My Favorite Jiu-Jitsu Follows

As we know, Jiu-Jitsu has a ton of personalities. Here are some of my favorite follows in Jiu-Jitsu. Some you know, and others will be new to you. Either way, I hope that one of these practitioners speaks to you as much as they have to me.

Renzo Gracie (Renzo Gracie Bjj)

Renzo Gracie has been someone I’ve enjoyed following over the years, in large part due to his almost over the top personality. He’s fun to listen to and I’ve been told has the best stories. A few years ago, he was in San Diego for the Gracie Humaita Annual Instructors meeting, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for the stories and instructional he puts on.

Rener Gracie (Gracie University/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy/Gracie Breakdown)

Who doesn’t love Rener Gracie? His energy and passion for the sport are infectious. His laid-back Jiu-Jitsu style reminds me of my own in a lot of ways. What I connect with most with Rener, is that it feels like he actually cares. His Instagram and You Tube pages are full of free techniques and real life fight breakdowns.

Alec Baulding (Alliance)

Alec Baulding is a Romero Cavalcanti Black Belt and ADCC East Coast Trials 2018 Champion. He’s recently established an internet presence on Instagram and Facebook through his blogs and videos. He has some fantastic instructional videos and offers tips on a broad number of topics.

Nick “Chewy” Albin (Derby City Mixed Martial Arts)

Nick Albin is a Black Belt at Derby City Mixed Martial Arts in Louisville Kentucky. His You Tube channel is filled with a ton of helpful videos ranging from dealing with the Blue Belt Blues to tips for your first Jiu-Jitsu competition. What I love about him is that he’s approachable, often taking viewer questions and answers through his videos. He takes his time with techniques and advice, so it feels like you’re speaking to a friend of yours and not a stranger.

Steph Gaudreau (Gracie Humaita San Diego/Harder to Kill Radio)

Steph Gaudreau is a Blue Belt that I train with at Gracie Humaita San Diego. She’s a nutrition consultant, author of The Paleo Athlete: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Food for Performance, and host of the Harder to Kill Radio podcast. Her personal mission is to assist women towards living bigger, bolder, fiercer lives. While I may not be in her key demographic as a man, I love what she’s doing. Her message and approach are incredibly positive and have motivated me to go out of my way to help others however I can.

Shawn Fowler (Honu Bjj/Five Grappling/SubCon)

I met Shawn Fowler many years ago, when I first started competing as a White Belt. At the time he was putting on local competitions in San Diego and Los Angeles. Fast forward a couple of years and a few belts and Shawn still had a presence in my life. One of the qualities that I appreciate most about Shawn is his ability to move past the Jiu-Jitsu politics. He spearheaded a free Open Mats at his Academy, and the main rule being no politics. All schools were allowed to attend but the B.S. had to be left at the door. That message has resonated with me.

He’s extended the practice of reaching out to others with the Five 365 series “A Jiu-Jitsu Life”. He’s interviewed the likes of Richie “Boogie-Man” Martinez of 10 Planet, Alliances’ Jena Bishop, and Atos Black Belt Josh Hinger to name a few.

I would love to know who you guys love following and why.

David Figueroa-Martinez
Twitter: @JiuJitsuJournal