Art of Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most successful competition teams in the BJJ world and the Mendes brothers, Rafael and Guilherme, have now announced that they will be opening a second gym in a new location. Both Guilherme and Rafael Mendes famously retired from competition themselves while they were at the very top of their game in 2015 and 2016 respectively. That news shocked the BJJ world at the time, as they were both incredible competitors and looked as though they would dominate their respective weightclasses for the foreseeable future.
Instead, they decided to dedicate themselves to developing the next generation of elite grapplers instead and devoted all of their time into their work as coaches and owners of Art of Jiu-Jitsu in Costa Mesa, California. Even though they followed the same path as many top competitors in becoming coaches, their approach to opening a gym was remarkably different to most. Instead of attempting to attract top competitors to form an elite team from day 1, they decided to build a competition team from their ground up and focus heavily on their kids program.
It took a long time for this method to bear fruit as their kids team had to develop and mature into adults, with Jessa Khan becoming the first black belt from the program at the end of 2020. Since then the team has gone from strength to strength and they now have a squad of elite competitors which has actually, in turn, attracted other top grapplers like Diego ‘Pato’ Oliveira to join the team. This is what has led to the Mendes brothers deciding to open up a second Art of Jiu-Jitsu gym in a brand new location, expanding their space and kids team to help build a legacy that looks secure for generations to come.
The news that there was going to be a second Art of Jiu-Jitsu gym opening up in a new location was announced in a post to both the Mendes brothers and the team’s official Instagram account: