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#77 Stuart Cooper

Stuart Cooper was sidelined with a dislocated elbow and unable to train. So he grabbed a video camera and began filming others training and making highlight videos to pass the time during recovery. Stuart had been an artist in the past and his art background made him a natural filmmaker. His videos soon gained some major attention and Stuart filmed BJJ legend Braulio Estima for The Road to ADCC and the 2011 ADCC Highlight. The success of these films gave Stuart the ability to live a life that most people can only dream of, traveling the world training Jiu Jitsu, and making a living off the video content produced during these travels.

Stuart spent time living in Brazil, Singapore, and eventually Thailand where he became the head Jiu Jitsu instructor for the world-famous Tiger Muay Thai. HIs time in Thailand was spent training with some of the living legends of Jiu Jitsu and MMA who would often travel through Thailand and train at Tiger. However, Stuart's time in Thailand took a turn when he became addicted to Diazepam and Tramadol.

Stuart began taking diazepam to help him sleep during his grueling travel and filming schedule, and was then prescribed tramadol by a doctor after an injury. This potentially fatal drug combination began to take a severe toll on Stuart. He suffered severe weight loss and became a full-blown addict. It was during a trip to Australia when he ran out of both drugs and began going through withdrawal that Stuart began realizing he had a problem. He jumped on a plane back to Thailand trying desperately to hold himself together. Once he arrived back he immediately got the drugs back into his system. When he felt "normal" again he knew without a doubt he had a problem. He returned to his homeland in the United Kingdom and spent almost the entirety of 2015 kicking his drug addiction.

Among other things, Stuart credits his Jiu Jitsu training with helping him get through this extremely rough period of his life. His training and long walks would make him feel normal for hours afterward but then the withdrawal symptoms would kick back in. It took Stuart a year but he became free from his addictions and was back making films and training full time.

Stuart received his Black Belt from Lucio Sergio Dos Santos in 2016 and is now the head Jiu Jitsu Instructor, running Stuart Cooper Jiu Jitsu at Diaz Combat Sports in Vancouver British Columbia. His films are still the standard-bearer in Jiu Jitsu and have been viewed by tens of millions around the world.


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