Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

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Reon Niwa

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Reon Niwa is a Japanese grappler who specializes in jiu-jitsu, a discipline where he holds the rank of black belt under Guilherme Mendes. Reon first gained notoriety in this discipline while competing on the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit, representing the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu academy, a team led by the Mendes Brothers (Guilherme & Rafael). Reon Niwa is also the older brother of another well-known jiu-jitsu competitor, Hiryu Niwa, and the two are often referred to as the Niwa Bros among fans and enthusiasts of the sport.

Reon Niwa Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Reon Niwa

Nickname: N/A

Lineage: Carlos Gracie Carlson Gracie > André Pederneiras > Ramon Lemos > Guilherme Mendes > Reon Niwa

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2022 brown)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2022 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2021 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Asian Open (2018 purple)

Main Achievements (Juvenile):

  • 2nd Place IBJJF Asian Open (2017*)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Asian Open (2017)

* Absolute
** Weight and Absolute

Favorite Position/Technique: Modern JJ Style

Weight Division: Peso Pluma (64,00 kg / 141.5 lbs)

Team/Association: Art Of Jiu-Jitsu (AOJ)

Reon Niwa Biography

Reon Niwa was born on May 11, 2000, in Hiroshima, Japan, but moved to Yokohama with his family when he was 2 years old, there remaining throughout his childhood and teenage years.

Sports entered Reon’s life by way of his father, who started practicing jiu-jitsu when he and his brother Hiryu were small children. Reon and Hiryu would often visit their dad at the local academy while he was training and gradually gained an interest in grappling as well. At the time the club didn’t support kids’ classes on their schedule, but, in 2008, once those were finally provided, the Niwa brothers joined in.

The Niwa brothers started training under João Paulo Kuraoka and João Carlos Kuraoka, remaining there for a few years, through the children’s belts up to their blue belt rank.

As Reon and Hiryu became more invested in the competition scene, they joined Takamasa Watanabe who awarded the duo their purple and brown belts.

In 2010 the Niwa brothers met the Mendes Brothers (Guilherme & Rafael) at the Rickson Gracie Cup tournament, in Japan. The Hiroshima natives immediately became fans of the Brazilians and followed their careers, attending Mendes’ workshops in Japan diligently, as Rafael and Guilherme developed into two of the greatest athletes to ever compete in jiu-jitsu.

In 2019, nearly 10 years after meeting the Mendes Brothers, the Niwa’s traveled to the United States to compete for the very first time at the IBJJF World Championships. They were unable to secure the gold medal they aimed for, but the experience brought the realization that, if they wanted to achieve success at the highest level in the sport, they would need to change their lives significantly. With that in mind, the Niwa’s decided to freeze their university tuition and move to California, to become a part of the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu competition team, a squad started by the Mendes’ and led by Guilherme.

After joining AOJ, the Niwa brothers improved their top-tier competitive records, which helped facilitate their black belt promotion. The ceremony took place on the podium steps of the IBJJF World No-Gi Championship of 2022, on December 14, with the belt being tied by Guilherme Mendes.

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