Jiu Jitsu Leadership Cohort Launch

Jiu Jitsu Leadership Cohort Launch

Jiu Jitsu Leadership Cohort Launch

We are excited to announce that we have officially launched our Jiu Jitsu Leadership cohort at Team Passos HQ, in partnership with DreamRoot Leadership Institute!

Over the next 4-months, participants will receive tailored instruction and hands-on experience in how to facilitate classes as an Assistant Coach while developing their leadership skills.

Our mission at the academy is to transform people’s lives through the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — one student at a time — so they can achieve moreThis cohort is an extension of our academy mission. The purpose of the cohort is to equip and empower others to fulfill their leadership calling and to make a positive impact. Cohort participants will gain a solid foundation on how to facilitate solid jiu jitsu classes and effectively leading others on and off the mat.

In addition to being a vehicle toward participants’ own development personally and as coaches, this cohort is a beta for training and support jiu jitsu social initiatives in Brazil and beyond in partnership with the non-profit DreamRoot Leadership Institute. The support and development of this cohort will help to deliver critically needed help to those doing great work in challenging communities around the world.

Be sure to give a shout out to the cohort participants assisting in class when you see them! 


Cohort Learning Objectives:

Through this cohort, participants will become effective coaches by: 

  • Understanding and applying their unique strengths and leadership style to the mat/as a coach 
  • Implementing best practices for facilitating a safe and effective jiu jitsu class 
  • Applying principles of engaging and motivating students 
  • Practicing effective ongoing rapport building with students and families 
  • Mastering the technical role of an assistant coach 
  • Learning how to deal with common mat challenges 
  • Gaining familiarity with Team Passos teaching methodology

Cohort Structure:

During the cohort, participants have the chance to exercise their gifts and develop the leadership skills through an interactive training program where they learn together. The cohort components include:

  1. Self-paced curriculum and additional resources
  2. In-person group curriculum debriefs meetings where we can learn from each other 
  3. Personal coaching sessions
  4. Weekly class practicums where cohort participants serve in class as Assistant Coaches and gain personalized guidance and feedback


Narrowing the Performance Gap

Narrowing the Performance Gap

Closing the Performance Gap


Cheers to the New Year! Ringing in the New Year is a great opportunity to reflect, hit the reset button, and set an annual focus. We are not referring to a New Year’s resolution.

And while we are a huge fan of goal setting, let’s view our goals from the angle of where we are today, where we want to be, and what it will take to get there; that’s what we call narrowing the performance gap.

This begins with vision and is finished by a consistent execution of an intentionally crafted routine.



We must become clear on where we are going in order to gauge progress, make course corrections and celebrate milestones along the journey, and to realize when we have arrived. Rather than focusing on what we want to do or have, it is important be clear on who we want to become. Who we are determines where we are headed.

Knowing what kind of person you feel called to be and understanding your deeper purpose will guide your goals, and help you align your actions and decisions to your values and priorities. Without this vision, you will be directionless and inevitably waste our time, energy, and potential on seemingly “good” activities at best and become totally derailed at worse.

Through this clarity of vision, you will be able to assess where you are now and how to narrow the performance gap to where you would like to be. The performance gap informs your goal setting.

Check out our blog about setting goals in your BJJ training.


Execute an intentional routine

Once you’ve identified a goal or three, identify the strategy needed to make it a reality and build a routine that will set you up for achieving them. The key is having a deliberate approach, backed by a solid routine. A healthy and balanced routine provides the structure needed for each of us to develop and be our best. It is your daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual routine that facilitates you to achieve your desired goals and sustains your success. Lacking this will lead to frustration and unfulfilled potential.

High performers stick to the basics. They develop, refine, and execute a fundamental routine that positions them for success. They then commit to walking out that routine with a level of focus and excellence. Instead of becoming bored with routine and monotony, and subsequently veering off course to chase the next fleeting idea, high performers commit to implementing an intentionally crafted routine to achieve their vision, periodically evaluating for opportunities to adjust and fine-tune.

This is the same approach we take when drilling in class. Even after having learned a new technique, we rep it over and over. The reason for this goes beyond just developing the skill of applying the technique effectively during a roll. The more we repeat the same technique, the deeper we will understand the position. As the technique becomes second nature to us, we are then able refine it, explore various angles, and build upon it. This routine of repeating the same drills over and over deepens our understanding the position and ultimately the art of jiu jitsu. And this is what allows us to progress in our jiu jitsu journey.

Repping a well-crafted routine that is critical to our development and performance so that we can achieve our goals and dreams on and off the mats.  Rather than wearing ourselves out by trying to control the outcome, focus on the process. Commit to consistently putting into practice what you know to do and watch the results speak for themselves. On the mat, this looks like showing up to class regularly, not holding back during the warm-up to save energy for the rolling, and attempting the execute a new technique that you are less comfortable with so you can learn, even if this means risking the position during that day’s roll.  

As you build a routine around the person you want to become, pay attention to how you allot your time. Time is our most precious resource. How we invest, or waste, time reveals our priorities. Be intentional with your day by prioritizing your time in a way that builds foundational habits that lead you to becoming the person you feel called to and to live in your deeper purpose.

Here are some practical tips that lead to higher performance:

  • Designate specific days that you consistently train. If you miss a day, focus on getting back into the rhythm of your set training routine.
  • Make healthy eating and getting adequate sleep non-negotiable. Manage your water intake to be able to perform your best on the mat (and in life). Fun fact, did you know that sleep is most directly tied to vitality
  • Know who and what empowers you to perform at your highest level and prioritize them.
  • Embrace and honor your human limitations. Design a realistic schedule that keeps your bucket full. Creating rhythms of work, play, and rest. Commit to taking a day off once a week, make space to reflect and process, connect with your teammates, and do things just because you enjoy them.

As we roll into this New Year, let’s focus on narrowing our performance gap between where we are today, and who we want to become. Let’s continue to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zone and put into practice what we know to do. Start by clarifying your vision, setting goals, and building a routine; a routine where every piece of your day is designed to help you be your best and perform at your highest level. Then, check in with yourself regularly. Take time to reflect, process, and make any adjustments daily, quarterly, and annually.

You will experience exponential grow as you execute a routine that builds upon your cumulated successes from the days and weeks before. Rather than a destination to arrive at or a task to perform, embrace the process, with all its joys, trials, and everything in between. We are here for you at the academy as we walk alongside you in this journey together.

What is one thing you can start doing immediately that will get you further on the path of who you want to become?

And, while we’re at it, choose one thing you should stop doing immediately that would help you perform at your best.

Social Impact Through the 2021 Brazil Camp

Social Impact Through the 2021 Brazil Camp

Social Impact Through Our 2021 Brazil Camp


During our Brazil Camp last Fall, we visited Professor Tony’s hometown of Recife where we enjoyed incredible beaches trips, trained at various academies in the city, tried new foods and made good friends. It was a trip of a lifetime and a true cultural exchange. 

On this trip we also had the privilege of meeting several DreamRoot local leaders who run three jiu jitsu social projects that serve some of the most impoverished populations in Brazil and visited the Arte Suave / DreamRoot Training Center in Paulista, Pernambuco.  

Preparing to meet the leaders, Team Passos students donated 150 donated jiu jitsu uniforms (gis) and 50 belts to distribute to their students in need.  Each 
U.S. camp participant brought an extra suitcase filled with the gis and took them to Brazil. 

To-date, through Team Passos students and Onda BJJ, we have donated a total of 364 gis.  


For many Brazilian students, this was the first gi. To have their own uniform instills a sense of dignity and confidence which enhances learning and growth on the mat. To learn more about the impact of a uniform, check out this blog article 

A boy from the recently constructed Sertão DreamRoot Training Center shared that the donated gi was actually the first piece of new clothing he has ever received. And many of the gis were delivered to an orphanage in Aldeia, Pernambuco run by DreamRoot local leader Jesse Hall.



As you may imagine, there were many poignant moments during this trip. It was powerful to witness true bonds of friendship, respect and encouragement formed among students and leaders from the U.S. and Brazil. One young man explained that our presence gives them hope and energy to keep going.  

Thank you to all who have donated gis over the years. And a huge shout out to the camp participants who help transport all of the gis. Your contributions are changing lives and generations to come.

We are also grateful for the local leaders who run jiu jitsu social initiatives in some tough locations around the world. Through their sacrifice and dedication of continually showing up, they are creating safe a
nd supportive spaces for community members to experience: 

  • Healthy connections 
  • Predictable routines 
  • Activities and relationships that build self-esteem 
  • An alternative to going to the streets or isolating in an empty house 

We are preparing for our next Brazil Camp that will take place in October 2022. If you are interested in joining, please contact us at info@teampassos.com 

About DreamRoot Leadership Institute

DreamRoot Leadership Institute (DreamRoot) is a non-profit that was birthed at Team Passos Jiu Jitsu. It exists to reverse cycles of poverty in underserved communities where people dream of a life that is free of hunger, despair and suffering. They do this by strengthening local leaders and providing training, resources and networks to help launch local initiatives that transform their communities and lead to sustainable social and economic growth. 





Adult Virtual Class 6/2 – Putting It All Together

Adult Virtual Class 6/2 – Putting It All Together

This week in class we studied a match from Professor Bruno Frazatto at the 2008 World Championship.  Professor Bruno is a world-class Jiu Jitsu player with a dynamic style. For this reason, his match is a great example of applying different strategies to efficiently control and submit his opponent.

Many of the strategies we studied in this match are directly relevant to the concepts and techniques we’ve been learning during our online classes. The GAP concept was clear to see as Prof. Bruno continually controlled the space between him and his opponent with his grips, angles, and positional control. Another concept we saw him applying was the idea of changing levels; from the bottom, he switched between controlling his opponent’s arms to controlling the legs, and from the top, he transitioned from standing to knees on the ground and vice versa to “change the rules” and force his opponent’s hand. We also saw great use of the half guard or “half-pass” position when Prof. Bruno swept his opponent and locked him down to maintain top control.

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Partnership with DreamRoot Leadership Institute

Partnership with DreamRoot Leadership Institute

We are super excited to be partnering with a new non-profit called DreamRoot Leadership Institute. DreamRoot serves to reverse the cycles of poverty by unleashing the potential of local leaders in under-resourced communities to solve local challenges and raise up others to do the same. The objective of this partnership is to expand the impact of our Jiu Jitsu outreach efforts which we have been implementing here in the U.S. and abroad in Brazil.

Our mission is to transform people’s lives through the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — one student at a time — so that they can achieve more. We have a vision to see every person, regardless of their life’s circumstances, be given the opportunity to realize and achieve their dreams; where they are living out their fullest potential and all of society advances as a result.

Over the years, Team Passos has been involved in using Jiu Jitsu programs in the slums of Brazil and even here in Virginia as a way to reach children, youth, and adults to build life skills, mentor, and cast a higher vision for their lives. In addition to the regular gi donations, we have been training and mentoring several Jiu Jitsu Professors running BJJ initiatives in Brazil. With this new non-profit, we will be able to expand the reach and thus the impact.


These initiatives and the impact are the fruit of the collective action, heart and dreams of everyone here at Team Passos. Each of our students have been a huge part in bringing this to reality through your support and encouragement. I want to take this time to thank again everyone who has donated gis over the years. Here is a more thorough update about our gi drives.


What we’re working on in 2020:

  • In collaboration with DreamRoot, we will launch our first 6-month Jiu Jitsu Leader Incubator Cohort for several local leaders running programs in Northeast Brazil. These cohorts offer needed training, resources and a support network for leaders working in some challenging environments.
  • We are in the process of renovating one of the Jiu Jitsu academies we have been working with into a training center. The center offers additional programs like English, music, and entrepreneurial classes to students who would otherwise not have access to such programs.
  • In the near future we desire to roll out virtual leadership and entrepreneurial incubator cohorts for at-risk youth and underprivileged individuals.

I’d like to invite you to check out the DreamRoot website. If you would like to learn more about DreamRoot or would like to get involved, please let us know.

Warmest regards,


Professor Tony Passos