Felipe “Gargamel” Mota, a Vini and Octávio “Ratinho” Couto black belt, was invited to teach the gentle art in Europe long ago. He docked in the town of Stavanger, Norway.
When he arrived there there were already some Jiu-Jitsu academies. However, the sport was still at an embryonic stage and thus none of them were officially registered, so the sport was not recognized in Norwegian territory.
After teaching class for some time, Felipe needed to request a work visa, with the aim of forging on in his work and, as a consequence, become a permanent resident of the country. Gargamel went to the consulate and requested the said visa.
To do so he needed to fill out a document with official justification of employment. The problem lay therein. He said he was a “Jiu-Jitsu” teacher. This justification was unacceptable, though, because as aforementioned, the sport was not a legal profession officially recognized by Norway’s minister of sport. (Check out Gargamel in action in the video below.)
They even suggested sticking in another profession. But being the stickler he is, Felipe insisted bureaucracy should be properly carried out, and thus would first need to make Jiu-Jitsu an official sport before registering himself as a teacher of the discipline.
The process was long and arduous. It took over a year before he received a letter straight from the government congratulating him on his effort and saying that he was of extreme importance to the sport’s development in the country. The registration process went through successfully. The style was made official in Norway.
Now, Felipe is the first person to hold the official title of Jiu-Jitsu teacher and the first to have an academy officially registered at the Ministry of Sport. Felipe has made it his task to take the name of his home academy AKXE BJJ to Europe. Felipe also does physical conditioning for MMA and performs in the sport professionally, always competing at the IBJJF European Championship.