Dave Camarillo is an American Pioneer of Jiu Jitsu, and was really the first American to come into Jiu Jitsu with a very high level of competitive judo as well. Aside from being a Hero to a lot of us of the early era of Jiu Jitsu in America, you can say he contributed and effected Jiu Jitsu, Judo and later on Mixed Martial Arts. Dave in a lot of ways was one of the primary faces of Americans in Jiu Jitsu, and he was the very sharp tip of the spear in what a lot of people would argue was one of the toughest teams in the world at the time, the Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu squad.
This is one is quite personal to me as Dave was my teammate and instructor for a long time and I learned a ton from him. I always tell this joke that I’ve known Dave Camarillo for 25 years now, and I’ve liked him for 24 of those years. When I first met Dave the best way I could describe him is intense. I never had a bloody nose in my life until I started training Jiu Jitsu, and Dave gave me at least a dozen of them. I’ve since learned that he’s among the most passionate people I’ve ever met in my life, and he’s always demanded (most of all from himself) excellence and integrity. Honestly I love the guy to death.
I’m taking the footage out of the OTM collection and putting together more of these career retrospectives. Although I was definitely motivated to highlight some Americans that I felt needed recognition, the next retrospective I am putting together involves a Brazilian. Check out, subscribe, let me know what you think!