Brazilian Top Team takes Jiu-Jitsu to US police departments and receives awards for services rendered

Posted on Jun 14, 2024 by Ferreira, Eduardo

Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most efficient martial arts in the world and, since the 90s, it has become a great ally of security professionals and military forces around the world, especially in the United States. Several teachers of the gentle art, mostly Brazilian, teach self-defense techniques and containment of threats in hand-to-hand combat in American police departments. Recently, Brazilian Top Team professors Diego Gamonal and Marcello Salazar Bergo received awards for their services to the American police.

“I'm Sheriff Deputy here. I've been working for the Jacksonville Sheriff Office for six years. I was in SWAT, I'm a shooting and defense tactics instructor, and I also work on patrol. Receiving this award is a great honor for me. Here in my department they place a lot of value on Jiu-Jitsu training. They even have a Jiu-Jitsu program. At the police academy they train every day. It's not competitive Jiu-Jitsu, it's training more focused on police work,” explained Salazar, a black belt formed by Murilo Bustamante and leader of BTT Jacksonville, Florida.

Diego Gamonal, who runs BTT Texas, has a program where he gives free classes twice a week to state police forces. He says that many enjoy training so much that they end up becoming academy students and still take the whole family to practice Jiu-Jitsu.

“Classes take place in a more friendly and comfortable environment for officers. Most of them end up liking and identifying with the gentle art and start training daily. And often these cops end up bringing the whole family to the gym. My intention is really to help the police, since they are the ones who protect us. With the help and encouragement of my brown belt Jason Hernandez, who is a police detective, we created this program. It is very gratifying to be honored with the “Appreciation for Services Provided to the San Antonio Police Department” award in recognition of the work we are doing. I never did it thinking that I would receive something like that, because in my mind this training is my way of thanking the police for putting their lives on the line for us”, concluded Gamonal.

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