Tell us about yourself and your school.
My name is Jayson Patino and I am the Owner and Head Instructor of American Top Team East Orlando. I started training Taekwondo when I was five years old then wrestled in high school and college. I was a 2x NCWA All American in wrestling at UCF and a member of the US Grappling World Team. I fought MMA professionally and received my black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Ricardo Liborio. I teach and train at my academy everyday and compete as much as I can. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my passion. I love practicing different ways to submit people, its fun! Teaching has given me a way to pass on all the great benefits of training BJJ to my students. It is very rewarding seeing people achieve their goals and improving because of something you showed them.
This video may not show on mobile devices.
What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? Why did it mean so much to you?
My biggest accomplishment is probably winning the 2009 ADCC North American Trials and competing with the best grapplers in the world at ADCC in Barcelona. This meant a lot to me because after training so hard for so long, I finally got some recognition. I had won several local and regional tournaments but this was my first big tournament win.
You have won titles in Gi and No Gi brackets. Do you feel it's important to train one more than the other to be expert in both?
I believe training in both gi and no-gi will make you the most effective grappler. My first three years of training were all no-gi. Once I put the gi on it was much harder to submit people who knew how to slow me down using the gi grips. Learning the intricate details of gi will help make you more technical. Then training no-gi will help improve your ground game without relying on the grips of the gi. This mix of both has really helped me through the years.
We have heard to points of view. One being, "BJJ is the greatest martial art in the world for self defense." and the other, "Being on the ground in a real fight is the worse place to be in." What is your philosophy about these statements?
In terms of self defense, BJJ is definitely one of the most effective martial arts. There are so many variables in self defense situations though, that a mix of multiple martial arts like Muay Thai and BJJ would be the MOST effective way to defend yourself.
In response to people who say being on the ground during a real fight is the worst place to be in: If there are multiple people attacking you, then yes, I agree. Your objective should be to defend and escape. In a one on one fight situation though, BJJ is a very effective way to defend yourself and subdue an attacker. In addition to teaching techniques that focus on angles and leverage over strength, BJJ also focuses on staying calm and relaxed. The ability to remain focused and not allow emotions or adrenaline to overwhelm you during a stressful situation can be very useful.
What do you feel is the most under-utilized technique in BJJ? Taekwondo? Muay Thai?
The most under-utilized technique in Taekwondo is protecting your chin. Students are taught to throw punches and bring your fist back to your waist instead of back to your chin. Sparring with experienced fighters really exposes this hole.
The most under-utilized technique in Muay Thai is probably elbows. Elbows are great close range weapons that can cause serious damage.
How can someone tell if their local BJJ school is any good?
You can tell if a local BJJ school is good by looking at the instructor's credentials, students' accomplishments and by trying classes there. Ideally, a good academy will have an instructor with decent achievements as well as having produced technical students. Sometimes there are great competitors out there that are not as good at teaching. Trying classes at an academy will let you see the instructor's teaching style, their class structure and let you get a feel for the atmosphere. Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle and long term commitment. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the people you will be training with over the next few years.
What are your thoughts on instructional videos being available for free online?
Instructional videos being available online is a great resource for students worldwide to improve their game. I have watched several instructionals online and post my own instructional videos on YouTube as well.
If you never win matches at your home gym, do you feel it is still important to attend tournaments? Why?
If you are never winning matches in your academy it is probably not a good idea to compete in a tournament (unless you are a beginner and have all advanced training partners). Confidence plays an important role in your performance. If your confidence is already low from constantly losing during training, it could get worse if you lose in competition in front of an audience. This could turn someone off from wanting to train BJJ and ultimately cause them to miss out on all the benefits training has to offer. Practicing more and improving your weaknesses before entering in a competition would be a better idea.
Visit Jayson and American Top Team for more information.