When the Documentary project was first introduced to me, I felt how I usually feel. Unsure. How was I supposed to come up with an interesting topic? What if my presentation of it didn’t portray the subject accurately? There was a lot to think about, and as always, plenty of “what if”s.

But there were some things that I was sure of. I knew that I wanted to challenge myself. I knew that I wanted to research a topic I might not usually consider.

In the end I chose a topic that I had heard of, but knew almost nothing about: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Belt Graphic

The largest portion of this project was the creation of a book. Using my research paper, interviews, and photographs taken, I used the Adobe application Indesign to compile them all.

In the end, I created something I am immensely proud of. Not only did I edit many of the photos I took, but I also created graphics to further illustrate my topic.

To see my book for yourself, clip on the belt graphic.

Below is a gallery of various photos taken over the course of my project.

Headshot of Interviewee
Will Dias
Photo of Interviewee
Bradley Baugh
Photo of Interviewee
Students practice technique through Sparring
Students look on as instructors demonstrate a defensive move.
Instructor Gumby Marques displays a move to two of his students.
Practitioners converse as they wait for class to start.
A class's instructor keeps a watchful eye on his students.
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi bears the Gracie name.
Practitioners converse as they wait for class to start.
Black belt watches from the edge of a class.
Students practice the move of the day.
Instrucotrs demonstrate a proper throw.
Students watch closely in order to improve their technique.
Defnsive Move
Students gather to learn an upright defense.
With the help of a student, an instructor explains a new move.

As part of my research, I conducted interviews with individuals associated with my topic. By the end of my project, I completed four different interviews. The First interview was with an instructor from San Jose. The second was with an instructor from a different gym in Mountain View. My third interview was with an individual who practices the martial art for recreation. And my final interview was a follow-up with my first interviewee.

Alan "Gumby" Marques

Alan “Gumby” Marques was an original co-founder of onthemat.com, a website which sells gear and shares news in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, when it was first formed in the late 90s. Now a black belt, he instructs at Heroes Martial Arts in San Jose and continues to spread the sport he loves.

Alan 'Gumby' Marques
William Dias

As head instructor at the Mountain View Ralph Gracie Academy, William Dias shares his enthusiasm for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with students of all ages. He is a black belt, and after studying with the Gracie Family, he has come to share their philosophy of how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be for anyone and everyone.

William Dias
Bradley Baugh

A patent attorney, Bradley Baugh’s job consists of hours of sitting, reading, and editing. As a result, he can tell you just how important it is to get outside and exercise. Whether it be through hiking, Crossfit, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he enjoys not only strengthening himself but also his relationships with his friends and family.

Bradley Baugh