Atos Philippines is one of the largest and most well-renowned BJJ teams in the Philippines. It is the home of some of the toughest and most well-decorated Jiu-Jitsu athletes in the country and in Asia, such as Carlo Peña, Ralph Go, Eros Baluyot, Gian Dee, and Meggie Ochoa. These athletes and coaches have dominated both national events and the world stage.
Atos Philippines is an affiliate of Atos Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in San Diego headed by Professor Andre Galvao. The Manila-based Jiu-Jitsu organization was established in 2010 through the initiative of BJJ blackbelt Ali Sulit. The team has grown exponentially since then, branching out to other cities and provinces, such as Bulacan, Bohol, and Iloilo.
The Team’s Humble Beginnings
Before the organization expanded to what it is today, the team was composed of a few Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who would soon become responsible for the growth of the sport in the country. In 2002, Ali Sulit, a third-degree Judo black belt then, started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and incorporating BJJ techniques into his Judo game.
It was in 2004 that he started training students in BJJ. One of his students was Ralph Go, who is now among the Atos Philippines head coaches. In 2007, Carlo Peña joined and helped manage the BJJ team.
Hungry to learn more, Peña and Go would travel to train in Brazil, the US, and Guam. It was through this that they forged connections with other prominent BJJ champions, such as Andre Galvao, Gilbert Burns, Claudio Calasans, Rodrigo Caporal, Bruno Frazzato, and the Mendes brothers.
In 2010, Ramon Lemos held a seminar that sealed the deal: They were now officially Team Atos in the Philippines. Under the leadership of Ali Sulit, as well as the collective efforts of the coaches, Atos Philippines succeeded to make a name for themselves in prestigious BJJ competitions, such as the Abu Dhabi World Pro Championships, Pan American Championship, Asian Open, European Open, Brazilian National Competitions, Bangkok Championships, and The Hongkong Open.
Atos Philippines’s Makes History
Meggie Ochoa is a BJJ icon in the Philippines – and for good reason! In 2018, she went home with the gold in the 2018 JJIF World Championship in Sweden, making her the first Filipino Jiu-Jitsu World Champion. Ochoa is a four-time champion at World Championships and is an instructor at Atos Jiu-Jitsu Manila.
Ochoa started training MMA but sadly did not have competitors in her weight division. She learned about Jiu-Jitsu, started training and competing, and the rest is history. The Philippines Yearbook names Meggie Ochoa as one of the 50 greatest Filipino athletes of all time.
Ochoa says that her victories serve as a springboard to more successes in the future. It is safe to expect the young World champ to compete in more tournaments in the future.
Currently, she trains in Jiu-Jitsu Manila and is an ambassador for Fight to Protect, which is a movement that empowers the youth through the community and sportsmanship of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Atos Philippines and the SEA Games
Among the most monumental feats celebrated by the team was their success in representing the Philippines in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. It is worth noting that this was when Jiu-Jitsu made its long-awaited debut in the SEA Games.
Not only did Atos Philippines athletes participate in the most highly-anticipated event among BJJ fans in Asia, but they, alongside other Filipino BJJ fighters from other academies, also dominated the event, collectively racking a total of 11 medals, and making a dent in BJJ Asia history.
In the BJJ event, Carlo Peña bagged the first gold for the Philippines when he dominated the men’s 56kg final against Indonesia’s Richard Rengga with an impressive 17-2 finish. Peña makes history and becomes the first BJJ gold medalist in the SEA games.
Dean Michael Roxas won the men’s -85kg division with an impressive toe hold submission finish, while Adrian Guggenheim bagged gold in the -77kg weight class. Meggie Ochoa bagged gold in the women’s -45kg category against Vietnam’s Dao Le Thu Thang with a 13-0 clean sweep. Joshua Luigi Ladera walked away with a silver medal while Gian Taylor Dee and Peter Lawrence Meimban each brought home a bronze. The Philippine delegates to the 2019 SEA Games were coached by one of the Atos head coaches, Hansel Co.
Earlier that year, on July 14-22, the Philippine BJJ delegates made podium finishes at the 4th Jiu-Jitsu Asian Championships in Mongolia. Among the Atos BJJ athletes, Meggie Ochoa won gold in the event while Carlo Peña and Andrea Lao each snatched a silver.
In April of 2019, Gian Dee once again proves his mettle as an esteemed fighter at the 2019 Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship by winning gold via submission. It can be recalled that in 2018, Dee went home with the silver in the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Dee is also considered among the top BJJ athletes in the country.
Why People Train at Atos Philippines
The SEA games (South East Asian Games) isn’t the only event that the Atos Philippines athletes have dominated. In fact, they have competed in global stages and proved that their training and coaching are supreme. Far more than being a competitive team, Atos Philippines helps its students achieve their personal goals – whether that be to become a world-class athlete, learn self-defense, instill self-discipline, or as add to their fitness regimen.
Atos Philippines opens its doors to beginners and experts alike. They also run kids’ classes. While they have a set curriculum, they adjust according to the student’s class performance. They also host seminars taught by Atos superstars themselves. The Filipino BJJ fans got to train with Prof. Andre Galvao and Prof. Rafael Mendes in the said seminars. There is no doubt that Atos Philippines is here to stay and make more of an impact on those who choose to train therel, that said, the Filipino BJJ community can expect more of these amazing BJJ seminars in the future.
There is unity among the different Atos Philippines branches, and it is awesome to train in a team that fosters such solid camaraderie wherever you may be in the Philippines and in the world. The different branches in the Philippines are run by renowned BJJ athletes who have competed in and won prestigious competitions, so you can expect nothing less than excellent training.