Samuel Nagai Hatchwell is a Brazilian grappler and a jiu-jitsu black belt under Keiser Girão, who also worked extensively under the tutelage of his own brother – Jackson Nagai, as well as Marcos Souza, Carlos Holanda, and Lucas Leite. Nagai broke through as one of the sport’s most respected competitors at the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) 2018 World Championship, a tournament in which he beat some of the top athletes of his generation in Gutihery Barbosa, Italo Moura, and Jonatha Alves on his way to the title. A reputation he cemented during the following years.
Samuel Nagai Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Samuel Nagai Hatchwell
- 3rd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2020)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- Fight 2 Win 155 LBS Champion (2020 brown)
- Fight 2 Win 170 LBS Champion (2020 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2018 purple)
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship Juvenile (2017)
- 1st Place FJJA Amazonas State (2017 / 2018 blue)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, LA (2018 blue)
Favorite Position/Technique: Well Rounded / Blitz Passing
Weight Division: Leve (76,00 kg / 168.0 lbs)
Samuel Nagai Biography
Samuel Nagai was born on May 26, 2000, in Manés a small town neighboring Manaus – Brazil, near the Amazon Jungle.
Nagai’s great grandfather was a Japanese national, which allowed Samuel’s parents’ easy access to a working visa in Japan, an opportunity they took when Samuel and his older brother, were young. The two bros stayed behind for a few years, later moving to Japan when Samuel was 8 years old.
Samuel’s family did well in the thriving island country, both youngsters learned the language with ease and found good schools where they excelled. Unfortunately, the Nagai’s household would take a big turn in 2010, in a sequence of events that led the brothers to jiu-jitsu, as explained by Jackson Nagain (Samuel’s brother) in an interview to BJJ Heroes in April 2020:
“We had a very stable life in Japan,” said Jackson. “But my father separated from my mother, he abandoned us. While leaving he assaulted my mom physically, an action that developed a lot of insecurities in me, both physical and mental.” In trying to find something that would help him protect his loved ones, Jackson started jiu-jitsu, taking Samuel with him.
Emerson Noriaki was Samuel’s first instructor. During his time in Japan, he also worked with Junior Handa and Marcos Souza – who promoted Nagai to green belt. Their time in Japan was followed by a return to Amazonas, settling in Manaus. Once in their home state, the brothers trained first with Marcio Pontes of Nova União, and later with Carlos Holanda (Esquisito), who was also a big part of the Nagai’s evolution.
It was while training with Holanda that former IBJJF World Champion Gabriel Moraes, a personal friend of Esquisito, intervened with the Manaus state governor, asking the politician for help in the process of taking the Nagai brothers to the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in California.
At the sport’s most prestigious tournament, the brothers’ talent shined through. The experience gave them further exposure and soon enough the Nagai’s were invited to join the Checkmat Academy in California, there training with Lucas Leite.
By the end of 2019 Samuel started working more frequently with another Checkmat coach, Mr. Keiser Girão in Texas for reasons Samuel explained to BJJ Heroes in August 2020:
“I came here [Texas] for the opportunity to train with him [Keiser]. He gives me a ton of motivation on the mat. It was also through him that I was able to treat my lower back through physiotherapy. I was out for almost 1 year due to lower back issues,” the Brazilian athlete explained, “I came here for a test. Spent a month training here, then, after the test, we decided to join this workgroup. The same program as Matheus Gabriel“.
Samuel’s time with Girão was his first jiu-jitsu experience away from his brother, the person who had always helped guide Nagai. In August 2020, Keiser Girão promoted Samuel to the rank of black belt.
Samuel Nagai Grappling Record
- BY DQ
3 SUBMISSIONS WINS
- BY DQ
1 SUBMISSION LOSSES
Samuel Nagai Fight History
|23704||Adam BenayounAdam Benayoun||L||Pts: 6x2||Oklahoma Open||70KG||F||2020|
|23859||Thiago MacedoThiago Macedo||L||Pts: 2x0||Pan American||70KG||SF||2020|
|23617||Fred Silva||W||Referee Decision||SUBVERSIV||82KG||4F||2020|
|23694||Gianni GrippoGianni Grippo||W||Referee Decision||F2W 153||70KG||SPF||2020|
|23703||Emilio HernandezEmilio Hernandez||W||Points||Oklahoma Open||70KG||SF||2020|
|23835||Danilo MoreiraDanilo Moreira||W||Pts: 2x2, Adv||Pan American||70KG||R1||2020|
|23847||Isaac DoederleinIsaac Doederlein||W||Pts: 17x4||Pan American||70KG||8F||2020|
|23856||Emilio HernandezEmilio Hernandez||W||Choke from back||Pan American||70KG||4F||2020|
Samuel Nagai vs Johnatha Alves Highlights – 2018 World Tournament Finals