My name is Vlad, I’m a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and a full-time SEO and Digital Marketing Specialist. I was born in Russia to Russian/Ukrainian parents, migrated to and spent 18 years in Belgium and since 2018 I reside in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The idea to start BJJ Bear was rather spontaneous and happened during the COVID-19 lockdown. I was thinking of a project I could start, and what is better than my hobby, I thought?

I’ve been training since November 2008 when I came to Tri-Force EXIT Belgium, insecure and overweight at 105kg, holding a kebab in my hand, asking “Hey guys I’ve heard you do BJJ? I’d like to try”. A fifty-kilogram female mopped the floor with me and I felt physically sick to my stomach the first training, and I promised myself that it’ll never happen again!

In a span of 2 years, I’ve managed to get my blue belt, lose 30kg (and gain back another 5 to 10 in muscle mass) while trying various diets and training methods. During that time I got hooked on powerlifting and decided I’d like to compete in that art as well. After 5 years of competing in both sports and being riddled with injuries, I decided to continue lifting weights but not competitively and focus on BJJ.

While the Coronavirus crisis was ongoing, I received my black belt from brothers Michel and Maurice Goffart in June 2020 during a Zoom call. I might be the first black belt in the world to be given a belt online, hehe.

ZR Team Kyiv Ukraine
ZR Team Kyiv, October 2019

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