Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, 5th Dan Black Belt in judo
John and Renzo
Jimmy Pedro and Renzo Gracie
Carlos Gracie –> Helio Gracie –> Carlos Gracie Jr –> Renzo Gracie –> John Danaher –> Travis Stevens
Renzo Gracie Academy NYAC
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 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.
Travis Stevens made a name for himself in the jiu-jitsu world. Eventually, he established his own academy in Wakefield, MA, 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.
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.
Copa Podia competition
5. Travis Stevens’s Championships and Accomplishments