Brazilian Black Belt


Ken Van Gilbergen

Ken Van Gilbergen getting black belt from Felipe Costa 2011

I met Ken in 2004. It was my first visit to Belgium and my first time to teach BJJ in Europe. From the very first time I noticed that Ken was talented not only as a BJJ practitioner, but also as a teacher and as a BJJ student.

He was the first person ever who got a belt from me. I remember my hands shaking when on the podium at the International Master in Rio (considered the WORLD Tournament of MASTER division back than)I gave him the belt.

As a fighter Ken had many great results and he was always professional on the mat and in the ring. For a long time he was unbeatable in MMA. Once I asked him how much longer was he planning to do MMA. He said: "I got, to at least, get knock out once, so the day I become a coach and push my student to do something, they know I have experienced all and I'm not just talking without putting myself there." Hearing this from the undefeated guy made me realize that in order to be able to give the best to the ones who decide to be my students, I still needed to learn a lot as a coach.

Ken is a great coach. Even when he was only a blue belt, he already leaded a group of his students in Leuven (Belgium) that would often conquer team trophies in many countries around Europe.

And the reason I say he is good at learning, is because Ken has a real talent to get the most out of me when I'm teaching. He has made me a better teacher and made (and still makes) me notice details that makes a whole lot of difference.

He wasn't the first person who got the black belt from me, but he is my oldest student and I can practically assure that in all those years, he is the one who has learned the most from me.

Training BJJ Since: 1998

Black Belt Since: 2011

Academy: BRASA Belgium


2007 Belgian Open
BJJ/SW - 1st place, -80kg

2007 Grappling Ede
SW - 1st place, -76kg

2006 Nederlands Open Grappling
SW – 1st place, -83kg

2006 Lock & Choke
SW – 1st place, -77kg

2006 Amsterdam Open
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2005 Dutch Open
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2005 Masters and Seniors
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2005 King of the beach
SW – 1st place, -80kg

2005 Lock & Choke
SW – 1st place, -77kg

2005 Ultimate Shock
MMA – win

2004 Fights at the border
MMA – win

2004 Dutch Open
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2004 Short Circuit
BJJ – Tournament winner

2004 Open of Germany
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2004 ADCC Dutch Open
SW – 2nd place, -77kg

2004 BJJ Belgian Open
BJJ – 1st place, -73kg

2003 Yoseikan Grappling
SW – 1st place, advanced

2003 Brussels International Grappling
SW – 1st place

Techniques by Ken Van Gilbergen