I’m Jon Helton!
I’m a BJJ Brown Belt under John Piper (Roberto Correa, Carlos Gracie Junior, Helio Gracie, Carlos Gracie Sr.)
Back in 2007, it was summer and Jon had just finished his first Taekwondo class with local legend, Danny Plyler. Being a former North Carolina men’s bench press champion, weight lifting gym owner, club bouncer and TDK blackbelt, Danny’s enigmatic personality and teaching style had Jon hooked. He had learned something called Jiu Jitsu from a Gracie’s seminar when they came to Charlotte, NC in the 90’s. Danny was blown away by what he learned at the seminar and his martial arts journey was forever changed. So he went back to the gym with his fellow TKD students, and well, they practiced jiu-jitsu. Thanks to Danny, Jon’s invaluable martial arts foundation consists of training in Taekwondo, Japanese Jujutsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Eskirma.
As Jon’s training continued, he decided to join an MMA club that trained twice a week in early 2008. Over the next year, his love of the sport was growing and he became an Eddie Bravo groupie, following and attending Eddie’s seminars held across the US. Putting his techniques into action, Jon began competing in local competitions, and subsequently earned his blue belt in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in 2009. By this time, he felt he was ready to see his dream of running a Jiu Jitsu gym a reality and opened 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Charlotte, located in Indian Trail, NC. It was during an Eddie Bravo seminar at the gym in 2011 that Jon received his purple belt from Eddie.
Jon continued training in the gi and received his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from black belt Jeremy Arel in 2012. With some life changing events taking place, Jon closed his school and joined the newly established Charlotte Jiu-Jitsu Academy in 2014, where he received his brown belt from black belt John Piper in 2016. He continues to train today, but due to some tough injuries to his body over the years, Jon has found other ways to share his love of the sport. Through his second language of wit and sarcasm, he enjoys writing Jiu-Jitsu satire for the Wrist Lock Observatory, and sharing techniques through posts on Jiu-Jitsu Craft.
I’m Josh Oldfield!
I’m a BJJ Purple Belt under Cesar Clavijo (Roy Dean, Roy Harris, Joe Moreira, Francisco Mansur, Helio Gracie). I’m also a trophy husband, lame dad, Indian Club swinger/maker, and a passable woodworker.
I was introduced to BJJ my freshman year of college (2001) by roommate Ben Paddock and Clyde … something. Ben dominated me and nearly everyone else at wrestling in the dorms and introduced me to his coach. Clyde (I’ll likely never figure out what his last name was…), a member of campus staff at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN, recruited a couple of us guys for a mentoring/grappling program he was doing with highschoolers. Clyde was a Jubo Black Belt who had gotten his hands on some Gracie Jiu Jitsu VHS tapes. I did ground work with Clyde and the gang until the program fizzled (2004?).
Fast forward 11 years… I’m out of shape, both physically and emotionally. I had probably wasted over $1,000 on fitness center memberships that I never made use of beyond 2-3 days of blasting my muscles for a few sets then sitting on a bench to watch TV or text. One night my wife says to me, “You have GOT to get in shape… What was that stuff you did in college…? Juji soo?” She’s never regretted another conversation more in her life.
In 2015 I wandered into the first BJJ gym that came up in Google. I might have still been printing off MapQuest directions back then. It was The Stillness Gym in Beaufort, SC, where I met my teacher, Cesar Clavijo. Like probably anyone reading this, I got bit by the BJJ Bug quickly and have been training more than my wife wants me to ever since. Now Stillness Academy, Cesar’s school was and is a place of wellness, defense, and community. I was lucky to train there in-person for 2 years until moving away in 2017. Cesar’s Way impacted me so very much that, even though I may never to be train with him full-time and in-person, I will always call him my teacher and friend. In the fashion of our Roy Dean/Roy Harris lineage, below are my trials for both Blue and Purple Belt:
Blue Belt Test July 2016
Purple Belt Test March 2020
From 2017-2020 I trained at and gradually helped manage Ground Control BJJ and MMA in Winston Salem, NC with Professor Jeff Cope (Marcelo Araujo). Jeff is a master leg-locker and grandmaster shit-talker. Over the 3 years we trained together, he helped my game in those areas and more.
In August of 2020, we moved our family to the Charlotte, NC area. Locally I train with John Piper (Gordo) at Charlotte Jiu Jitsu Academy (CJJA). The absolute toughest and most fun room around, CJJA IS WHERE THE MONSTERS EAT. Seriously though, Piper’s relentless positivity and generosity have created an amazing environment that draws talent from every local affiliation and beyond. I’m also honored to be assisting Brad Harper, CJJA Black Belt, in instructing at Iredell Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
I compete here and there. It’s honestly not a big part of my training. But I have really enjoyed participating in and raising funds for Tap Cancer Out.
Jon Helton (Jiu-Jitsu Craft founder) and I met on the mats at CJJA. I really dug that he had a 10th Planet background and we’ve always had fun rolls. We got to know each other a little better over a woodworking project. I’ve written for much of my life and had been writing some BJJ satire pieces here and there without any idea what to do with them. Then I saw Jon’s 3rd or 4th Jiu-Jitsu Craft post! I sent him some stuff, he didn’t hate it, and here we are!
Well, if you’ve come this far, you either like what you’ve been reading on our site or you just want to know a little more about the idiots behind the posts you hate. In either case, thanks for stopping by.