Jamil Hill: I Have Nothing But Respect For Cobrinha

Jamil Hill is BJJ black belt and World Champion who suffered one of the worst decision losses in history, when — despite numerous submission attempts — he lost to Rubens Charles “Corbrinha” via split decision.

Still, Jamil Hill isn’t the type of guy to let adversity get him down.  How could he? He’s been training BJJ under Lloyd Irvin since he was nine, which is well over half of his life.

He’s also set to take the BJJ stage again when he competes at Five Grappling Super League’s Lightweight Pro-Invitational, set to go down on July 15 from San Diego.

Five Grappling Super League: Battle of the Lightweights Preview & Predictions by David Figueroa-Martinez — https://bishopbjj.com/five-grappling-lightweight-tournament-preview/

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The Jiu-Jitsu Times caught up with Jamil to ask him about about his training history and his controversial loss to Cobrinha.

This is what he had to say.

Jiu-Jitsu Times: Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself. When did you start training BJJ and who have you been training under. You can also give us any other relevant info about your training.

Jamil Hill: Okay. I’m from Suitland, Maryland, but I live in DC now. I started training in the summer of ’04 when a couple of my friends from school (one being brown belt Angelo Claiborne) told me to join. I started competing in 2005. I’ve been training at Team Lloyd Irvin [TLI] the whole time.

My training room has been the same main group of people since I started training as a kid. We all grew up with each other training and competing. I think that the trust we have in each other and the overall bond we have as teammates on and off the mats has been what makes us able to train harder and push each other every day. Also all of the adults that started as kids still train in the advanced kids classes. This is a unique experience with kids as young as five training along side world-class blue, purple, brown, and black belts, and I believe it helps everyone improve on both ends of the floor.

JJT: That’s cool you’ve been training mostly with the same people for so long. What was your impression of Professor Irvin when you started training there, and has it changed at all since then?

JM: As kids we spent most of the time with the TLI kids director Donald Achnick. I would rarely interact with Master Lloyd if he came to a tournament or taught a class. When I got a little older I spent more time around him and learned more from him. I believe he is one of, if not the, most technical coaches out there and can elevate anyone’s game for what they do without changing their style.

JJT: Do you think there are any disadvantages to training with the same people for so long?

JM: Usually there is a little bit of a disadvantage from training with the same styles every day, but in our training room everyone is trying new things every day and everyone has a different style and perspective on jiu-jitsu, so it’s not as repetitive as most would think. Also we train weekly with everyone at Crazy 88 to mix it up.

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JJT: Nice! For our fans who don’t know, can you tell them what happened at the Cobrinha match.

JM: LOL okay. So I lost two at the start for double pulling late and I was working guard and I went for a knee bar that was kinda deep and could’ve earned an advantage, but either way it turned into a pretty deep belly down ankle lock which also could’ve earned an advantage.

After that transition I was still in guard and Cobrinha wasn’t attacking much. We were just breaking each other’s grips and I ended up getting a pretty deep loop choke which he backed up and gave me the sweep to defend it (no advantage again).

So, I’m on top now and its 2-2 and I start passing right away. I got all the way around the legs and was trying to hold, but he escaped (no advantage) and I continued to try to pass until he went for his single leg De La Riva sweep where he came up with my leg. I quickly broke one of the grips and had my defense in pretty strong, so he let go and pulled again.

With around a minute left he went for the same sweep and I defended again by going over hook and throwing him back to his back (not supposed to be points or advantage either way, contrary to popular belief LOL) and stepped over to mount which forced him to his knees, and then he sat to his back with a loose half guard as the clock ran out.

I thought I should’ve had at least two advantages and possibly four to five, but the score was still 2-2 and I lost a split decision. I never explained a match over messages like that before. I hope it was good. LOL!

JJT: Haha! It was perfect. Any hard feelings towards Cobrinha over that decision?

JM: No, I would never feel any personal feelings towards an opponent. He fought to win and I’m sure he felt he deserved the decision just like I thought I did. I have nothing but respect for Cobrinha. I grew up watching him and looking up to him, and I still look up to him for what he’s done and what he’s still doing.

JJT: What kind of competitions do you prefer? Gi or no gi? Sub only?

JM: We train sub only for the most part in the gym, so I’m comfortable in that format and my game is built around always going for submissions. I’ve only done one sub only before and it was a good fight. I enjoyed it both gi and no gi and I look forward to doing more of that format in the future. As far as gi vs no-gi, I prefer gi, but I also enjoy no-gi. My styles are completely different in each, so I enjoy switching it up every now and again.

JJT: Two more questions. Can you tell our readers what competition they’ll be able to see you in action next and any thoughts you have on it .

JM: I will be fighting at the Five Grappling Lightweight Invitational tournament on July 15th. I’m super excited about this event and I look forward to fighting all the tough opponents.

JJT: Last one. Any shout-outs? Anything else you want to say to our readers?

JM: LOL… umm shout out to the TLI kids team, and everyone on TLI. Shout out to my sponsors: Spyder, Bull Terrier, and Want Vs Need for the support. And look out for everyone on TLI at the next few tournaments! Thanks!

JJT: Great. Pleasure interviewing you and best of luck at Five Grappling!

JM: Thanks!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this article mistakenly said Jamil Hill was suspended twice from competition. We later found out from TLI kids director Donald Achnick, that Hill was simply unable to compete because he could not meet the minimum time requirements for the belt. We apologize for the mistake. 


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