the story of
Stuart Cooper is a filmmaker and Jiujitsu competitor known for producing some of the most popular short films and documentaries on Jiujitsu.
He first began making them in 2011 when he was working full time as a wedding videographer.
During this time Stuart was a Blue Belt and was competing regularly in the UK winning many national tournaments.
But one day in training Stuart suffered a severe injury that resulted in his left arm being completly dislocated at the elbow. This injury meant that Stuart could not train Jiujitsu for the next 12 months.
To keep his mind occupied and to stay involved in the sport Stuart began filming his teams training sessions and competitions. He then began to put together highlight videos and post them onto Facebook just for fun. The feedback from his team was very positive and they encouraged Stuart to keep making them as at this time there was no one else out there making high quality highlight videos on Jiujitsu.
Stuart was then invited to film a Ryan Hall seminar in Liverpool. Once he posted the finished video on youtube he received even more positive reviews, this time from people online who also encouraged Stuart to keep up the good work he was doing.
In his spare time without getting paid Stuart continued to film more seminars with Gunnar nelson, Robson Moura and Jeff Monson. With just these 3 videos Stuart started to get his name out there to the Jiujitsu community and was then invited to go down and film Braulio Estima training for his Super fight against Jacare at ADCC 2011.
Stuart and Braulio became good friends and went on to produce many popular videos together such as the first Road To ADCC series. At this time there was no Flo Grappling and one else out there producing high quality videos on Jiujitsu. Because of the feedback and hundreds of thousands of views he was getting, Stuart knew he was onto something and had taped into a niche area.
Post ADCC Stuart put together his most loved and popular video to date. The ADCC 2011 highlight. This was the first ever ADCC highlight made and received 50,000 views overnight. To date it has had Millions and remains the best Jiujitsu highlight video ever made.
From this video a lot of opportunities came his way and Stuart took them on.
It wasn’t long before Stuart decided to stop making wedding videos and take his savings to fly out to Brazil to chase his dream and train Jiujitsu full time and make more Jiujitsu videos.
Stuart stayed in Rio De Janeiro for 3 months. It was there where he met Dennis Asche who was the founder of the famous Connection Rio Brazilian Jiujitsu Hostel.
Dennis believed Stuart was doing something great and helped him with his next video projects by giving him a free place to stay with free training and putting Stuart in contact with some very big names in Brazil.
During his time in Brazil Stuart went on to produce short films with Kyra Gracie, Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares and UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos. These videos were very well received and shared around the internet. Stuart then started to develop a very strong and loyal following with his videos.
Stuart had a unique ability to capture great visuals and rare behind the scenes training and mix it with cool, alternative music. This was something new and different for the Jiujitsu community and really helped the sport get more exposure.
In 2012 Stuart left Brazil and decided to travel around America to produce more Jiujitsu videos. Through his travels Stuart made a lot of valuable contacts in the MMA and BJJ community. He worked for Five Grappling for many of their events and then met the promoter of Cage Warriors where he was hired as a videographer to film their events all over Europe.
Stuart realized he was doing something that people really liked to follow and so he just kept on rolling with the momentum that he had created.
People didn’t just like his videos but followed him on social media for his lifestyle. People liked to see Stuart chasing his dream and it was encouraging others to do the same.
At this time social media was becoming very popular. Facebook and Instagram were a great tool for Stuart to document his training, traveling and film production and so he started to develop a huge audience.
In Late 2012 Stuart got in contact Tiger Muay Thai who offered him a free place to stay with free training in return for his film making skills.
Stuart Travelled out to Thailand with the intention to train and film for 3 months. But he fell in love with Thailand and the lifestyle there. And so 3 months quickly became several years.
It was in Thailand that Stuart also had the opportunity to become assistant Jiujitsu instructor to Professor Fernando Maccachero. Stuart was a Brown belt by this time and it was here where he could really start to develop his teaching skills.
Stuart continued to teach, train and make films over the next year until he decided to create an Indiegogo campaign to travel around the U.S and make as many short films as he could. The Jiujitsu community loved what he was doing so much that he raised 25,000 USD.
This enabled Stuart to travel all over America to make films with his idols. He went on to produce videos with Marcelo Garcia, Bernardo Faria, Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu, Vinny Magalhaes, Nicolas Gregoriades, Dean Lister, Kurt Osiander, Keenan Cornelius, Andre Galvao, Murilo Bustamante and many more.
For the next few years Stuart didn’t really have a home. He was constantly traveling all over the world getting as much film footage as possible. He continued to train the entire time with some of the best Grapplers in the World and in 2015 he received his Black Belt from Professor Lucio Sergio Dos Santos.
In 2017 Stuart decided that he wanted to stop traveling and making videos for a while to instead focus on teaching and training. So he started to teach at the World famous Evolve MMA in Singapore for the next 12 months. It was here that stuart was really able to develop his confidence in teaching to a higher level and train like a professional athlete. Even though he was having a lot of success with the film making, Stuarts true passion was teaching and training. Something that the filming took him away from.
After 12 months in Singapore Stuart decided to move on and landed the Job as Head BJJ coach back at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket Thailand. This was a dream of Stuart’s as when he first went to Tiger in 2012 he was a Purple Belt working in the media department.
After a good 12 months teaching and training at Tiger Stuart took his game to another level. He was happy with how his training was going with the top guys in the sport and so he decided he was ready to compete at the highest level in Jiujitsu. He hadn’t competed since Brown Belt so this was a big step up.
Stuart was invited to compete at Boa super 8 in Melbourne, Australia in a stacked bracket shared with World class fighters such as DJ Jackson, Craig Jones, Phillips Pomanski, James Brasco, Mike Perez and Gilbert Burns.
Stuart did very well in his first real outing as a Black belt and earned a decision victory over no Gi World Champion Pomanski in his first match but then lost a very close match to 8x World Champion DJ Jackson in the Semi Final.
This gave Stuart confidence to keep on competing at the highest level.
Stuart then had the invite to go and compete in Sakuraba’s Quintet event in Japan with his fellow Team mates from Tiger Muay Thai. It wasn’t the result Stuart wanted but he learned a lot from his mistake and had a fantastic life experience.
Soon after Stuart rebounded with a huge win against one of the UK’s Top Black Belts at Grapplefest in Liverpool.
Stuart has now resigned from Tiger Muay Thai to team up with Ryan Diaz from Diaz Combat Sports in Vancouver, Canada.
It is here where Stuart is about to start the next chapter of his life and start his own Stuart cooper Jiujitsu team. This is something Stuart has wanted and dreamed about since he was a Blue Belt.
Being in Canada means Stuart is closer to the biggest Jiujitsu tournaments in the World in which he intends to compete as much as possible in 2020.
Stuart is also back making videos in his spare time and has recently produced popular videos with Josh Hinger, Nathan Orchard, John Danaher, Lucas Barbosa, Craig Jones and most recently a new project with Dean Lister.
Stuart will be back filming at ADCC this year and has a lot of big projects planned for after the event with Gordon Ryan, Nicky Ryan, Edwin Najmi, Andre Galvao, Tex Johnson and many more.