Competitor of the Month – October 2018 Oscar De Los Santos, Jay Pages Jiu Jitsu/CTA

By Joshua Rozenboom

Oscar De Los Santos is one of the many exciting competitors making a name for himself in the Arizona Jiu Jitsu community. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Oscar has trained and competed all over the state since starting his journey. Admittedly, while going through a period of depression, Oscar’s brother convinced him to take up Jiu Jitsu. With some college judo experience in his background, Oscar rose quickly through the ranks, earning his purple belt under Jay Pages in just three years, a large part of which is due to his heavy competition schedule. “I love competing. I feel like the more you compete, the more your Jiu Jitsu will increase since you’re testing yourself regularly. You’re testing your technique.”

De Los Santos is a part of the competition team at Jay Pages Jiu Jitsu, the “98 Samurai Sub Squad”. Sub Squad is an accurate name; Oscar and his teammates are gaining a reputation for hunting quick submissions that favor the leglock game, though when asked what he feels is his strongest asset, his reply is a confident “Everything.” This might also come from his intense training schedule: “I’ve recently been incorporating some strength and conditioning in my training, but I mostly do 8 minutes rounds, and a lot of situational training.”

Oscar frequently competes in sub-only tournaments in Arizona and California, though he’s a popular figure at AZBJJF events. He recently delivered an excellent performance at the 2018 No-Gi Arizona State Championship, winning two matches by fast submission for a gold medal. “It was the first NO-GI tournament that the AZBJJF has done. It was a fun and well-organized tournament. I just wish I had more matches.”

Oscar is also getting back to the gi, signing up for more gi tournaments after a long stretch of sub-only and no-gi competition. “Doesn’t matter if it is Gi or No-Gi. Obviously there are differences between Gi and No-Gi Jiu Jitsu, but I find it an easy transition since I train both regularly.”

With such a prolific competition career, De Los Santos has a very simple word of advice for anyone starting out in competitive Jiu Jitsu: “Don’t be soft, just keep training.”

Even talking to himself as a white belt, his advice is to know that “everything will be OK, just keep going.”

Oscar hopes to spread the word about the Arizona Jiu Jitsu community. “One of my goals is to put my school at the top. Also, AZ Jiu Jitsu. We have some good Jiu Jitsu here in Arizona. I want the rest of the world to acknowledge it. I’m tired of seeing New York and California being considered as the best states to do Jiu Jitsu.”

Oscar De Los Santos is a serious competitor. He trains hard, he trains often, but what anyone who meets him remembers is that he is always friendly and engaging. A gracious training partner who is quick with a smile and word of thanks, Oscar sets a great example for his school, his community, and the sport.

What other athletes are putting Arizona Jiu Jitsu on the map and would like to be featured in one of our profiles? Let us know in the comments!