Meet Straight Blast Gym Atlanta's Newest Black Belt Jiu Jitsu Coach, Filipe Matos

We searched across the country (literally) for a high-level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach to join the SBG Atlanta tribe, and Filipe Matos was the right man for the job.

Filipe Matos brings 15 years of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training to Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. During that time, he traveled all over the globe, learning, teaching, and competing in Jiu Jitsu. From Brazil, to Thailand, to Seattle, to Albuquerque, to Boise....Felipe's dedication to martial arts is boundless.

Coach Filipe began training Jiu Jitsu in 2008 in his hometown of Brasilia, Brazil. From the rip, he was hooked.

"I was a troubled kid and needed something healthy and productive to focus my attention on. I knew right away that I had found my new passion."

As a white belt, Filipe was training with current and future world champions in Brasilia. He took his lumps early on in his Jiu Jitsu career but was quickly accepted and embraced by his coaches and teammates because of his dedication to his team and craft.

Over the years Filipe was not only a regular in the gym but also on the competition scene. As a blue and purple belt, he was actively competing as often as he could. Sometimes he won and sometimes he lost, but regardless of the outcome he was learning and growing as a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

In 2017, Filipe encountered a setback when he damaged his ACL during a competition.

"I was going to use this time to focus on finishing school and starting my career. I was working at a bank and getting my bachelors in Business, and decided to go all in on these things while my knee was healing. I only made it a month or two before I decided that sitting behind a desk wasn't for me. I missed training so much and it became obvious that Jiu Jitsu was my future. It's all I wanted to do."

Filipe went all in on his rehab and was able to return to the mats after a few months on the sidelines. He approached Jiu Jitsu with a new passion and resolve, as it was no longer just a hobby but his (hopeful) career. His hard work and study led to his winning the Brasilia University tournament in both the gi and no gi divisions as a brown belt.

In 2018, Filipe packed up all of his belongings and migrated to the United States to begin his career as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach and competitor. He moved to Albuquerque and trained with the world-renowned Jackson-Winklejohn team, getting daily exposure to some of the most revered coaches in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. While living in Albuquerque, he not only competed in local martial arts events but also the world's biggest Jiu Jitsu competitions like the IBJJF Worlds. As a brown belt, he placed third at the IBJJF Pans.

After a year in Albuquerque, Filipe moved to Seattle to coach at a large school in the city. Shortly after arriving in Seattle, Filipe was awarded his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

During the COVID pandemic of 2020, the city of Seattle shut down for the better part of the year, leading to Filipe and his wife moving to Boise, Idaho where Filipe would be the Head Coach of his new gym. It was during this time that Filipe would meet Jesse Brock, the owner and Head Coach of Straight Blast Gym Boise. While Filipe didn't work at SBG, he liked the instruction of Jesse and his coaches, and that they had an active MMA competition team; something that Filipe was interested in doing.

"I liked training with Jesse and his team a lot. I learned so much about wrestling and how to integrate striking into my grappling game. Everybody at SBG was no nice and welcoming."

In October of 2022, Coach Jim Sheppard was in Boise for SBG Camp, when he mentioned to Jesse Brock that he and Phillipe Gentry were in the market for a high-level black belt to become a full-time coach at their new school in Atlanta. Jesse brought up the name Filipe Matos, and how much he enjoyed training with him. Information was exchanged, conversations were had, and by November Filipe was headed to Atlanta for a trial run in the Dirty South. Coach Jim recalls Filipe coming to Atlanta for the first time:

"Filipe came highly recommended, but we wanted to get him out here to make sure that he was a good fit for each other. Not only did we want to make sure he was a good fit for our team, but to make sure he felt good about our gym and the city of Atlanta. He was looking at moving his family across the country to coach here in Atlanta and we wanted to make sure that he felt good about our team, our vibe, and where he'd be raising his daughter. After a day or two spending time with him, both on and off of the mats, Phillipe and I knew he was our guy, and thankfully Filipe felt the same way."

By December, Filipe, his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter were driving across the country to begin their new journey in Atlanta. Right away, it was obvious to everyone at SBG Atlanta that Coach Filipe was an encyclopedia of Jiu Jitsu knowledge.

"I've learned a lot about this sport (Jiu Jitsu) over the years, and one of those things is that understanding a concept is more important than trying to remember a million details about submissions and escapes. I like to teach and show things that will lead to success and then let them plug them in where they want. I want my students to understand where they are, what kind of possibilities are available to them from that position, and then put themsleves in a good position, however they choose to do so."

When Coach Felipe was asked about what kind of advice he would give to those looking to improve their Jiu Jitsu game, he said this:

"Don't worry about being good at every position. Focus on being in positions that are good for you and staying out of ones that aren't good for you. And don't run away from weak parts of your game. The first couple of years I did Jiu Jitsu my guard game was trash, so I made myself play in the guard, over and over and over, until it eventually became one of the strongest parts of my game."

In addition to training with Coach Filipe during his Intermediate Jiu Jitsu classes, he is also available for Private Lessons for any of his students looking to accelerate their progression on the mats. Coach Filipe is also looking to begin his mixed martial arts career in 2023 so be on the lookout for him on the local competition scene.

Welcome to Straight Blast Gym Atlanta, Coach Filipe!!

Jim Sheppard is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.