Teenage prodigies are nothing new to BJJ and we’ve seen an increasing number of young grapplers be able to keep pace with elite adults, but doing so as a 14 year-old is still an amazing achievement. In the last few years alone there are a number of high-level grapplers that have burst onto the scene before they’ve even finished growing. The Danaher Death Squad has the young Nicky Ryan who has already submitted an NCAA Champion Wrestler and has just recently been awarded with his black belt despite still not being old enough to drink in the States.
Then of course, ATOS has the Ruotolo brothers, two youngsters who have already achieved some amazing things in the sport and are being held up as a big part of the future for families in BJJ. Both of the brothers have been awarded with their brown belts by Andre Galvao just recently, and they’re on track for the earliest promotions that the IBJJF rules will allow. Now there’s another name to add to the list of young stars in the making, coming from a comparatively smaller gym in Pleasanton, Texas. J.R. Caballero is his name and the 14 year-old trains BJJ under Donny Blue, having done so for the last four years.
He entered an American Grappling Federation event’s Pro Challenger Series. There he came up against three black belt competitors and he managed to submit all three of them, with two of them tapping in under a minute. Not just that, but he also showed an amazing breadth of knowledge for such a young grappler as he didn’t just rinse and repeat the same tactics in his fights. He submitted the three black belts with a heelhook, an armbar, and a flying triangle choke in the final match. The youngster posted a video of his finals match on his Instagram account: