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The 2014 Instructor of the Year Contest, Presented by Artechoke Media, Open Mat Radio, and r/BJJ


Nominations have officially closed. Please check back on Sept. 16 to read about and vote for one of the finalists.


So often the conversations occurring in BJJ communities around the world, on and offline center around competitors—who is winning what tournaments and what techniques they are using to find success. The toil of competitive jiu-jiteiros has done a lot for the technical advancement of our sport, and having these competitors to model our training after has helped to push many of us to achieve new milestones in our training.

At the same time, our focus on awarding top competitors with trophies and distinctions has taken the spotlight away from the heroes in the sport that work in a different way to grow the art of jiu-jitsu: instructors.

Many of the best instructors are not famous. They do not have highlight videos. They are not featured in documentaries or on podcasts. But they change lives. They dedicate their lives to their academies and their students, working tireless to spread the art and to better the lives that they touch.

Artechoke Media, Open Mat Radio, and r/BJJ have joined forces to help shine the spotlight on some of these heroes.

The Instructor of the Year award is designed to highlight the instructors who are going above and beyond to serve their students and their communities. The goal is not to highlight the individuals who have forged a reputation via competition—many avenues for this exist already—but rather who have inspired students to train jiu-jitsu and to become better people.

The 2014 Instructor of the Year Award includes:

  • An engraved crystal award commemorating the achievement
  • A framed award poster suitable for display
  • An interview with Open Mat Radio
  • An in-depth feature on
  • Marketing consulting for the instructor’s gym (via Artechoke)

The contest is broken into 2 phases:

  • Phase 1: Nominations
  • Phase 2: Voting

Phase 1: How to Nominate an Instructor:

Your nomination should include…

  • Your instructor’s name, rank, and affiliation
  • Your instructor’s email address and school website
  • Your own name and rank
  • Why you feel your instructor deserves the distinction of being Instructor of the Year
  • Optional: A video of your nomination, photos of you and your instructor, videos of your instructor teaching or working with students, any other media that might be relevant (newspaper clips, television appearances, etc).
  • Note: Your nomination may be shared publically if your instructor is a finalist.

Instructors can be nominated more than once (and we encourage it) as long as the nominations are unique. No copy/pasting and one nomination per person, please. Once you have collected the above information, click here to submit your nomination.  Nominations have officially closed. Please check back on Sept. 16 to read about and vote for one of the finalists.

Nominations will close at 1pm EST on Sept. 12.

Phase 2: How to Vote for a Finalist

Five instructors will advance to the finals based on the number of unique nominations that they receive, and five instructors will advance based on the evaluation of our judges, making for a total of ten Instructor of the Year finalists. Note: our judge’s instructors are not eligible to win this contest for the sake of eliminating bias.

Our judges:

From Artechoke Media:

  • Marshal D. Carper
  • Matt Kirtley

From Open Mat Radio:

  • Paul Moran

From r/bjj:

  • UncleSkippy
  • cresquin

Voting for finalists will begin on Sept. 16 and continue through Sept. 23. Winners will be announced on Sept. 25.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Artechoke Media. In the meantime, get your nominations together and share this contest with your friends to encourage them to nominate instructors as well. BJJ instructors deserve our support! Click here to get started.