#30 Robert Drysdale


By winning both the IBJJF World Championship and the ADCC World Championship Robert Drysdale is considered one of the greatest grapplers of his generation.


Robert was born in the US but from the age of 6 he grew up in Brazil and began his Jiu Jitsu journey in São Paulo at the age of 17. Robert attended his first class with a high school classmate, a girl he had a crush on, and she quickly tapped him out several times. He realized two things that first time on the mat, one that he probably blew his chances with his classmate, but more importantly, that BJJ was for real and he needed to learn as much as he could.


After a few years back in the US to attend college Robert returned to Brazil, and shortly thereafter began training under Leo Vieira with the legendary Brasa Team. In the mid 2000's, Robert was winning major BJJ tournaments and then had a brief but highly successful MMA career. He then began training others at the world famous Xtreme Couture and eventually opened Zenith Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Las Vegas, Nevada, creating a new generation of champions.


Now Robert has dedicated himself to telling the true history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Along with his amazing team he is in the final stages of completing the documentary film Closed Guard: The Origins of Jiu Jitsu in Brazil and has recently released the companion book Opening Closed Guard: The Origins of Jiu Jitsu in Brazil. The Story Behind the Film.


By interviewing historians, and the living legends of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu some of which have since passed, Robert has been able to strip away some of the folklore and tall tales of BJJ and the book's interviews and analysis have been able to piece together the true story. Creating a historical timeline of what many, including Robert, have said is Brazil's most important cultural export, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.



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