Life After AKA for Dave Camarillo Means Going Back to His Roots

January 15, 2012
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Jon Fitch and Dave Camarillo

Jon Fitch and Dave Camarillo (Courtesy of Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu)

For several years, Dave Camarillo‘s name was synonymous with the San Jose, Calif., based fight team and gym American Kickboxing Academy.

Camarillo helped mold and teach some of the top fighters in the sport including Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck, Josh Thomson, Cain Velasquez, and the list goes on and on.

But now with a new instructional on the bookshelves and two gyms of his own to run, Camarillo has stepped away from AKA because it just got too hard to be in two places at once.

“I’m not with AKA anymore. I still train Fitch and Koscheck. My No. 1 focus is my gyms and that’s the way it was working. I just can’t give, I can’t be two people,” Camarillo explained during a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio.

“Both are like we need your time all the time. My thing right now is I’m just focusing on my gyms. I’ve got two gyms, one in San Jose and one in Pleasanton, and each gym is a full-time job. That’s my focus right now.”

Camarillo still keeps close ties with the fighters he worked with in the past, but he knew it was time to focus on his own thing, and that mean exiting AKA.

Now with at least some free time on his hands, Camarillo is putting a lot of time and effort into his academies in California, and getting back to what made him first fall in love with training martial arts.

“That’s No. 1. I grew up five years old, bowing on the mat, with my father and my judo instructor. That’s what I’m doing right now, I’m just going back to my roots,” said Camarillo.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt isn’t exiting MMA by any means, he’s just focusing more on his own gyms and projects right now. Camarillo will still be working with UFC welterweights Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, and will be in Koscheck’s corner against Mike Pierce at UFC 143 in February.

Outside of that, however, Camarillo is all about working in his gyms. He also managed to put together a new instructional book that has gotten rave reviews thus far.

Submit Everyone is Camarillo’s latest guide where he brings his style of Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu to readers, while teaching them the mentality of putting away every opponent and not settling for anything less than a finish.

“If somebody gives you a focus, especially a focus to be a finisher, your ratio for finishing will go up. That’s what this book gives you,” Camarillo commented about Submit Everyone.

“Whether you’re attacking or even in retreat, you think offensively. People think defense, you can’t be aggressive with your defense. I’m very aggressive with my defense and at the same time I will change the tone. I will put you on the run. If you’re chasing me down an alley, I will turn around and chase you. That’s the mindset when I roll.”

And that’s the mindset Camarillo shares in his new book, and what he’s teaching in his academies. So while you may not see Camarillo cageside as much as before, his influence will still be felt by a great many fighters competing in MMA.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/Bartinho bartsmith

    Who’s the new BJJ coach at AKA?

  • Esteban

    Vieira