Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of Skill Development. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more - you can find his expert BJJ interviews and breakdowns online at: www.ScienceofSkill.com
There are very few posts I make concerning grapplers in which I find myself compelled and moved. Normally, I’ll touch up their matches and styles and that’s about it. However, every so often I come across a grappler that makes me intrigued to the point where I eagerly await at my keyboarding, waiting to see what I can produce.
This was the case when I sat down Nichols Gregoriades. While he may not have the same name value as some guys I disucss—Rafael & Guilherme Mendes, Keenan Cornelius, etc.—the impact and passion that Nichols has for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is other worldly.
To Nicholas, BJJ is much, much more than just grappling, submissions and sweeps. For Gregoriades, BJJ is a brotherhood; it’s a way of life that should be celebrated amongst its own. However, in order to fully understand his view point, you have to know him as a person and a grappler.
A BJJ Whiz From Cape Town
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Nicholas has quite the resume. As a young man, at just seven years old, he began training Judo. Once he obtained his brown belt, Nicholas needed BJJ in his life. However, with it hard to come by in South Africa, he settled with submission wrestling.
Patiently waiting for his chance to get a crack at BJJ, Nicholas finally found his opportunity in England when he began training with Roger Gracie. A well respected MMA fighter, and a world renowned grappler, Roger took Nicholas under his wing.
By late 2008, Nicholas became the first ever Roger Gracie Black Belt. With this impressive accomplishment, Nicholas has also done plenty of work on the mat to prove he was worth the honor:
- London Open Champion
- Paris Open Champion
- Grappler of The Year (France, 2007)
- British Open Champion
- South African National Grappling Champion
- Gracie Invitational Champion
- Absolute Submission Fighting Winner
Jiu JItsu Brotherhood: “We All Speak The Same Language”
A much more intriguing side of Nicholas was revealed once he and I began talking a little more. Outside of his actual skills on the mat, Nicholas helped found “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brotherhood,” a very lofty vision that has been brewing for some time.
His goal is to show the unity within the sport and bring everyone together. Having done seminars all over the world from Thailand to South Africa to Italy to France and Greece—and soon the States—Nicholas has seen any and all walks of life in BJJ.
Despite the different locations and environments, there isn’t much separating the average white belt from the seasoned black belt. “We all speak the same language,” Nichols told me.
For someone living a dream by winning tournaments and teaching the sport he loves while globetrotting, it’s easy to get caught up in everything. Not for Nicholas, for him, nothing has changed much.
“I’m just enjoying the ride.”
PS: A special thanks to Nic for taking the interview. Please learn more about his mission, seminars, and more online at www.JiuJitsuBrotherhood.com