Jr. has 1 gold and 4 silvers. Nautica has 5 silvers and we just finished February. They actually have a few sponsorships, because with travel, tournaments, hotels and privates, the cost gets heavy.
Ivan Jr and I will also be flying to Santiago Chile for our first Jiu-Jitsu Camp. Im hoping next year we can compete outside the USA.
What has your experience been like at Pacific Top Team, both for you and your family?
We have no interest in any other gym. Pacific Top Team is a big family gym. Everyone from Canada to Chile to our friends in Germany have been amazing to learn from and train with. Pacific Top Team is not a gym you need to prove yourself at. We all understand that behind every medal won is the sweat of the whole team.
Pacific Top Team Corona also allows us to participate in charitable programs, like Jiu-Jitsu vs. Cancer or IJEF, which brings free jiu-jitsu to kids across the world. Pacific Top Team is making a difference in the world through jiu-jitsu and we are glad to be a part of that.
Why do you think jiu-jitsu is important for kids start at a young age? What benefits have you seen from family BJJ in your children?
Jiu-jitsu is a sport that you can’t be too young or too old to start. For kids, it helps them understand respect. It’s a great form of physical activity, and it teaches children self-defense.
Our school is huge on anti-bully and prevention. We already had an incident with Nautica where some girls were trying to bully her teammate. So we’re glad all our kids are getting the chance to learn how to defend themselves.