Travis Stevens - Expert Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Trainer

Travis Stevens - Expert Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Trainer

1. Travis Stevens’s Details

Name Travis Stevens
Nickname N/A
Born Bellevue, Washington, United States of America,
Date of Birth February 28, 1986
Nationality American
Last Fight June 3, 2017
Weight Class Featherweight
Last Weigh-in 140.0 lbs
Weight 178.5 lb (81 kg)
Height 180 cm, 5 ft 11 inch
College/ University North Shore Community College
Career Disclosed Earnings $0 USD
Fought out of Pedro’s Judo Center
Net worth $1.5 Million
Favorite Play Technique Armbar
Foundational style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rank Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 6th Dan Black Belt in judo
Awarded by John and Renzo
Head Coach: Jimmy Pedro and Renzo Gracie
Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Renzo Gracie > John Danaher > Travis Stevens
Team/Association: Renzo Gracie Academy

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2. Travis Stevens’s Biography

Travis Stevens is a passionate American nationalist and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trainer. He was born on February 28, 1986, in Bellevue, Washington in the United States of America. Travis is in the American jiu-jitsu circuit because of his BJJ coaching techniques, grappling skills, and dedicated training. He took part in the Summer Olympics as a judoka several times. He worked with two popular coaches, John Danaher and Jimmy Pedro. Danaher trained him in jiu-jitsu, while Pedro trained him in judo.

Moreover, because of his hard work, Stevens holds a black belt in both jiu-jitsu and judo. An established athlete, he has competed against many famous judo and BJJ athletes and emerged victoriously. Stevens took part in the Summer Olympics of 2008, 2012, and 2016 and battled in the 81kg men's division. In 2016, he became the third American male judoka to win a silver medal in the Olympics. According to the International Judo Federation, Travis Stevens is currently ranked 12th in the 81 kg weight class.

3. Travis Stevens’s Early Life and Amateur Fighting

3.1 How did Stevens’s Judo Career Start?

At a young age, Stevens moved to Tacoma to live with his grandparents because of his parent's separation. He was a brilliant young boy and passionate about learning judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

Stevens started practicing judo when he was seven years old. He was so passionate that he joined a local youth center in his city. In one of the interviews, Stevens said that the youth center was close to his house and it was a simple establishment with a basketball court. In order to practice, he used to arrive 30 minutes before training started so that he could place all the mats.

At such a young age Stevens started participating in different judo competitions.

3.2 Travis Stevens’s Early Career

At 13 years old, Stevens started to train professionally. While training, he met a coach that directed him on the path to success. Travis started working with his first coach in 2006, Jimmy Pedro.

Pedro put extra effort into Stevens’s training to ensure his future success. Pedro used to train him while they both were traveling with teams. Pedro was an instructor of 23 teams at that time, but he still put aside time to train Stevens.

In 2009, the U.S. team announced the performance-based scholarships. Stevens was accepted into a scholarship program because he had won a gold medal in the 2007 Pan American Games.

In 2012, Stevens was training for the Olympics Games, but unfortunately, fractured his right foot. He had to stop his judo training but was able to become a member of a jiu-jitsu school. There, he learned the guard  technique, but this was not enough for him. In April 2012, he joined Renzo Gracie Academy, where he met the head coach John Danaher.

After starting his training with Danaher, Stevens focused more on grappling techniques. To learn more, he joined the American Kickboxing Academy from 2005 to 2006. Here, he worked hard and achieved a purple BJJ belt from his instructor.

Even though Stevens had taken Dave Camarillo’s BJJ classes at the American Kickboxing Academy in 2005-2006, Danaher’s grappling methods were new for Stevens. This is because, in the past, Stevens only saw jiu-jitsu as a workout routine. He wasn't inclined to pursue it professionally. But his judo background and limited knowledge of jiu-jitsu allowed him to achieve the purple belt level after only a few lessons with Danaher.

3.3 Coaches Jimmy Pedro and John Danaher

After working hard for almost 13 years, Stevens got a golden opportunity to meet the head coaches. He started his training with Jimmy Pedro in 2006. Jimmy Pedro had won the World Championship and was a great instructor. Jimmy Pedro has achieved a 7th-degree black belt in judo. After practicing hard, he took part in and won several competitions.

Stevens met his new Instructor, John Danaher, on Feb 12, 2012, when he was training to participate in the Olympics. Suddenly, Stevens fractured his right foot during training. However, he still joined a jiu-jitsu school to learn how to guard. Afterward, he became a part of Renzo Gracie Academy and Danaher taught him how to do new jiu-jitsu techniques.

Danaher trained him in grappling techniques and awarded him a black belt in jiu-jitsu in November 19, 2013.

3.4 Travis Stevens’s Pro BJJ Combat

Purple Belt Achievement

Stevens had taken classes at an American kickboxing academy after practicing with Danaher, learning how to master grappling. He acquired a better understanding of the grappling technique thanks to the instruction of his teacher. Stevens was awarded the BJJ purple belt shortly afterward.

Upgrading to Higher Belt Levels

After some time, Stevens received a brown belt from Danaher. At the time, he became an expert in both judo and jiu-jitsu. Feeling confident in his abilities, Stevens decided to take part in two major jiu-jitsu competitions.

He participated in the World Expo and Copa Podio, showing exceptional skill. This performance was enough proof for Danaher to give Stevens a black belt in November 2003.p>

Competed in Olympics

Stevens participated in 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2016, Stevens became the third American judoka to win a silver medal in the 81 kg men’s division.

3.5. BJJ Instructorship

Travis Stevens made a name for himself in the jiu-jitsu world. Eventually, he established his own academy, Fuji Gym in Wakefield, MA, on January 12, 2013, where he teaches judo and jiu-jitsu to many aspiring students. Travis Stevens’s jiu-jitsu methodology is more aligned with the rules of ADCC tournaments rather than IBJJF competition guidelines.

4. Travis Stevens’s Historic Fights

Travis Stevens VS Rico Bastos

Travis Stevens took part in the 2014 Copa Podia Competition. He faced Rico Bistro, who was quite a strong opponent. Both were strong competitors and it was a tough match. At the start, Stevens used the guard position while Bastos go low to try and bypass. After using different techniques, Bastos took the lead. Luckily, Stevens still managed to defeat Bastos.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
2014 Copa Podia competition Rico Bastos Win Armbar GP Heavyweight Brazil

Travis Stevens VS Tim Spriggs

In the 2014 Copa Podio Competition, Travis Stevens fought with Tim Spriggs. Travis started with the guard position. Both athletes grappled for some time before the referee interfered abruptly. The audience became disappointed that the match ended so soon, but the referee only stopped them due to safety concerns. The match then started again. Travis grabbed hold of Spriggs's arm and used the armbar move.

Stevens gained some advantage points with his extraordinary skill and locked in position around his opponent. After a bit more struggle, Travis won the match.

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
2014 Copa Podia competition Tim Spriggs Win Pts: 7x0 GP heavyweight Brazil

5. Travis Stevens’s Championships and Accomplishments

National Championships

● National Championships seniors

US National Championships Virginia Beach
Year Medals
2005 1 Bronze Medal

US National Championships Miami
Year Medals
2007 1 Gold Medal

US National Championships San Diego
Year Medals
2009 1 Gold Medal

US National Championships Myrtle Beach
Year Medals
2010 1 Gold Medal

● National championship Juniors

USJA Juvenile C Championships Rosemont
Year Medals
2004 1 Gold Medal

USJF Juvenile C Championships Irvine
Year Medals
2005 1 Gold Medal

International Championship

IJF Judo World Masters
Year Medals
2016 1 Gold Medal

PJU Pan American Games
Year Medals
2007 ,2015 1 Gold Medal

IJF Pan American Championship
Year Medals
2009 1 Gold Medal
2008, 2011, 2016 1 Silver Medal
2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 1 Bronze Medal

IJF Grand Prix Dusseldorf
Year Medals
2014 1 Gold Medal

IJF Grand Prix Tashkent
Year Medals
2013 1 Gold Medal

IJF World Cup Tashkent
Year Medals
2011 1 Gold Medal

IOC Olympic Games
Year Medals
2016 1 Silver Medal

IJF Grand Prix Havana
Year Medals
2016 1 Silver Medal

IJF Grand Slam Rio de Janeiro
Year Medals
2012 1 Silver Medal

6. Travis Stevens’s Records/Medals

  • IJF Judo World Masters Championship
  • PJU Pan American Games Championship
  • IJF Pan American Championship
  • IJF Grand Prix Dusseldorf Championship
  • IJF Grand Prix Tashkent Championship
  • IJF World Cup Tashkent Championship
  • IOC Olympic Games Championship
  • IJF Grand Prix Havana Championship
  • IJF Grand Slam Rio de Janeiro Championship

7. Travis Stevens’s Main Achievements

International Tournaments

Dallas Invitational Open
Year Weight Class
2003 73 kg

USA Fall Classic Harlingen
Year Weight Class
2006 81 kg

Rendez-Vous Canada Montreal
Year Weight Class
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 81 kg

US Open Miami
Year Weight Class
2006 81 kg

Ontario Open Toronto
Year Weight Class
2006 81 kg

British Open London
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

Pedro’s Judo Challenge Wakefield
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

Liberty Bell Judo Classic Philadelphia
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

Morris Cup Glenville N.Y.
Year Weight Class
2007, 2008 81 kg

Quebec Senior Open Montreal
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

US Open Duluth
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

Finnish Open Vantaa
Year Weight Class
2007 81 kg

The New York Open
Year Weight Class
2008,2009 81 kg

US Open Colorado Springs
Year Weight Class
2008 81 kg

Belgian Open Championships Visé
Year Weight Class
2010 81 kg

Continental Crown Seattle
Year Weight Class
2010 90 kg

8. Travis Stevens’s Main Achievements (Belts)

Year Position Event Belt
2016 1st IJF Judo World Masters Black
2014 1st IJF Prix Dusseldorf Black
2013 1st IJF Prix Tashkent Black
2016 2nd IOC Olympic Games Black
2016 2nd IJF Grand Prix Havana Black
2016 2nd IJF Pan American Championship Black
2014, 2015 3rd IJF Pan American Championship Black

9. Travis Stevens’s Professional Record Breakdown

Record Breakdown
7 Matches 2 Wins 4 Losses
By Submission 1 3
By Points 1 0
By decision 0 1
By advantages 0 0
Draws 1

9.1 Submission Methods W/L

Methods 1 Win 3 Losses
Armbar 1 0
Chock From Back 0 1
Botinha 0 2

10. Travis Stevens’s Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Methods Stage Weight Class
2017 F2W44 Yuri Simoes L Referee Decision SPF ABS
2014 Copa Podio Luiz Panza L Botinha 3PLC 94KG
2014 Copa Podio Rodolfo Vieira L Choke from back SF 94KG
2014 Copa Podio Tim Spriggs W Pts: 7x0 GP 94KG
2014 Copa Podio Leo Spriggs D N/A GP 94KG
2014 Copa Podio Luiz Panza L Botinha GP 94Kg
2014 Copa Podio Rico Bastos W Armbar GP 94KG

11. Travis Stevens’s Top Fights (Video Links)




Photo credit: @travisstevensjudo

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