For some time the jiu-jitsu community had been questioning/gossiping about the Mendes Brothers’ choice of competing as their own team (Art of Jiu-Jitsu) at the IBJJF European Open earlier this year. Our curiosity was even more engaged after the AOJ soldiers competed as their own side at the Fresno Open shortly after. Today, AOJ team leader Guilherme Mendes put those rumors to rest by announcing his gym will no longer represent the former 2x World Champion team, Atos Jiu-Jitsu.
Brand wise, the two gyms – Atos HQ in San Diego (led by Angelica and André Galvão) and AOJ in Costa Mesa had been branching out for a while, with little to no exchange, training-wise, between the bigger players from both camps. Their unity lied in the team leader’s ambitions of challenging the Alliance squad for the team titles in the IBJJF league. That feeling, as it seems, is no more.
Neither of the Mendes Bros accepted to comment on the break. The official announcement, through their Instagram account, although incredibly vague, displayed no animosity from either camp. André Galvão worked extensively with Ramon Lemos — Gui and Rafael Mendes‘ coach — back in 2010/2011 to make the Atos Association a global phenomenon. Taking a small gym, in the interior of São Paulo, and turning it into one of the most successful teams of all time in the sport of jiu-jitsu. Now the two brothers will branch out and attempt to go through that same process on their own, being well on their way to becoming big players with the help of their star pupils such as Johnatha Alves, Tainan Dalpra, Jessa Khan, Mateus Rodrigues and more.