20 year Black Belt Journey of Master Alder Hampel

10th Planet Black Belt Alder Hampel


Martial arts has been a part of my life since I was 7-8 years old. Things changed in 1994 when I found out you could use pro wrestling holds that worked in real life. The UFC called it Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and I watched Royce Gracie destroy muscle hunks and street toughs alike. I became obsessed. In high school I befriended Rob Hooks who trained with Royce. He would kick my ass in his back yard. I had learn, I had to train! I started Budoshin Jiu Jitsu with Master George Kirby. After that I moved to RCJ Machado Jiu Jitsu in 1996. This is where I would meet both of my future instructors that would follow. After a stint there, I moved to Santa Monica and found Street Sports and Renato Magno. He was an instructor of mine from the Machado’s. This is where I got my first BJJ belt. Unfortunately life happens and in 2003, I had to leave and move back to the Valley. I didn’t have a real instructor for the next couple of years. I was back in school and broke. I would train with friends here and there, but hardly. As soon as I got out of school, and got a job, my first purchase would be to sign back up at a BJJ gym. I found this little gym in west Hollywood across the street from my work called the Bomb Squad. I had no car and needed a place that I could bike to. I also needed a place that had later classes because I worked until 7 or 8pm. I had school loans too and was a brokester, I needed affordable Jiu Jitsu (at the time most BJJ was $$$). This place seemed like it could work!!! When I went in I was Greeted my now good friend Chuck. I saw people who if trained with in the past and I recognized the instructor as that rocker dood who commentated MMA and had trained at JJM’s, except now he had short hair. Eddie Bravo greeted me and gave me a copy of the Twister dvd. I watch the class and was fascinated with this wacky new style of “Vale Tudo” aka nogi. I was hooked, and would return the next day check in hand ready to sign up! That was 10 years ago. I’d like to thank all my students, training partners, instructors, my parents (who hate violence but support me), my wife Jean Hampel (Who just got her blue belt). It’s been a 20+ year journey to BJJ black.

**Alder Hampel**

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