Leo D’avila is an Atos team member, competitor, coach and IBJJF referee.
Leonardo Henrique D’avila Correa, known only as Leo D’avila. is 5’ 8” and 195 pounds. In the last two years he’s has medaled 27 times in IBJJF sanctioned tournaments in weight classes ranging from Medium Heavy, to Heavy to Super Heavy to Ultra Heavy. He in an elite group of competitors who regularly get on the podium, gi and no gi.
He was born in 1985 in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. Leo just turned 29 today. (Happy Birthday!) He graduated from university with degrees in Physical Education and Sports Science. Leo received the black belt when he was only 20. While living in Brazil he competed and won many competitions like the State Rio de Janeiro Championship (seven times) and the Brazilian National Championship (two times.)
He is now training in San Diego at the home of Atos headquarters and Andre Galvao.
As an Atos black belt, he has taught 30 seminars in 13 different countries (Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa) including a seminar for the US Navy at Naval Base San Diego. He has traveled to Sweden many times to teach a seminars and twice the UFC fighters Gustafson Alexander and Nicholas Musoke attended.
In 2013, he was Cris Cyborg’s Jiu-Jitsu coach for her title fight at Invicta FC 6 against Marloes Coenen. Cyborg won. He also cornered Andre Galvao in the 2012 IBJJF Pro League and at the first two Metamoris (vs Ryron Gracie and Rafael Lovato.) At Metamoris 3 he cornered the athletes from Atos; Keenan Cornelius and the Mendes Brothers.
But you probably recognize him as a referee at IBJJF events. He’s at a lot of them.
As for the rest of 2014 Leo plans to keep competing and getting better until he can say he's ranked number one in the world. Then in the a few years maybe try his hand at MMA, at least once.
Holly McClung Reusing, thank you for this post, There is No Place for Heinous Crime in BJJ Culture, for being a part of the growing village of people who are looking deeply at what we do, why we do it, and what standards we might seek to hold ourselves to. For those reading this, I have to confess that Holly had asked me to contribute some of my thoughts --but I've had a bit of writer's block, due in part to my son's participation in "Team Lloyd Irvin." He sees nothing wrong with staying in that camp and doing nothing. For him, it's "business as usual," and he feels no obligation to the MA community, to us, his parents, or to the world in general. He dispels much of the dialogue as "rumors," says he has little or nothing to do with LI himself, and simply wants to continue to train with his "family" there, regardless of how it feels for his family here.
I had sent a note to LI after the rapes, essentially telling him he was "fired" and to send my son packing--and, of course, he has completely ignored me, except to tell me nothing's wrong in his world and to stop writing him. Keenan has received no small amount of grief from us about the morality of supporting people we consider to be way on the unsavory side, what it means if he actually lets these people give him his black belt (disgrace), and how, sometimes, you have to step up and take a stand for things that might make you uncomfortable --but are, nevertheless, right, just, and required of people with a conscience and set of grounded values.
Of course, Keenan is a 20-year-old man and gets to do exactly what he wants, regardless of how his parents feel. I did that when I was 20 (30, 40, etc.), and so I'm not surprised, just deeply disappointed.
The past 3 weeks has been a rocky moment for the BJJ community. From rape allegations to ethic/moral beliefs it clear that this is a sad and intriguing moment for everyone involved in BJJ. Emotions have definitely erupted over the past weeks causing a serious separation in two classes almost like a religious war –lol- which pits the proud 97%ers against the almighty 3%ers.
For those that don’t know what these #’s mean let me give you a brief synopsis. (don’t worry I will be unbiased)
3%er- is one that strives to reach his highest potential at all cost. In our world it is those competitors who aspire to be world champions with no other obligations but toward himself and his ascension in the ranks.
97%er- a person who isn’t concerned with glory or gold medals but more centered toward personal growth. They carry a strong since of “martial art values” which upholds the standards of those who love the martial arts, and train to build strong Character, for Sport and to develop skill and awareness for Self-defense.