JT Torres: BJJ ADCC 2x Champion

JT Torres
Birth Name:Jonathan Torres
Date of Birth:September 2nd, 1989
Place of Birth:Bronx, New York, US.
Nickname:JT Spiderman
Academy: Essential Jiu Jitsu
Instructor: Andre Galvao
Accomplishments: 2x ADCC Champion, IBJJF No-Gi World Champion, 2x Pan Champion
Weight Class:Lightweight
Team:Atos Jiu-Jitsu
Rank:3rd-degree black belt in BJJ

Jonathan “JT” Torres is one of the standout American grapplers from the powerful Atos Jiu Jitsu team. He has been one of the top No-Gi grapplers of the last decade through hard work and determination.

Here is everything you need to know about 2x ADCC champion JT Torres. Detailing how he got started in Jiu Jitsu and how he became a multi time world champion in the sport.

JT Torres’ Early Life

JT Torres grew up in the tri-state area and had a normal life as an American kid. From an early age, he got into martial arts and started learning Karate. 

Before Torres got to the 9th grade, he would earn his Karate black belt. At that point, he had become bored with Karate and began trying to get into organized sports.

Jonathan would try getting into basketball, but he would be cut from his school’s JV team.

Jonathan Torres
Jonathan Torres

JT Torres Discovers Jiu Jitsu

After getting cut from the basketball team, JT was in search of some sort of physical activity to get into. His father initially tried to get him to go back to Karate, but Torres wasn’t interested. 

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Instead, JT found out that his old Karate school had started a small Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program. He would return to his old Karate school to try Jiu Jitsu and he was immediately hooked.

In just six months, JT would earn his blue belt. Showing that he clearly had talent and could have a future in competition.

Torres would then move to a bigger gym and begin training under Louis Vintaloro at his gym Performance BJJ. Under Vintaloro, Torres would earn his brown belt in three years and win two Pan championships.

JT Torres Joins Lloyd Irvin’s School

At a tournament, JT would beat BJJ black belt Lloyd Irvin. Impressed with his talent, Irvin would invite Torres to come train with him at his school in Maryland.

JT would accept the offer and begin training at Lloyd Irvin’s school in the late 2000s. By 2009, Torres would earn his black belt from Irvin.

JT Torres Joins Atos Jiu Jitsu

After students of Lloyd Irvin gang raped a female teammate, Torres was part of a mass exodus of the team. He and Keenan Cornelius would move to Andre Galvao’s team Atos Jiu Jitsu in San Diego.

There, JT would elevate his game to become one of the world’s best No-Gi grapplers 

JT Torres BJJ Athlete
JT Torres

JT Torres Career Highlights

JT Torres has had a decorated grappling career over the last decade. Here are some of the highlights of his athletic career as a black belt.

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No-Gi Worlds 2013 

The 2013, No-Gi Worlds event was around the same time that JT had left Lloyd Irvin’s camp. Under Andre Galvao’s guidance, Torres put on one of the best performances of his young career.

At the event, he faced two opponents. He beat Rodrigo Freitas by points in the opening round and then beat Marcelo Mafra by points in the finals. Earning his first world title at black belt. 

2015 European & Pan American Championships 

Before an injury forced Torres to pull out of the 2015 ADCC tournament, he was having a career year. He won the 2015 European Open and the Pan American Championship back to back.

At the European open, JT faced three opponents and dominated them without getting a point scored on him. It would be the same story at the Pan American event, where he beat AJ Agarzam in the finals 10-0.

Torres would nearly pull off the triple crown, but lost to Michael Langhi in the semifinals of the 2015 IBJJF World Championship.

2017 ADCC 

2017 would be one of the biggest years in the career of JT. In his third ADCC appearance, JT would finally get over the hump to win the championship at 77 kg.

He beat Lachlan Giles and Celso Vinicius in the opening rounds. His last two matches would be hard fought wins over Garry Tonon and finally beating rival Lucas Lepri for the championship.

2019 ADCC 

At the 2019 ADCC tournament, Torres would become one of only a few grapplers to repeat as ADCC champion. Beating Ross Nichols and former teammate DJ Jackson in the opening rounds of the tournament.

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He would then beat Garry Tonon for the second time in the semifinals and Wagner Rocha in the finals.

2022 ADCC

JT would fail to repeat as ADCC champion for a third time in a row at ADCC 2022. Being upset by underdog PJ Barch from 10th Planet. But he did have one of the best matches of the tournament against Keita Iwamoto. 

JT Torres’ Grappling Game

JT Torres has a well rounded Jiu Jitsu game, but what he is most known for is his wrestling and positional dominance. In his pro grappling career, Torres is known for being a grinder.

He’s most comfortable grappling in matches under a points ruleset. Generally, Torres will get the takedown on hip opponents and stay on top for the remainder of the match.

All of his wins in ADCC have either been battles, where he grinded out his opponents to win by points. 

JT Torres Opens Essential Jiu Jitsu 

In 2016, JT would leave Atos HQ in San Diego and return home to New York to open his own Jiu Jitsu school. That year, Essential Jiu Jitsu Academy would open in White Plains, New York.

The BJJ academy is one of the highest rated schools in the area filled with numerous students. It is also an Atos Jiu Jitsu affiliate school.

What’s Next For JT Torres?

JT Torres has done it all in the No-Gi grappling world. Winning multiple world titles, including to ADCC world titles. 

Today, Torres spends a lot of time running his academy Essential Jiu Jitsu, but he’s still active on the grappling scene. Whenever there’s a big grappling tournament, you can expect JT to be there in the mix to win it all.