If you’ve been practicing BJJ for awhile, chances are, you’ve probably watched a Stuart Cooper video or two. Although he is known for his amazing videos, Stuart is also a talented BJJ competitor as well as an MMA fighter. Today, 31-year-old Stuart is one of Evolve MMA’s newest BJJ instructors as well as the newest member of the Evolve Fight Team.
Hailing from Lytham, Lancashire, England, Stuart started his martial arts journey when he was a child, starting off with some Karate and Aikido classes. Although it never stuck, it was years later that Stuart would rekindle his interest in martial arts, taking an MMA class after watching his first MMA fight. “I remember getting submitted many times by a young boy who was a lot smaller than me. Because of that, I was instantly hooked and started training every day from that point forward,” explains Stuart, “But it was the BJJ that I enjoyed more, and when I finished university, I moved back up north and found a BJJ academy and started training in the gi.”
Since then, Stuart has never stopped training BJJ, and a year later, made BJJ the focus of his videography career. “I started filming weddings for my friends at 24, and that was how I made my living,” reveals Stuart, “From this, I learned a lot about editing and cameras and started doing martial arts documentaries for fun. It started out as a hobby, but the films started to become really popular on YouTube. Soon, I started to get sponsorships and freelance jobs traveling the world and making videos with some of the best BJJ and MMA fighters on the planet.”
Today, Stuart is a black belt in BJJ and because of his films, has been able to train with some of the best competitors in the sport. In fact, he was able to train with his BJJ idols, Marcelo Garcia and Braulio Estima. “They have the most complete games in BJJ,” says Stuart, “They both go for the submissions, have amazing guards, submission attacks, and takedowns. They’re also both very humble and carry themselves well.” It was a dream come true for Stuart when he was finally able to feature Marcelo Garcia in one of his films. “Marcelo Garcia was the best subject I ever had. I followed him from my first day of BJJ. When I was getting into making BJJ videos, I always said that filming Marcelo was my dream project. After 3-4 years of making videos, I finally made that dream a reality,” Stuart shares.
For Stuart, teaching and competing has always been one of his goals as a BJJ black belt. He has also finally earned the approval from his parents, who initially did not understand his choice of career. He has also learned a lot from his experiences, which has translated well into his BJJ game. “I learned to embrace change,” reveals Stuart, “The speed at which the world is changing can be very intimidating. You always have to stay up to date with your work and constantly evolve, or you get left behind. It’s the same with BJJ. You always need to make changes to your game and add more tools as the sport is constantly growing with new techniques, styles, and rules.”
As one of the newest member of the BJJ instructor team and Evolve Fight Team, Stuart is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with his students and teammates, as well as being able to train every day. With the constant influx of BJJ and MMA legends coming to visit Evolve MMA, Stuart is also able to continue filming his videos, which the whole BJJ and MMA community undoubtedly looks forward to. With the addition of BJJ black belt and renowned videographer Stuart Cooper, there’s certainly a lot of exciting things in store for Evolve MMA – let’s continue to show our support!
WATCH: Grappling, hairstyles, and Jennifer Aniston. Get to know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Stuart Cooper from the EVOLVE Fight Team!
Posted by Evolve MMA on Friday, July 14, 2017