14-Year-Old Green Belt Submits 3 Black Belts At AGF Tournament, Gets Blue Belt On Podium

With young athletes like Nicky Ryan and the Ruotolo brothers making names for themselves as teens, it’s no huge surprise to see grapplers defeat older, more experienced opponents before their eighteenth birthday. Still, seeing a fourteen-year-old green belt submit not just one, but three black belts at the American Grappling Federation tournament was a shock for many spectators.

JR Caballero, who trains out of Team Bluejitsu-Darce Side in Pleasanton, TX, made quite the impression over the weekend when he submitted three black belts to win the No-Gi Challenger Series Pro Championship. The win earned him a trip to Amsterdam, but he wasn’t done yet.

Following the Challenger Series victory, Caballero then moved on to his own weight division — the no-gi pro <175 division — where he submitted a purple belt and then defeated a black belt via points to win gold again.

Caballero had done enough in his coach Donny Blue’s eyes to earn his blue belt, even though such promotions traditionally aren’t given to athletes until they’re at least 16. The teen was promoted on the podium after training for four years.

“Today I won the American Grappling Federation Nogi Challenger Series Pro Championship. I submitted all three black belts and won a trip to Amsterdam. I also received my blue belt on the podium from my professor @bluejitsu78

After winning the Challenger Series I competed in the Men’s Nogi Pro <175 division and won my first match against a purple belt by submission and won the finals match against a black belt by points.

Thank you to all my team @teambluejitsu and my main training partner @rpyssen for getting me ready for this tournament. Thank you to @bquickjiujitsu , Chris Carlino and @american_grappling_federation for putting on another amazing event and awarding all the challenger series winners with a trip to Amsterdam.

Also thank you to all my family and friends that always support me. I appreciate all the love, it’s motivating and makes me want to keep improving.”

Suffice to say that with a track record like this, the results of this tournament aren’t a product of the other competitors’ lack of skill, but rather an unusual amount of skill from a young up-and-comer.

You can watch his matches and interview below:


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