Jonathan “JT” Torres: A World-Class BJJ Grappling Fighter

Jonathan “JT” Torres A Top-Notch BJJ Grappling Fighter

JT Torres is the all-time greatest Puerto Rican grappler by origin. His great sweeps, transitions, and ability to survive until the final bell against the most formidable grapplers turn him into one of the most challenging opponents to face, even for the legends of this sport.

This essay will teach you some Jonathan “JT” Torres BJJ facts you may not know. As a result, it will highlight Torres’ tournament victories, exceptional grappling techniques, and many other things.

JT Torres Was Born in New York

JT Torres came to this world on September 2nd, 1989, in the state of New York, the United States of America. He is of Puerto-Rican descent. He hasn’t trained the Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his early life stages.

Jonathan’s First Martial Art Was Karate

Torres kicked off his Karate career early and earned a black belt before high school. Jonathan Torres was training in this stand-up martial art, but he had never felt a deep connection.

It was a routine activity that helped him protect himself. When Jonathan reached a mature age, he quit Karate and tested his skills in other sports.

Related Article: Click here to learn the main differences between BJJ and Karate.

JT Also Tried Basketball Before His BJJ Career

It was another stage of his career. He became part of his High school Basketball team, but, unluckily, he got cut off.

Then there was no physical activity in his life, and his father told him to return to Karate, but it was not an option for Torres, as he needed a change.

BJJ Was Love at the First Sight

Jonathan “JT” Torres heard that his old martial art academy was offering a BJJ program, so he decided to sign up, and the fantastic Brazilian martial art instantly hooked him.

He was a natural grappling talent and reached the blue belt in only six months. The flexible young guy had no difficulty locking Omoplatas and other moves that demanded a top-notch skillset.

Then JT transitioned to coach Louis Vintaloro at Performance BJJ dojo in New Jersey and reached purple and brown belts in less than three years. He was a miraculous, impressive talent who had no hard time mastering all kinds of moves.

After two Pan American championship victories, Torres transitioned to the Lloyd Irvin team in Maryland, where he earned his black belt in 2009.

JT Torres Parted Ways with Lloyd Irvin and Transitioned to Andre Galvao’s Atos Academy in 2013

There was a big scandal in Lloyd Irvin’s BJJ academy in 2013 when the two TLI competitors were accused of rape of a female teammate. Also, the legendary coach was investigated for molesting one or more female team members.

This affair was too much for Torres, who decided to continue pursuing his dream at Andre Galvao’s Atos Academy and moved to California in 2013.

JT Torres Is a Master of Grip Strength, But He Doesn’t Have the Favorite Position/ Submission Thanks to His All-Around Potential

When a Torres grabs your limb, you’ll have a hard time slipping out of it, even if you’re the best guy in the division. His grips are so powerful sometimes you’ll need super-human strength to drop out of it or reverse the position.

I like to call JT Torres “The Georges St-Pierre of BJJ.” Why? Well, most BJJ specialists can name you the favorite position, submission, transition, sweep… But JT is an all-around fighter who trains everything and works on every aspect of the game.

Just look at his record – he has victories via 18 different submissions! It shows that he pushed his all-around game to the next level!

JT Torres Competes at Lightweight (-76 kg) Weight Class

JT Torres doesn’t have many successes at Open weight combats because he is a lightweight weight class competitor. He won many high-level jiu-jitsu tournaments, but a considerable weight difference was just too much for this high-level all-around mat warrior.

Related Article: Click here to learn about weight classes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Jonathan “JT” Torres Is a Former Two-Time ADCC World Champion

Source: FloGrappling

ADCC is the most challenging tournament to conquer, but Jonathan Torres was able to win it on two occasions – in 2017 and 2019. He also took part in ADCC in 2022 but didn’t win the medal, despite his top-notch performance in the first bout against Keita Iwamoto.

Every single fight of his was a superb chess match; you can learn a lot by re-watching his combats. What makes him so different?

Well, most mat warriors master two or three techniques and try to catch their opponents into a trap, but when you fight against JT Torres, the danger comes from every position!

Related Article: Click here to Discover the all-time ADCC World Champions.

JT Scored More Than 44 Submission Wins in His Career

JT won 90 times (44 subs), and the most stoppages came via choke from the back. Yet, there were armbars, Americanas, mounted X chokes, triangles, Kimuras… His all-around game plays a role when he meets any opponent.

Jonathan Torres Lost Via Submission Only Three Times

Source: Takedown Breakdown

JT Torres’ score is far from perfect; he left the mat with his hand down 29 times. Yet, he was finished only three times (Michael Langhi two times and Kron Gracie), which speaks about his excellent submission defense and anticipation skills.

You may outwork Torres if you’re better, but you must be a real game expert if you’re fishing for a spectacular finish victory. Of course, you can defeat him thanks to better cardio, but submission victory? In your dreams, maybe!

Torres Is So Hard to Finish, and You Must Anticipate at Least Five Moves Ahead

Try to fish for an armbar; JT Torres will rotate to the opposite side. Go for Kimura; he’s already out of the line of the attack. You are transitioning to a leg lock, but JT stays ahead of you and hops on your back… What the heck is happening?

Well, this guy fights like a computer. He anticipates moves very well, staying ahead of his opponent thanks to great calculations and a superb defensive skill set.

You must re-calculate better than him if you want a submission victory. Michael Langhi is quick, but he finished Torres twice because of his excellent fight IQ qualities!

Source: IBJJF


Jonathan “JT” Torres earned his achievements under the leadership of coach Lloyd Irvin, then additionally trained with Andre Galvao. Nowadays, he’s the owner of the dojo called Essential BJJ.

For a reason, JT is a fan favorite – his superb grip strength and hard-to-anticipate techniques lead to excellent mat wars. As a result, you’ll rarely hear boos during his fights, despite most of them going the distance, thanks to JT’s superb fight IQ and technicality.

Source: HelloJapan05

JT Torres is one of the greatest minds of BJJ, who shows his superb BJJ intelligence both on the mats and in the training session. In addition, he’s a great coach and an even better competitor. Here is the list of his BJJ tournaments record – what a great career he has!

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2017 / 2019);
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2015 / 2018);
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2013);
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship NoGi (2010);
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2015);
  • 1st Place IBJJF New York Open (2010);
  • 1st Place IBJJF Miami Open (2010);
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship (2014);
  • 2nd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2009/2012);
  • 2nd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2010);
  • 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2012);
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2009);
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2011);
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2016);
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2010);

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2007 purple);
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2006 blue, 2009 brown).

JT Torres didn’t win the medal in the ADCC tournament, but his career is far from over. You’ll see more from one of the best all-around fighters in the game soon!