BJJ ASIA – Let’s get the cliche’s over with first. How did a Californian fire fighter end up in Bangkok and become the star attraction on Thailand’s biggest MMA promotion?
Javier – I first came to Thailand after my first fire season as a Hotshot firefighter in the fall of 2012 with my coach and long time mentor Glen Cordoza who had been coming to Thailand for 5+ years training Muay Thai. As a wrestler in highschool who moved over to BJJ I wanted to improve on my striking skill set and coming to Thailand would be a great chance to travel and learn the art of Muay Thai.
During that trip I fell in love with the country and its people and so after the fire season ended and all my co workers were buying cars and houses I saved to come back to Thailand to train.
I mainly trained in Bangkok and was offered a job teaching No Gi Jiu Jitsu and MMA at my old Muay Thai gym called Fighting Spirit . So for the following years I would fight fires in the summer, train in the fall and winter in Bangkok and not having to pay gym fees anymore was a sweet gig to me.
In 2015 when I was training at Bangkok Fightlab and heard they had a MMA team but i was still teaching at FSG. The crew from the Full Metal Dojo promotion came to the gym Fighting Spirit asking if anyone was interested in fighting on their upcoming show. The manager at FSG said “I think Javi will do it”.
I asked what the rule setting was they said “Universal rules i.e. 12 to 6 elbows are allowed, knees to the head of a grounded opponent allowed, stomps to the body but not the face and every hardcore MMA fans favorite technique … soccer kicks to the head are allowed!! We are REALER THAN REAL CAN GET!”
Now me being a martial artist and a bit of an adrediline junkie I was down for this I saw this as an opportunity to test my skill set as I always wondered what would happen if me and another trained man would fight in rule set that was close to vale tudo style. It was always a dream to fight just like the Gracies did in Brazil. My style is aggressive and violent and I think that I just clicked with the MMA fans here a Thailand. I racked up 3 first round submission victories and a viral video KO. Now I will be making my 7th apperance in the Full Metal Dojo Bangkoxploitation cage this November 30th.
BJJ ASIA – What are your connections to 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu and your plans to open an affiliate here? Under which black belt are you?
Javier – My Involvement with 10th Planet came through one of my mentors who I previously mentioned before Glen Cordoza. I admired Glen and hung on his every word. He is New York Times best selling author, did all the photograpghy and writing for martial arts instruction books such as Marcelo Garcia, Fedor Emelianenko, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva and Eddie Bravo.
He had the highest fight IQ and understanding of MMA than of anyone I knew and in a conversation we had back in 2012 he told me “ If you favor being a grappler in MMA you will have to study the 10th Planet system as it will give you the techniques needed to be competitive in modern MMA cause you want to have a successful fight career right?” He was right during my amateur MMA career I relyied on my wrestling because pulling closed guard and having your back to the mat seemed crazy to me.
In the early UFC’s the strategy made sense because nobody knew what Jiu Jisu was but once you understood basic closed guard defense a wrestler with good pressure and balance can grind down the BJJ fighter with some ground and pound very easly but Master Eddie Bravo saw this and developed a modern jiu jitsu system that can nullfy a good wrestler and not take damage on bottom. The system made sense to me so I became a 10th Planet ronin and to sum up the school in one phrase “You evolve or you die”.
I favor any system that promotes adapting with the times as what to used to work today may not work tomorrow. You have to keep growing and keep inovationg in the world of modern martial arts. I wouldn’t say I’m under any blackbelt in particular but I studied under Marvin Castelle as I believe his leglock system and method of teaching in training clicked with me when I went to 10th Planet HQ in LA to train for a month.
I would say my style is influenced by Nathan Orchard and Geo Martinez combined with Marvin’s leg lock system which makes for a deadly Jiu Jitsu game. Maybe in the future I will open an affiliate branch here in Thailand as for a date and location still undecided at the moment.
BJJ ASIA -What are your thoughts in training with the gi vs nogi. Do you see any practical use or application for the gi in the modern world?
Javier – I still train in the Gi and just received my brown belt last week. I believe in the concept of “Universal Jiu Jitsu” meaning that my Gi, No Gi, MMA and self defense that my style and techniques can be applied into all situations and rule sets. I don’t want holes in my ground game because of relying on certain gi lapel grips I just don’t think things like spider guard or berimbolo are applicable outside of sports Jiu Jitsu.
I just keep my game simple I rely on controling the body rather than the gi. I tell my students you can apply your no gi game to Gi but you cant use your gi game in no gi. With a few minor adjustment in grip fighting, a no gi guy can hang with gi competiors in my opinion.
“To me no gi will always be my favorite to put it simply sometimes gi jiu jitsu is like having sex with a condom on, its not as fun and it takes a lot longer to finish.“
BJJ ASIA -What are your thoughts on Bangkok vs Phuket vs Chiang Mai as a fighters training destination.
Javier – It depends on what your looking to do there as are well established gyms everywhere now. Bangkok is great if you like to do things outside training, always something going on and got great guys coming through but usually for a short time because Bangkok is a quick stop before heading to the bigger gyms down in Phuket and Chiang Mai.
I will say this about Bangkok that in my time coming here the BJJ scene is great there are so many schools now with quality instructors such as Bangkok Fight Lab, Arete BJJ, Bigfoot BJJ, Q23 and a guy coming here has lots of options to choose. MMA wise, Phuket is the mecca of training with Tiger and Top Team and a dozen other spots up and down that road it’s a hub of martial arts but for me personally I like training in Chiang Mai.
At places like Team Quest that I’m currently training at and I think it has some of the best muay thai in Thailand when it comes to instructors like at the first gym I ever trained at, Santai Muay Thai to name one. Im not a fan of the beach long term and being a wildland fire fighter I feel at peace when I’m surround by mountains and knowing that Im only 20 minutes away from hiking around in nature which is what keeps me there.
BJJ ASIA – Possibly the most important question on this list. Asian girls or American girls? And why?
Javier – Asian girls win for sure as most of the girls I’ve met here speak two or more languages, highly educated and treat you like man. As where most American, not saying all but most have been ruined by modern feminism. They just demand to much from you and expect you to be the man and do all the things a woman should do, sadly most modern American women cant even boil an egg and I feel they don’t treat men right. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze to me but that’s just my opinion.
BJJ ASIA -Sticking with the theme. Do you refrain from sex before an MMA fight? Is there any credibility to this theory?
Javier – No if the opportunity is there Ill take it. Mike Tyson said he would have sex the night before he smashed some poor cunt and if it works for Tyson than that’s good enough for me. “I want to be like Mike”.
BJJ ASIA -What are your thoughts on PED use in MMA or BJJ? Depending on your answer, is the any compound you would recommend for either sport. Maybe something you overheard somewhere or read on a forum.
Javier – We are involved in a sport where people are hyper competive and individuals will use and find any way to get the edge on the competition. I’m not advocating the use of PED’s but if this is the route you choose know that people are using them and even with strict testing and rules guys will always find ways to use and get away with it. Just know that PED’s if you like it or not are in these sports. They don’t guarantee they will make you a better fighter or BJJ player. You still have to put in the long hours of training and countless reps and drilling and there is no way around it. I say go ahead take whatever you want. You will still suck and I’ll still beat you cause I logged in the hours and the hard work and in the end that’s what really matters. As for a compound? I heard that good Acai will get you jacked hahaha.
BJJ ASIA – As regular cannabis user I personally don’t see any effects in the CBD products going around. Just give me good old fashioned bud and some rizla. What are your thoughts on CBD? Any brands you would recommend?
Javier – Same here being a 10th Planet guy, cannabis and BJJ are like peanut butter and jelly. They go hand in hand, allows you to stay calm and get into a flow state of training and just makes it like playing the ultimate video game. CBD I’ve been experimenting with the last two years using oral drops and vape pens. I found that my stress level decreases the same as the use of cannabis but without the paranioa effect sometimes you can get from THC but I feel the advantage to the use of CBD for myself is helping out with my quality of sleep.
I used to have bad bouts of insominia and couldn’t sleep and to be honest good quality REM sleep is the best PED anyone can be taking. I figured out the insomnia comes from elevated levels of cortisal and adrenaline you get in your system after training. Naturally your cortisol and adrenaline are at its highest when you wake up to keep you alert because back in the day our ancestors needed this so you can survive being attacked by tigers and give you energy to hunt for food and as the day winds down your levels drop making you go to sleep.
If you practice Jiu Jitsu in the evening these levels are raised even though conciouslly we know we are just practicing and drilling and rolling our bodies think we are in a fight to the death and elevate cortisol in your body. This leads to sleepless night of tossing and turning. The benifet of CBD is that it drops cortisol in the body and this combined with a zinc and magnesium will lull you into a good night of sleep. Personally I use a UK brand called Cana CBD, they are also a sponsor of mine.
There a lot of fake CBD products on the market but I know personally the Canna CBD owners take pride in providing a quality product I use both there vape juice and oral drops you can use this referral link https://www.cannacbd.com/?ref=55 if you’re interested in buying CBD and part of your purchase goes to me which I use to help support my training and fight camps.
BJJ ASIA – What are your ambitions going forward? Regarding MMA and BJJ, as both a competitor and as a coach.
Javier – My overall goal in MMA and BJJ is self-mastery. I’ll achieve this by training and competing as often as I can during that process. I plan to achieve getting my Black Belt both in Gi and the 10th Planet System. MMA wise to become a champion in a major organization but more than that I just want to continue to travel the world and fights its people. Take a similar path as one of my heros in Jiu Jitsu Mitsuyo Maeda.
One day in the future I know I will put on my gear for MMA training and start training and half way through the session I will say “You know… I don’t want to do this anymore Im tired of being hit ,I’m tired of being in pain and dealing with injuires.” On that day I’ll retire from MMA and focus on instructing in Jiu Jitsu and helping out the next generation of guys that want to fight and compete. I just hope like my mentors before me I can help these guys achieve mastery of themselves and express themsleves through the art Jiu Jitsu and MMA but until that I’m gonna keep fighting and competing.
BJJ ASIA – Thanks for your time Javier. We wish you all the best in life, the cage and on the mats.
You can follow Javier with the following links: