SPOTLIGHT

OLIVER SMITH

Country Ambassador

Originally from The Cotswolds in the U.K. I moved to London in April of 2017 and started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in February of 2018 at London Fight Factory under Luiz Ribeiro. Day to day I’m a video producer working in-house on a marketing team, with the rest of my time spent either in the gym and the mats learning BJJ.

The chance to work for BBMJJ was perfect as I got to combine my love of video making with my passion for Jiu-Jitsu. The chance to meet high level athletes around the U.K., as well as the people who make BJJ possible here in England, is by far and away my favorite thing about it.

Looking ahead the hope is to continue training and progressing at Jiu-Jitsu, whilst hopefully finding ways in which I can give back to the community in the same way it has helped and provided me with new opportunities.

MELANIE PASOLLI

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Correspondent

Hi! I’m Mel and I live on the prairies in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I have been training Jiu Jitsu for four years at Control Jiu Jitsu. I spend my time raising my kids, running my own business and learning Jiu Jitsu. I love teaching the Women’s Jiu Jitsu program and helping coach kids classes at our club. My whole family has a hand in helping at Control, including my two sons. Jiu Jitsu is life changing and I love what it has done for my family and for my own well being! I am grateful for my Jiu Jitsu family and I love being a part of the BBMJJ team!

MARIA BEATRIZ ZAMORA

Florida

Correspondent

I am originally from Maturin, Venezuela. I began my Jiu-Jitsu journey in 2010. On February 1st, 2020, I received my brown belt from Rob Kahn and Matt Arroyo. I currently train under Matt Arroyo at Gracie Tampa South but spends my off time sharing the mats at the different academies in the Gracie Tampa network. I travel regularly to attend seminars and camps such as the 10th planet No-Gi summit and the Gracie adventure camp. I am very active in promoting women’s Jiu-Jitsu with several groups such as Pretty Dangerous, Girls on top, and Jiu-Jitsu Gypsies. I am extremely passionate about reading, writing, learning, and rolling.

LANCE CAMPBELL

New Zealand

Country Director

Lance Campbell leads our New Zealand operation, with the responsibility of building a team of local correspondence to promote and highlight everything Jiu Jitsu, from Culture, Cuisine, Community, Sport, Seminars, Health & Well-being, amongst other things.

He spent 25 years in the corporate environment, 10 of those as General Manager for Grays Ecommerce Group. His key responsibilities focused on expansion, identifying opportunity in emerging and high growth markets, and building a profitable and sustainable business.

Lance maintains his corporate connection through his own professional valuation and auction business, servicing the Commercial, Insolvency, Banking and Finance asset sectors.

He is married with three children and lives in rural Bay of Plenty, where he owns and operates their family Jiu Jitsu Academy.

AUDRA MURZYCKI

Massachusetts

Chief Associate Editor

Audra trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Team Flo in Massachusetts. She loves making friends in her local BJJ community, particularly with women from schools all over. She is the Chief Associate Editor for the magazine, as well as a contributor. As a former mental health counselor and research assistant who holds a masters in clinical psychology, she writes a column about mental health in BJJ called “Passing the Mental Guard.” She also conducts interviews with athletes and writes articles about their experience.

MATT QUIGGINS

Florida

Correspondent

Matt Quiggins has been covering the sport of MMA since 2010. He was a contributing writer for Ultimate MMA Magazine from 2010-2014. Alongside his writing, Matt is also a photographer and frequents local amateur MMA events to support his community. He is a BJJ blue belt and currently resides in the Tampa Bay Area.

JASON CHURCH

Canada

Correspondent

Jason is an Aj Scales Jiu Jitsu Black belt who runs his own club, Control Jiu Jitsu out of Moose jaw Saskatchewan Canada. He fluently speaks 3 grappling languages which include Jiu jitsu, Olympic freestyle/Greco Roman Wrestling and Judo. He is an active competitor, father of 4 wild boys, school teacher and forever student of the game. Jason's favorite jiu-jitsu techniques are a revolving door as he never stops researching. The competition accomplishment he is most proud of is winning a bronze medal at the 2019 No-Gi world championships in California. When not daydreaming about grappling he is wrapped up in a caffeine fueled video game session listening to only the heaviest of metal.

ARTURO MORALES

Correspondent

Art is a scientist by training, geek by hobby and Jiu Jitsu practitioner by passion. After giving up his rugby boots due to the abuse his body was taking, he focused on refereeing, but missed the physicality of the game. As he looked for a new sport in his 30's, he first found Karate, and Jiu Jitsu shortly after. He trained both Arts for a while until he attained the rank of black belt in Kenpo, and then focused solely on Jiu Jitsu as his one true love. He was awarded a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by Everilton Soneca Silva and has been training with him, along with Andre Dedeco Almeida, as part of New England United. Art loves to compete in order to test himself and learn, be it at Naga, Tap Cancer Out, Fight2Win, or IBJJF at local, regional and major tournaments. Art can be usually be found searching for local Jiu Jitsu academies to train and make friends as he travels, and has been known to schedule business trips around seminars, camps, and competitions.

ANDRE PRASSINOS

New Zealand

Correspondent

Andre Prassinos was born in 1965 in Reno, Nevada, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and started his career in Los Angeles, California, by founding a real estate portfolio management company. He met his wife-to-be, Heather, in 1996 and immediately left it all behind to pursue life’s adventures with her. After an epic road trip from Los Angeles to Panama and back, the pair left the USA in 1998 to explore a future in New Zealand.

They married in 2000 and managed to avoid parenthood for almost a decade longer until their beloved children, Dylan and Sierra, arrived to change everything. The family lives in NZ’s beautiful Western Bay of Plenty and enjoys tramping, skiing, and climbing. Andre is Co-Founder and Managing Director of BioBrew Ltd, a probiotic product development and manufacturing company. Recent developments include the addition of Buddy The Labradoodle to the family and Andre’s promotion in BJJ to blue belt.

NATHAN SOWTER

Abu Dahbi

Correspondent

My Name is Nathan Sowter. I started BJJ back in 2005 under Caio Rosa of Sul Jiu Jitsu.

I Received my blue my blue belt in 2007.

Ciao had the opportunity to teach in Abu Dahbi so after a short stint homeless I found my next home under Kelvin Joseph black belt under Roger Gracie. I received my Purple belt in 2011.

After training a lot of MMA over this period I found myself wanting to rediscover the GI…

I began training under Lukas Hainge gaining my brown belt in 2016.

And continued working toward my Blackbelt which I was awarded in 2019 in the presence of Clark and Carly Gracie.

I have no less drive to train than when I started and am happy on the road of discovery.

Far from a consistent competitor my biggest highlight in this realm would be winning the nationals at blue belt. The far richer reward being the people I have met on this journey!

ANA CARNEIRO

Rio de Janeiro

Director

My name is Ana Carneiro, I'm from Bahia, but I live in Rio de Janeiro. I'm a journalist by profession, a poet by vocation, and a jiu-jitsu fighter by passion.

I have practiced the Gentle Art for four years now, and I found myself between the sweeps and submissions. It was on the mat that I found the best way of life and the keys to happiness.

ANDY HOYLE

New Zealand

Correspondent

Hi, I am Andy. A 41-year-old brown belt studying under professor Matt O’Dea at Coast Academy New Zealand. After my family, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is my number one passion, in fact you could say I am obsessed with it. I love studying BJJ and other grappling disciplines on and off the mats. I am fortunate to be part of the coaching team at Coast Academy and teach a fundamentals BJJ class and kids wrestling class.

Some of the themes I enjoy writing about are coaching, cross training, efficient learning for BJJ, training for the older grappler, trends and evolutions within the art, the mental side of BJJ – how it keeps me grounded, the New Zealand grappling scene.

Whilst this is my biggest passion, I am full time dad and husband first and foremost. I love writing, cooking, food, spiritual connection to the sea and to nature, reading, meditation.

CARLA HOCH

Texas

Correspondent

I’m Carla Hoch - pronounced like ‘joke’ - and I'm an author, writer and instructor for Writer’s Digest. My job is teaching writers how to write fight scenes. Yes, that’s really a job. I even wrote a book on it. Fight Write: How to Write Believable Fight Scenes. I'm also the blogger of award winning, FightWrite.net. I travel the country teaching writers the craft of writing fight scenes, action and violence. From composing a scene to decomposing a character, I’ve got you covered.

I have training in almost a dozen fighting styles and BJJ is, hands down, my favorite. On occasion, I even compete. When I’m not writing or training, I’m with my husband, teenaged twins and house full of mammals just outside of Houston in the greatest country in the world: Texas.

A magazine is nothing without the extraordinary people who work to make it what it is.

Our team members are diverse, global, and come form all walks of life… from the U.S. to Japan, from Saudi Arabia to New Zealand, and everywhere in between. From full-time jiu-jitsu instructors to doctors, from IT professionals to real estate investors. Our team IS the jiu-jitsu community.