How Black Belt Ed Ramos Defied Expectations To Turn His BJJ Coaching Dreams Into Reality

These days, Ramon Lemos black belt Ed Ramos is living the dream. The 2011 Euros and Pans champion is running his own academy in Texas, training up-and-coming athletes like Ishmael Trent, Jorge Aguilar, Emmanuel Elizondo, Rithieli Donizeti, Dylan Rodriguez, and Submission Hunter Pro No-Gi Champion Felipe Rocha.

Like many accomplished BJJ coaches and athletes, though, Ramos comes from humble beginnings. Hailing from the Mirassol, a small municipality near Sao Paulo, Ramos got into martial arts with self-defense in mind.

“Growing up in Brazil in the ’80s was not easy,” he told the Jiu-Jitsu Times. “I fought a lot almost every day at school [or] on the streets. I always wanted to learn some martial arts to be able to defend myself.”

Ramos’ martial arts journey started with karate, training for free while his brother-in-law helped the instructor with classes. Once his brother-in-law moved away, the instructor asked Ramos to pay, and, unable to afford it, he stopped training. Thankfully, though, this didn’t mark the end of his martial arts journey.

“As time went by, Vale Tudo in Brazil and then UFC started to get popular. I started watching it, and I saw some small and skinny guys beating some huge guys even without pushing the guys sometimes. I was intrigued by this I wanted to know more about it, then it took me to BJJ.”

Ramos’ jiu-jitsu journey eventually took him to Rio Claro, where he trained under the Atos banner with teammates that included the Mendes brothers, Gilbert Burns, Claudio Calasans, Guto Campos, Ary Farias, and Rodrigo Caporal.

Lemos promoted Ramos to black belt in 2009, after which Ramos found success on the podium at events like Brazilian Nationals, World Masters, and the Asian Open. Ramos also began to expand his coaching responsibilities, eventually moving to the United States and starting his own team, Ed Ramos Jiu-Jitsu, in Houston, TX.

While Ramos is, of course, proud of his accomplishments as a competitor, he is currently most focused on building up his students as a coach.

“To start being a coach for me was natural. Watching my professors Ramon Lemos, Andre Galvao, and Guilherme Mendes coaching the guys at Atos Jiu-Jitsu — that started to create that passion,” he says. “I have some tournaments that I still want to compete in, like the Worlds, Pan Ams, some international tournaments here in Texas, and some super fights. I want to dedicate myself more and more to improve as a coach and to be able to help the new generation of athletes that are coming. I believe jiu-jitsu is a way of life and can benefit so many people positively. For me, helping other athletes to achieve their dreams is fantastic. It’s incredible, priceless. I love doing it.”

One of the shining examples of his dedication to his craft is the aforementioned Rocha, who took home double gold at the Houston Open last week and is currently ranked third in the IBJJF male adult brown belt category in the gi.

“Felipe is training all day and is a very dedicated and focused athlete. I have trained with several world champions, and I know how to recognize what you need to be one. Felipe has all the requirements to be a World Champion; the future will be bright!” says Ramos.

While Ramos is grateful for the experience and knowledge he’s absorbed from the accomplished BJJ coaches he’s had, he also acknowledges that not everyone has believed in his goals from the beginning.

“The biggest challenge for me in BJJ was not in BJJ itself, but in life. Everyone around me saying that it was not going to work out, that I had to stop it and go to a regular job because doing BJJ, I wasn’t going to make money, I wasn’t going to provide a good life for my family, and many other negative things,” he says. “I confess it was very difficult, but I always had something inside me telling me to continue. Thank God I did. I believe that everything is possible for those who do their best and believe in their dreams and put some work toward them.”

“After few years, things started to get better, and people around me started to change the way they thought about BJJ. I don’t blame them… I know they just wanted the best for me, but only you know inside you what is the best for you.”

Having beaten the odds himself, Ramos now offers encouragement to others who wish to pursue their own passions. “Always believe in yourself; you are capable of doing great things. If you dedicate yourself and love what you do, everything will be all right. No matter the circumstances, keep moving forward with faith, always.”


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