David Meyer - First Black Belt in America’s History
By Elite Sports on
By Elite Sports on
Table of Contents
- 1. David Meyer’s Details
- 2. David Meyer’s Biography
- 3. David Meyer’s Early life and Amateur Fighting
- 3.1. David Meyer’s Historic Fights
- 3.2. Animals Welfare
- 3.3. David Meyer’s Championships and Accomplishments
- 4. David Meyer’s Main Achievements
- 5. David Meyer’s Main Achievements (Belts)
- 6. David Meyer’s Professional Record Breakdown
- 7. Video Links
1. David Meyer’s Details
|Pro MMA Record||N/A|
|Date of Birth||October 1962|
|Born||Los Angeles, United States|
|Weight Class||Peso Medio(181.5lbs)|
|Rank||5th Degree Black Belt|
|Career Disclosed Earnings||N/A|
|Fought out of||N/A|
|College/University||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Trainer/Coach||Sensei Jack Seki / Prof. Wally Jay|
|Team||Cesar Gracie/Machado JJ|
|Lineage||Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Jr -> Rigan Machado -> David Meyer|
2. David Meyer’s Biography
David Meyer , born in October 1962, is one of the first 12 a.k.a “Dirty Dozen” people to get their BJJ black belt outside of Brazil in 1996. He’s a 5th-Degree black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. David is recognized as a pioneer of the sport. He is the first American to get a medal in the 1998 IBJJF World Championship. He is also a founder of Adopt-a-Pet, America’s largest non-profit pet adoption site.
David is currently working for various Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in San Francisco and Los Angeles, coaching and training with the Cesar Gracie team.
3. David Meyer’s Early life and Amateur Fighting
David started training at the age of six . He had a keen interest in martial arts. He started his sports life with the modern style of Japanese jiu-jitsu. When Meyer was in school, he and his brother were bullied by a classmate. David’s parents thought that learning self-defense would be a morale booster for the brothers so they could easily fight for themselves. So, David joined Seki’s training center.
David practiced jiu-jitsu rigorously throughout his formative years, achieving his black belt at the age of 16. He went on to achieve three more degrees on his black belt ranks, all of which were authorized by Sensei Seki along with his student, Sensei Skip Koepke. During high school, David continued to train in kung fu with Sifu Douglas Wong as part of his weekly schedule.
David joined UCLA in 1980-1985, learning how to master Danzan Ryu jiu-jitsu, a combat style created by Professor Henry Okazaki in Hawaii.
In recognition of David’s training and experience in similar martial arts, he was requested to serve as an instructor during his period at the university. David earned an honorary black belt in Danzan Ryu jiu-jitsu under the mentorship of Master Wally Jay.
When the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles in the summer of 1984, many of the region’s sporting facilities were rented out to the teams competing in the tournament.
Aside from David’s own UCLA facility, David searched for a mat to rent for the summer and ended up leasing a time slot at Tenshin Dojo, a new Aikido school.
David took a year off after graduating from college to travel, working at the Tenshin Dojo until 1985. He also began training in Thai boxing to exercise his interests in sports.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Career
As evidence of the high-level training at his school, David began cross-training in a different jiu-jitsu style under a Brazilian instructor. The MMA enthusiast David chose to follow his student and enrolled in one of these classes to explore what was unusual about the new Brazilian way of training.
Before UFC 1, David trained with people he met in college, whom he called “Brazilian guys.” He had years of experience in grappling but within only six months of training with them, he improved his skills to a great extent.
The gym praised by David’s students that was recently opened was called “Rigan Machado School.” Though, Meyer did not have the opportunity to meet the head coach on his visit to the Machados due to unexpected circumstances. Instead, John Will, a purple belt at the time, was responsible for Meyer’s introduction to BJJ. Meyer was sufficiently impressed with John's performance and invited him back, despite his lower rank.
3.1. David Meyer’s Historic Fights
David chose to take a deep dive into this combat style with both John Will and Rigan Machado over the training of two weeks. To accomplish this goal, David opted to close his own martial arts workgroup.
In 1994, a tournament between the Tarzana and Redondo Beach Machado Brothers schools took place. It was a cross-school competition between the two institutions. David had won a number of “super fights” at regional and National Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu events , both Gi and No-Gi competitions.
In 1995, David had his first major Panams tournament. David’s rise through the ranks of jiu-jitsu under Machados (John, Rogan, Roger Machado, and Jean Jaques) was extraordinarily fast for the time but it was fully understandable looking at David’s substantial martial arts training and experience.
In December 1996, David was promoted to black belt in less than six years during a ceremony officiated by Rogan Machado.
International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Championship 98
During the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 1998, David became the first American to ever win a medal in an Open Weight Class, considered the gold standard of BJJ black belts. David is likely to have been the first non-Brazilian to ever win a gold medalin this division at the Mundial.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu America Website
At the time, Meyer was working on a variety of animal-welfare related projects. He also launched the BJJ America website, which he co-developed with Dirty Dozen member John Will. The BJJ curriculum videos were sold to martial arts academies all over the world for a few years before the global BJJ boom. This curriculum served as an important tool in raising awareness of jiu-jitsu in areas where the sport/martial art had not yet made its way.
As an animal rights activist, David has been a vegan since 1985 and is a member of the Vegan Society. He created the website www.FuelForTheFighter.com to demonstrate how MMA and BJJ competitors can be vegan or vegetarian while seeing increases in strength and endurance.
David Meyer Books
- He wrote “Training for Competition: Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Submission grappling”
In this book, Meyer begins with
- Goal setting
- Game plans
- How to do’s
- Taking risks
All of these lessons are interwoven with Meyer’s life experiences. He has emphasized that he gained something from the experience, regardless of whether he won or lost . Every encounter provided an opportunity to identify a weakness and work to overcome it, ultimately leading to understanding and success.
It is a complete guide on discovering and training the competitor within you. A competitor's path to better prepare for a competition is explained by David in clear and succinct detail, using photo illustrations to help the reader understand what the competitor must do.
- He has also written “The Triangle” which he co-authored with Rogan Machado.
- He and John Will collaborated on the development of the Grappling Curriculum for the Chuck Norris Karate Association.
Though David Meyer is one of the most well-known black belts in American history, he never chose to create his own school, claiming his desire to “not convert the thing I love into something I 'have’ to do”.
3.2. Animals Welfare
Aside from his multiple grappling accomplishments, David Meyer is also a well-known figure in the animal rights community. Meyer expressed his motivations for making this altruistic lifestyle. As the co-founder and the president of adoptapet.com, he has become a vocal advocate for homeless and abandoned animals.
“I am a life-long animal lover and I felt it doesn’t make sense to pay for people to kill animals to eat them if you don’t have to. That was my initial motivation and it is still my motivation to this day. It’s also much more sustainable for the environment in terms of the use of resources and because of the pollution it creates through run-off and waste. It’s simply about not harming other living beings if I don’t have to. That’s what it means to be a protector of life.”
In 2000, David and a group of like-minded acquaintances conducted a meticulously researched annual study on how to prevent pet overpopulation. It was decided to create 1-800-Save-A-Pet.com, which was then renamed Adopt-a-Pet.com in 2008.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck the United States, David volunteered to coordinate the pet rescue in New Orleans, Louisiana. He coordinated more than 1000 volunteers and was responsible for saving the lives of more than 17,000 stranded dogs, cats, and other animals during the hurricane season. He was immensely praised for his bravery and determination.
After the Hurricane Katrina pet rescue, David concentrated his focus on making Adopt-a-Pet.com even more effective in its efforts to save animals' lives in the future. With the support of Nestle Purina Petcare, Petco, the Petco Foundation, and Bayer Animal Health, Adopt-a-Pet.com has grown to become the world's biggest non-profit homeless pet adoption organization, displaying pets from thousands of animal shelters and reaching millions of potential adopters every month.
"We work with 15,000 animal shelters across North America to help them place their dogs with loving families. It's simply a natural outgrowth of my affection for all creatures."
3.3. David Meyer’s Championships and Accomplishments
- 1st American Black Belt Winner
- 1st American to win a medal at BJJ World Championship
- Nine World Championship Gold Medals
- Four American National Gold Medals
4. David Meyer’s Main Achievements
|2019||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2019||BJJT American Cup||1st|
|2019||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||3rd|
|2018||BJJT US Open||1st|
|2018||JJWL World Championship||2nd|
|2018||BJJT US Open||2nd|
|2018||BJJT American Cup||2nd|
|2018||IBJJF World Championship||3rd|
|2017||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2017||BJJT American Cup||1st|
|2016||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2016||BJJT US Open||1st|
|2016||BJJT US Open||2nd|
|2015||JJWL World Championship||1st|
|2015||VJJT American Cup||2nd|
|2013||BJJT American Cup||2nd|
|2012||BJJT American Cup||1st|
|2012||IBJJF Masters and Seniors International Tournament||2nd|
|2011||IBJJF Pan Championship||1st|
|2011||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2011||BJJT US Open||2nd|
|2010||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2010||BJJT US Open||1st|
|2009||IBJJF World Championship NoGi||1st|
|2009||IBJJF American Nationals||1st|
|2009||BJJT US Open||1st|
|2007||IBJJF Masters and Seniors International Tournament||1st|
|2005||IBJJF Pan Championship||2nd|
|2005||IBJJF Pan Championship||3rd|
|2004||IBJJF Pan Championship||1st|
|2004||IBJJF American Nationals||3rd|
|2000||Copa Pacifica Championship||1st|
|1998||IBJJF World Championship||3rd|
|1997||Joe Moreira V Championship||1st|
5. David Meyer’s Main Achievements
This fighter doesn't have a professional record breakdown so i’m compiling the data from here
|2018||American Cup||Silver Medal||Black Belt||Open Weight Class|
|2018||American Cup||Silver Medal||Black Belt||Medium Heavy Weight|
|2017||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2017||American Cup||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Medium Heavy Weight|
|2016||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2016||US Open||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2015||Jiu-Jitsu World League||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2014||American Cup||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2013||American Cup||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2012||IBJJF Masters and Seniors World Championship||Silver Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2012||American Cup||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Middleweight|
|2011||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Mediumweight|
|2011||Pan Am Games||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Mediumweight|
|2011||Us Open BJJ||Silver Medal||Black Belt||Mediumweight|
|2010||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Mediumweight|
|2010||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Openweight|
|2010||Us Open BJJ||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Openweight|
|2009||American National||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Mediumweight|
|2009||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Medium Heavy Weight|
|2009||IBJJF No-Gi||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Openweight|
|2004||Pan Am Games||Gold Medal||Black Belt||Medium Heavy Weight|
|1998||IBJJF World Championship||Bronze Medal||Black Belt||Absolute Division|
6. David Meyer’s Professional Record Breakdown
No Professional record
7. Video Links
2004 David Meyer vs Fabio Santos
John Will & David Meyer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Seminar
Is Eating Less Animal Products Really a Smarter Diet?
Interview With David Meyer-BJJ World Champ
Top Rated Blogs
- Travis Lutter - The Serial Killer 4th Degree Black Belt
- Master Julio Cesar Pereira - The BJJ Champion Maker!
- Renzo Gracie - The Pride of Gracie’s Legacy
- Ronaldo Junior - Jiu-Jitsu World Champion 2018-2019
- Gabriel Almeida- A High Profile BJJ Competitor
- Bruno Almeida Alves - BJJ Maestro & World Champion!