Leo D’avila is an Atos team member, competitor, coach and IBJJF referee.
Leonardo Henrique D’avila Correa, known only as Leo D’avila. is 5’ 8” and 195 pounds. In the last two years he’s has medaled 27 times in IBJJF sanctioned tournaments in weight classes ranging from Medium Heavy, to Heavy to Super Heavy to Ultra Heavy. He in an elite group of competitors who regularly get on the podium, gi and no gi.
He was born in 1985 in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro. Leo just turned 29 today. (Happy Birthday!) He graduated from university with degrees in Physical Education and Sports Science. Leo received the black belt when he was only 20. While living in Brazil he competed and won many competitions like the State Rio de Janeiro Championship (seven times) and the Brazilian National Championship (two times.)
He is now training in San Diego at the home of Atos headquarters and Andre Galvao.
As an Atos black belt, he has taught 30 seminars in 13 different countries (Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa) including a seminar for the US Navy at Naval Base San Diego. He has traveled to Sweden many times to teach a seminars and twice the UFC fighters Gustafson Alexander and Nicholas Musoke attended.
In 2013, he was Cris Cyborg’s Jiu-Jitsu coach for her title fight at Invicta FC 6 against Marloes Coenen. Cyborg won. He also cornered Andre Galvao in the 2012 IBJJF Pro League and at the first two Metamoris (vs Ryron Gracie and Rafael Lovato.) At Metamoris 3 he cornered the athletes from Atos; Keenan Cornelius and the Mendes Brothers.
But you probably recognize him as a referee at IBJJF events. He’s at a lot of them.
As for the rest of 2014 Leo plans to keep competing and getting better until he can say he's ranked number one in the world. Then in the a few years maybe try his hand at MMA, at least once.
All right, we are here at the Hip-Hop Chess Federation Invitational. Would you please tell us how you found out about the Hip Hop Chess Federation?
Ralek Gracie: Adisa [Banjoko] has been a friend of mine for some time. He's been into Jiu-Jitsu, he's been into chess and the whole culture and how the cultures connect. He reached out to me a few years ago to see if I would do the first Hip Hop Chess Invitational/tournament/event and it was awesome to see the connections, the event, to see RZA. I'm a huge hip-hop fan. I'm a practitioner an artist myself. I'm really into the whole culture of hip-hop and chess and the connect. Years ago I was at the first event and I competed at the same chess tournament and lost pretty quick but now I feel like I've gotten my game up very slowly but more than I was last time.
How long have you been playing chess? Ralek Gracie: I've been playing chess my whole life. I feel like a long time but not seriously, just on and off, anytime I could get a game. It always seemed like there was never enough people to get a game. As much as I could, I would. Really, I don't think I'm more than a blue belt with a couple of stripes, if that.
Shout out to our Metamoris fans? Ralek Gracie: If you've got your tickets to Metamoris, we will see you there. It's going to be an amazing show. If not catch it on line www.metamoris.com, it's going to be awesome.