Ervin's love of Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has motivated him to train and compete around the world from Japan to Brazil and almost everywhere in between. Though he has competed and won numerous competitions his most memorable accolades are:
Former member of USA Judo Elite Roster
The first foreigner to win the Ichinoseki city-wide Championship in Iwate-ken, Japan
IBJJF Pan Am Bronze Medalist at Purple Belt
IBJJF World Silver Medalist at Purple Belt
Ervin fell in love with Judo when he first attended a practice at Howard University and saw a small woman throw a man who was twice her size. Under the guidance of Master Lewis Cuffy and Master Do Jan Yang, Ervin devoted himself to train religiously. Similar to the story of Phil Jackson introducing Shaquille O’Neal to the writings of Nietzsche, Master Cuffy supplemented Ervin's physical training by introducing him to the philosophy of 2 legendary martial artists: Yamaoka Tesshu and Miyamoto Musashi.
In addition to training at Howard, Master Cuffy would often send Ervin to Master Maurice Allan’s club in Dale City to learn his specific newaza style. During the summer months, Ervin and his judo brother would jog from training at Howard to Georgetown University to train under Master Jimmy Takemori. Ervin also became a member of the Howard University Wrestling team to both supplement his training and to widen his knowledge base.
After leaving college, Ervin saw an opportunity to travel to Japan through the JET Programme. Ervin lived and worked in Japan for three years as an Assistant English instructor spending most of his free time training Judo. He began training at local high schools and police academies in the Iwate-ken prefecture. When he felt he had reached a higher level of skill, he began training with university students at Fuji University. When money would permit, he would ride the "bullet train" to Tokyo to train at the Kodokan (where he received his black belt). Inspired by the life of Yamaoka Tesshu and the training philosophy of Master Allan (never going more than 2-3 days without training) Ervin averaged training five to six times a week.
Upon returning to the US, a friend recommended him to cross train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Lloyd Irvin's Martial Arts. At first dismissive of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ("they are just doing newaza"), Ervin eventually decided to give it a try. During the first class, he admired the tenacity and technique of even the beginners. His opinion of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was reversed when he was submitted multiple times by a blue belt during a five minute period. Once humbled, Ervin decided to throw himself completely into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Under the guidance of Master Lloyd Irvin, Ervin began to recognize certain gaps and mistakes in his ground game. Ervin also began learning to apply the concept of the OODA Loop (developed by Col. John Boyd) to his training. Through Master Lloyd and Master Leo Della, Ervin's all-around grappling ability increased exponentially. Ervin is a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu jitsu and Judo.
Terry is currently a brown belt and has been training in BJJ for 12 years.
Terry came across BJJ in 2007 while looking for an alternative to her usual workout routine. As a college athlete, sports, primarily track and field, was a big part of her life. After over 10 years of running and weight lifting, Terry decided that it was time to learn something new and exciting. At the suggestion of her brother, a current blackbelt under Saulo Ribeiro, Terry decided to check out a BJJ class and it was love at first sight!
From 2007-2015, she trained under Leo Dalla where she received her Purple Belt. Although Terry was often the only female in the class, she was never intimidated by the bigger, stronger guys in the class. In her sparring matches, she exhibited how skill and technique can invalidate size and strength differences.
She loves traveling and uses vacations as opportunities to train at various places and to meet BJJ practitioners from around the world. Whenever possible, she tries to schedule her yearly vacations to the Philippines and Japan around the time of the Asian Open and encourages the team to join her on her Jiu jitsu field trips.
Terry uses a lot of the teaching strategies she gained as elementary and high school teacher when preparing for her class. She believes that providing positive feedback and creating a welcoming learning environment is key to ensuring that both kids and adults continue as lifelong BJJ learners and practitioners.
Outside BJJ, Terry works as a Budget Analyst and like most of us, sits in front of the computer for about 8 hours a day. She believes that BJJ is a great outlet for stress and provides the best overall body workout.
Jesse has been hooked on jiu-jitsu since he started his journey in 2007 and enjoys competing in tournaments. In 2017, he achieved the rank of brown belt under the instruction of Ervin Brandon and won his division at the IBJJF's DC Open later that year.
Jarrod has been involved in martial arts since he was a child. A Cleveland, Ohio native, he was surrounded as a youth by the sport of wrestling in a family of wrestlers and couldn't help but spend time on the mats. During this time, he also spent several years studying Tae Kwon Do.
A career musician, Jarrod moved to Baltimore, MD and earned admission to The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 2001, earning a BM in Guitar Performance in 2005, as well as a Masters Degree in Music Theory from Radford University in 2007.
During this time he also maintained a hectic concert career which ultimately ended due to injury. Despite maintaining a full teaching schedule, Jarrod sought a new outlet for physical activity and began training Muay Thai in 2007, which he continues to this day.
In 2009 he began training BJJ under Renzo Gracie Black Belt John Rallo, competing regularly and eventually earning a purple belt in 2013. After spending a few years away from the sport, Jarrod began training in Alexandria, VA with Leo Dalla Black Belt Ervin Brandon. Having rededicated himself to the sport of BJJ, Jarrod applies training and pedagogical concepts from decades of musical practice and teaching.
On the mats at least once daily to train mind as well as body, Jarrod prioritizes complete relaxation, particularly under stress, with optimum technique being the ultimate goal. When properly applied, these concepts allow him to train more frequently and for longer durations, while minimizing the risk of injury.
It is upon these principles that Jarrod's training and teaching are based as he continues to develop and grow through the art.
Competition Experience (selected)
1st place US Grappling Mid Atlantic Grappling Tournament - Jan 2010
1st place US Grappling Diamond State Games - June 2010
2nd place NAGA Maryland Open - October 2010
2nd place The Good Fight Regional - Jan 2011
2nd place The Good Fight Maryland Open