After being involved in the martial arts world for many years, I have a love and respect for all of the martial arts and its students. Recently I had the great honor of visiting the Brazilian Top Team dojo to do a photo shoot. After walking into a fairly small, unassuming brazilian jiu-jitsu dojo in Melbourne, Florida, it would seem like any other martial arts facility, however after spending a few minutes looking at pictures in the head instructors office, articles and features proudly framed on the wall, world title awards and belts, and the students getting ready for their training, it was obvious that this was indeed a very different type of gym.
Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. However many people do not know that Jiu-Jitsu's inception into Brazil was in 1914 stemming from a parent art of Judo and originating in Japan.
The one thing I noticed immediately is the respect that all the students had for their Head Instructor- Edgard Dutra. Prof. Dutra, originally from Brazil, is a Black Belt 2nd degree instructor of Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Gi and BJJ No-Gi. Soft spoken and humble, this master shows no arrogance or ego for someone so accomplished.
Prof. Dutra's students come from all over, all ages, shapes and sizes! He conducts special trainings for the men and women in law enforcement in Brevard and Indian River Counties to help them learn new skills to stay safe when dealing with dangerous criminals.
Kids classes teach all the fundamentals in a safe environment
Prof. Dutra shows patience and skill when teaching adults
The "motto" for the school is "Never Tired" and you can see this on gi (uniform) patches and doors around the dojo. Prof. Dutra uses this saying to motivate his students, keep them focused and working hard, and thats definitely what I saw.....a group of people that were ready to learn their art and practice hard!
I would like to thank Prof. Dutra and all of his students for allowing me to capture their focus, practice and drive in pictures. This was much more to me than a regular photo shoot, to be a part of the world I love was amazing, even if I wasn't the one with a belt on! Your dojo is authentic (unlike so many schools looking to make lots of money) and it is obvious that everyone well deserves and earns their belts. It was great to feel the three things I valued so much when I practiced the art of karate.......RESPECT! LOYALTY! FAMILY!
If you are looking for a great gym for yourself or your kids, check out Brazilian Top Team in Melbourne. Classes are for men, women and children-beginner through all levels.