Andrew Wiltse – Buzzsaw BJJ

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Andrew Wiltse proves if you’re driven and put in the work, then you can accomplish your goals. Despite everything that was against him, he has become a high level Jiu Jitsu competitor.

Here is the incredible story of Andrew Wiltse and how he became one of the best in Jiu Jitsu. Detailing how he found Jiu Jitsu, sleeping on the mats at Pedigo Submission Fighting Academy, and where he is now.

Wiltse’s strange upbringing

Andrew grew up in Michigan, but at an early age his family would move to California. His mom was into holistic medicine and moved the family to California to open an alternative medicine store.

California didn’t really vibe with Wiltse’s father, so he took Andrew and his brother Sathya back to Michigan. They lived in Drummond Island, Michigan, which was a very small and poor town.

During the summers, Andrew and Sathya would visit their mom in California. One year when Andrew was a teen, he started learning Judo at a school near his mom’s store.

This would get Wiltse really into grappling and he spent every day that Summer training and would earn a blue belt.

When he went back to Michigan, he asked his father if he could keep training. Although it was difficult being in their small town, Andrew found a Judo instructor named Mike Odgen.

Most of the time, Andrew would be Odgen’s only student. They would usually train out of a boxing gym in the next town over.

Wiltse meets Heath Pedigo

One day when Wiltse was training with Ogden, Heath Pedigo came into the boxing gym. Pedigo was promoting an amateur MMA event and was looking for fighters.

He would actually roll a little bit with Wiltse and take a liking to him. Heath would invite Andrew to come train at his gym Pedigo Submission Fighting in Mt. Vernon, Illinois whenever he wanted.

Wiltse would then begin attending college, but found out about Pedigo’s training scholarship and contacted him about it. Pedigo guaranteed if Andrew stayed the year at his gym that he’d make him a top BJJ competitor.

Wiltse’s early years at Pedigo Submission Fighting

Andrew Wiltse would move to Mt Vernon, Illinois and live at Pedigo Submission Fighting. The gym was originally an old laundromat called Daisy Fresh that Heath bought and turned into an academy.

During the days Andrew would train and at night he would sleep on the mats with a group of teammates. His first few months of training were brutal and a harsh reality check for Andrew.

Wiltse’s more experienced teammates were hard nosed and would beat him for hours on the mat. Even though Andrew was getting easily beaten, he actually became more determined.

After every training session, he would spend all of his free time with teammates drilling. Pedigo said he once came back to the gym at 3am and Andrew was still up with his brother drilling.

This determination and grit would help Wiltse find success as a BJJ competitor.

Wiltse’s success at the lower ranks

Andrew’s grit would help him find success at the lower ranks. As a white belt, Andrew would win numerous tournaments and earn gold at the Pan Beginner Championship.

This success would lead Pedigo to give Wiltse his blue belt and he would continue finding success. In his first year as a blue belt in 2015, Wiltse would win double gold at the IBJJF World Championship.

Then in 2016, he would win his second Pan Championship at blue belt and earn his purple belt from Pedigo.

At purple belt, Andrew would just keep grinding and improving his skills. Placing 3rd at No-Gi Worlds and 2nd at Worlds in 2017. His progression would help him earn his brown belt after just over a year as a purple belt.

Wilte’s wins No-Gi worlds at brown belt

Wiltse would continue grinding at the brown belt level. Training every day, developing his skills and battling through nagging injuries.

In 2018, Wiltse would become the first student at Pedigo Submission Fighting to win a world championship at brown belt. Winning the 2018 No-Gi World Championship and also the Pan No-Gi Championship before the world championship win.

This would lead to Heath Pedigo awarding Wiltse with his black belt in early 2019.

The Daisy Fresh series

Flograppling began documenting the crew at Pedigo Submission Fighting in 2018. The series is called Daisy Fresh after the laundromat and follows the team as they fight for recognition within BJJ.

In the first season, one of the main grapplers spotlighted was Wiltse. He would tell his story about how he started training at Pedigo Submission Fighting. 

Also documenting his journey of winning major tournaments and earning his black belt in 2019. The series is available in its entirety on Youtube or the Flograppling website.

Wiltse as a black belt

Since earning his black belt, Andrew Wiltse has made a name for himself. So far, he has gone 12-2 in his first two years as a black belt.

Winning the No-Gi Pan Championship in 2020 and making numerous appearances on BJJ pro events. Competing various times for the promotions F2W and WNO.

Wiltse’s BJJ game

Andrew Wiltse’s Jiu Jitsu is just as gritty as the gym he calls home. From the time his match starts, he doesn’t stop coming forward.

In the beginning of his competitive career, he was more tenacious and would just press forward using blitz style passing. When he was a brown belt, he began refining his game and would become more technical.

Through his determination and dedication, Wiltse has become a well rounded Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Although he still loves using his patented blitz style passes.

Andrew Wiltse becomes a BJJ Fanatic

He has now become an official member of BJJFanatics, who has put out a series of instructionals featuring Wiltse. There are currently 11 instructionals featuring Wiltse that you can check out on the BJJ Fanatics website.

What’s next for Andrew Wiltse?

Andrew Wiltse is starting to reap the rewards from his years of hard work in Jiu Jitsu. From his years of sleeping on the mats at Pedigo Submission Fighting to becoming a high level Jiu Jitsu competitor.

Look for Andrew to continue developing his skills and he pursues his goal of becoming a world champion at black belt.


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