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Jonathan Thomas - Top BJJ Black Belt Coach

Jonathan Thomas - Top BJJ Black Belt Coach

1. Jonathan Thomas’s Details

Jonathan Thomas’s Details
Full Name Jonathan Paul Thomas
Nickname Macarrão
Born St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
Date of Birth August 25, 1986
Age 37
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Weight Division Peso Pena (70 kg / 154.5 lbs)
Foundational Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 
Rank Black Belt
Head Coach Lucas Lepri
Romero Cavalcanti
Favorite Position/Technique Tornado Pass
Lineage 1 Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie> Sérgio Souza (Bolão) > Mauro Chueng > Elan Santiago > Lucas Lepri > Jonathan Thomas
Lineage 2 Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Jonathan Thomas
Team Association/Affiliation Valhalla Jiu-Jitsu
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2. Jonathan Thomas’s Biography

During his teens, he developed an interest in martial arts. Jonathan Thomas sought some BJJ books and studied positions with his judo training partners, which further raised his curiosity for traditional jiu-jitsu.

After analyzing BJJ books for months, Thomas decided to join a grappling club established by one of Rickson Gracie’s well-known students, Rodrigo Vaghi. After winning frequently at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World and Pan American Championships, Thomas became known for his success in the lower ranks of BJJ’s international sporting circuit. Later, he led a successful competitive career as a black belt athlete and coach for the Swedish -grappling academy, Valhalla Jiu-Jitsu.

2.1. Jonathan Thomas’s Early Life

 Born on August 25th, 1986, Jonathan Thomas grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Thomas developed a keen interest in martial arts at a young age and eventually began training a traditional-style self-defense martial arts at a local sports club called Goshin Jitsu.

2.2. Initial Exposure to Judo and Martial Arts Competitions

In the Goshin Jitsu, Thomas also enrolled in a judo class, and it was via this well-known Olympic combat sport that he was introduced to the competitive aspect of martial arts. Thomas astounded his instructors with his skills and work ethic at this local martial arts club.

2.3. Discovering UFC and Beginning of BJJ Training Journey

While growing up, Thomas watched the videos of the first UFC in which Royce Gracie, the smallest martial artist in the event, dominate athletes bigger than him sparked a new interest in Thomas. He looked for the books on positions that Royce Gracie executed in his first UFC bouts. After dissecting books for quite a while, Thomas developed an interest in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and decided to join a grappling club based in Saint Louis, led by one of Rickson Gracie’s top students, Rodrigo Vaghi. Under Vaghi's guidance, Thomas developed into a skilled competitor in both local and national circuits. He dedicated himself to his training, often staying on the mat for longer periods to advance his skills and all this while working on his engineering mathematics degree.

2.4. Joining Alliance Headquarters as a Purple Belt

In 2008, when Jon achieved the purple belt level, he decided to hold onto his entry into the professional market as a mathematician to train with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles at the Alliance Headquarters in Atlanta.

2.5. Jonathan Thomas’s BJJ Training with Ryan Hall

After two years in Atlanta, Thomas joined the professional market, moving to Washington DC where he worked in the satellite industry while training BJJ with Ryan Hall.

2.6. Relocating to Atlanta & Training with Lucas Lepri

Though Jonathan Thomas had created a promising career for himself in the satellite industry, his yearning for training jiu-jitsu full-time compelled him to leave his position in Washington D.C and travel back to Georgia, Atlanta. Though Thomas intended to train with Cobrinha in Atlanta, the latter left for Los Angeles, providing Thomas an opportunity to grow under the tutelage of Lucas Lepri and Master Romero Cavalcanti at the Alliance Headquarters. By this point, Thomas began competing extensively at the lower belt ranks, grasping the attention of the international BJJ circuit through his remarkable wins in the IBJJF tournaments.

2.7. Jonathan Thomas’s  Black Belt Promotion

It was Lucas Lepri and Cavalcanti, who unanimously promoted Jonathan Thomas to black belt in late 2013. As a black belt, Thomas has competed in various tournaments while working a full-time job, paying visits to European BJJ academies, and leading workshops on BJJ in the Old Continent. More than ten years ago, Jonathan Thomas, a white belt with a love for martial arts, started his journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Thomas encountered many obstacles and disappointments as he moved up the belt system, but he never wavered in his dedication to his training and skill development.

His desire to earn the coveted black belt was fueled by his determination to learn from his instructors and the support of his fellow students. After years of dedication and hard work, Thomas eventually obtained his BJJ black belt. He now spends a significant amount of his time in Sweden, but he also travels the world, leading seminars and engaging with the BJJ community.

2.8. Jonathan Thomas’s Championship Moments

Thomas is recognized as one of the best BJJ players in the United States, as he went on to win medals in the IBJJF Pan-American and IBJJF International Open Finals. He achieved his way to the top rankings by winning several competitions. Thomas’s vow to BJJ pays off through his several achievements.

2.9. Jonathan Thomas’s BJJ Instructorship

Jonathan Thomas is focused on teaching and tutoring understudies of all levels in the craft of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a BJJ black belt. His technique for direction accentuates the essentials of BJJ, with specific regard for method, influence, and system. Notwithstanding his specialized skill and excitement for combative techniques, he carries an abundance of involvement in his situation as a teacher. He is committed to giving his understudies a decent, reassuring, and safe learning climate where they can drive themselves and foster both on and off the mat. In his training vocation, Jonathan Thomas is focused on sharing his insight and energy for BJJ with all degrees of understudies, empowering them to understand their maximum capacity in martial arts fighting.

As a serious BJJ specialist, Thomas's training and instructing technique depend on his encounters. Understanding the psychological and actual requests of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he is devoted to helping his understudies acquire the confidence, determination, and specialized capability expected to prevail in craftsmanship.

2.10. Jonathan Thomas’s Challenges

The most common challenge faced by Jonathan Thomas, and almost all BJJ fighters, is managing training with other responsibilities. In Thomas's case, he had to manage his studies along with his BJJ training. He also had to drop an auspicious career in the rocket-building industry to train with Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles.

2.11. Jonathan Thomas’s Legacy and Recognition

Thomas is perceived as a gifted and profoundly regarded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. His capability, title achievements, and showing style have a lasting legacy in the BJJ people group. Thomas is known for his abilities in the specialized guarded style of BJJ and his capacity to pass BJJ information on to his students in the best way.

Additionally, his effect on the BJJ should be visible through a few titles and the respect, he gained all through his profession. His legacy incorporates a status for being an excellent teacher and a motivation to foster BJJ among the new students. The BJJ people group proceeds to respect and value Jonathan Thomas' Legacy.

3. Jonathan Thomas’s Historic Fights

3.1. Jonathan Thomas vs Samir Chantre / Miami Spring Open 2017

In 2017, at the Miami Spring Open Championship, the American native Jonathan Thomas brought gold to his home by winning the fight with Samir Chantre, in the featherweight division under Pts: 5x4.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
2017 Miami SPO Samir Chantre Win Pts: 5x4 Final Feather N/A

3.2. Jonathan Thomas VS Fernando Di Pierro / Pan NoGi Championship 2020

In 2020, the Pan NoGi Championship between Thomas and Di Pierro was held in Georgia Jonathan Thomas won the semi-finals, under heavy weight by using the leg lock technique.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
2020 Pan NoGi Championship Fernando Di Pierro Win Leg Lock Semi-Finals Heavy Atlanta, Georgia

4. Jonathan Thomas’s National & International Accomplishments

Year Event Medal Weight Division
2014 Atlanta Open Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather
2015 Boca Raton Open Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather
2016 Munich Open Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather
2016 Paris Open Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather
2016 Poznan Open Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather
2017 Miami SPO Gold Gold Medal Icon Feather

5. Jonathan Thomas’s Main Achievements (Belt)

Year Event Position Belt
2014 Atlanta Open Champion N/A Black
2015 Boca Raton Open Champion N/A Black
2016 Paris Open Champion N/A Balck
2016  Poznan Open Champion N/A Black
2016 Munich Open Champion N/A Black
2017 Miami Spring Open Champion N/A Black

5.1. Jonathan Thomas’s Main Achievements (Colored Belts)

Year Event Position Belt
2007 IBJJF Pan Champion N/A blue
2009 World Champion N/A purple
2009 Pan Champion N/A purple,
2011 Pan Champion N/A brown
2011 World Champion N/A Brown

6. Jonathan Thomas’s Professional Record Breakdown

Matches Wins Losses
By Points 05 0
By Advantage 00 01
By Submission 10 01
By Decision 00 02
By Penalty 00 00
BY DQ 00 00
Draw 0

6.1. Submission Methods W/L

Method Wins Loss
Choke from back 03 00
Triangle 01 00
Terra foot lock 00 01
Brabo Choke 01 00
Submission 02 00
Armbar 01 00
Choke 01 00
Bow and Arrow 01 00

7. Jonathan Thomas’s Fight History

Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
Tiago Bravo W Triangle European Feather R1 2015
Wellington Dias W Choke from back Atlanta Open Feather F 2014
Gianni Gripo L Referee Decision NYC pro Feather 4F 2014
Vitor Riciotti W Brabo Choke Boca Raton Open Feather SF 2015
Andre Monteiro W Submission Boca Raton Open Feather F 2015
Isaque Paiva W Points World Champ Feather R1 2015
Leo Saggioro L Referee Decision World Champ Feather 8F 2015
Tsuyoshi Tamaki W Choke from back Munich Open Feather F 2016
Brian Mahecha W Armbar World Champ Feather R1 2016
Eric Stage W Choke Paris Open Feather SF 2016
Jason Gagnon W Points Paris Open Feather F 2016
Ashley Williams W Points Poznan Open Feather SF 2016
Rafael Salomao W Submission Poznan Open Feather F 2016
Thiago Macedo W Points Miami SPO Feather SF 2017
Samir Chantre W Pts: 5X4 Miami SPO Feather F 2017
Silvio Duran W Bow and Arrow World Champ. Feather R1 2017
Leo Saggioro L Pts: 4x2 World Champ. Feather 8F 2017
Lucian Queiroz W Choke from back European Open Feather R1 2018
Marcio Andre L Pts: 0x0, Adv European Open Feather 4F 2018
Gabriel Marangoni L Terra foot lock European Feather 4F 2015

8. Jonathan Thomas’s Top Fights

Jonathan Thomas vs Samir Chantre / Miami Spring Open 2017

Jonathan Thomas VS Fernando Di Pierro / Pan NoGi Championship 2020

Photo Credit: @jonthomasbjj

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