Black Belt Matt Gillette of Maracaba BJJ and Gillette Jiu Jitsu

By Danny O’Donnell

Maracaba BJJ and Gillette Jiu Jitsu’s Matt Gillette was recently promoted to black belt and has hit the ground running, having already competed at multiple tournaments at his new rank. “I received my black belt Sept 1st of 2018. This coming Sunday will be my sixth competition at black belt. I’ve had good results so far winning 3 gold and 3 silver medals.” Prior to receiving his black belt, Matt was the #1 ranked Master 1 brown belt for the AZBJJF. The 2018/2019 AZBJJF season started with the Novice and No Gi tournaments in August. After competing in the Southwest Classic in October and scoring two submission wins, Matt is currently the ranked #3 at black belt Master 1.

Despite being a new black belt, Matt has been training and competing at a high level for years. “I don’t think too much has changed with my training. If anything just little tweaks in my game to tighten things up. Black belt matches are much more methodical where one error equates to catastrophe. I’ve noticed the importance of all the little things where one grip or lack of grip can mean the difference between winning and losing. So that’s been a focus point of mine and I’ve been refining all those small details.”

Once the black belt level is reached there are endless competitive challenges ahead. Matt has continuously sought these challenges by competing in both masters and adult categories. “For me competition is competition. I just like to compete. I jump back and forth between adult and masters to get matches. I wouldn’t say I have any dislikes or negative things about either.” Putting your Jiu Jitsu on the line in competition has kept Matt’s game evolving.

Having one of the premier Jiu Jitsu competition organizations in his home state has provided Matt and his students with the opportunities to compete all throughout the year. “I love the AZBJJF. I’ve been competing with them since 2012. It’s really cool to see all of the growth and progression over the years. I think the new ranking/points systems are great additions. I’m excited and training hard for the Masters Cup. I have a tournament in California that same weekend. So it will be back to back tournaments for me both Saturday and Sunday. I plan on putting on another great showing as I did at the Southwest Classic.” Although many competitors tend to take the end of the year to rest and recuperate, Matt plans to keep competing throughout the end of the year. “I plan to stay busy. I have at least 5 more tournaments before the year is over. 2018 for me was marred by surgery and recovery, so I look forward to having a full and productive 2019 season. I have a lot of goals for myself at black belt, so I think 2019 will be an exciting year.”

Look out for Matt and his students at the 2018 AZ Master’s Cup, taking place on Sunday December 9th at Phoenix College. Get signed up by Friday 11/16 at midnight to save money with early registration!