Keenan Kai-James Cornelius is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner originally from Hawaii and is currently based in San Diego, California. His competitive achievements include what has been called a "grand slam" in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, having won double gold medals at four major tournaments: the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Pan-American Championship, European Open Championship, and Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship - as a brown belt.[31] He is also known for his creation of guard techniques such as the Worm Guard.[32]

Keenan Cornelius
BornKeenan Kai-James Cornelius
(1992-02-25) 25 February 1992 (age 27)
Hilo, Hawaii, U.S.
Other namesBlack Belt Hunter[1]
Cat boy
Keenus
ResidenceSan Diego, California, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
DivisionMiddle-heavyweight (2012-present)
Middleweight (2011-2012)
Lightweight (2008-2011)
StyleBrazilian Jiu Jitsu
Fighting out ofSan Diego, California, USA
TeamAtos Jiu-Jitsu (2013-2019),

Team Lloyd Irvin (2011-2013),

BJ Penn's MMA(2008-2011),

Cassio Werneck Jiu-Jitsu (2006-2008)
Rank     Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Andre Galvao
Keenan Cornelius
Medal record
Submission Wrestling
ADCC World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2017 -88kg
Silver medal – second place 2015 -88kg
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Absolute
Bronze medal – third place 2013 -88kg
ADCC North American Championships
Gold medal – first place 2012 -88kg
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2018 Heavy (black)
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Middle-Heavy (black)[2]
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Absolute (black)[3]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Middle-Heavy (brown)[4]
Silver medal – second place 2013 Absolute (brown)[5]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middleweight (purple)[6]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (purple)[7]
World No-Gi Championship
Gold medal – first place 2017 Middle-Heavy (black)[8]
Bronze medal – third place 2017 Absolute (black)[8]
Gold medal – first place 2014 Middle-Heavy (black)[9]
Silver medal – second place 2014 Absolute (black)[9]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middle-Heavy (brown)[10]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (brown)[10]
Gold medal – first place 2011 Middleweight (purple)[11]
Pan-American Championship
Gold medal – first place 2018 Super-Heavy (black) [12]
Bronze medal – third place 2018 Absolute (black) [12]
Gold medal – first place 2015 Middle-Heavy (black)[13]
Silver medal – second place 2014 Middle-Heavy (black)[14]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Middle-Heavy (brown)[15]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Absolute (brown)[15]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middleweight (purple)[16]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (purple)[16]
European Open Championships
Gold medal – first place 2018 Heavyweight (black)[17]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Middle-Heavy (brown)[18]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Absolute (brown)[18]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middleweight (purple)[19]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (purple)[19]
Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middleweight (purple)[20]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (purple)[20]
Asian Open Championship (Brazilian jiu-jitsu)
Gold medal – first place 2018 Ultra-Heavy (black)[21]
Gold medal – first place 2017 Heavyweight (black)[22]
Gold medal – first place 2017 Absolute (black)[22]
Atlanta International Championship
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middle-Heavy (brown)[23]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (brown)[24]
Houston International Championship
Gold medal – first place 2012 Middle-heavy (purple)[25]
Gold medal – first place 2012 Absolute (purple)[25]
Boston International Championship
Gold medal – first place 2013 Middle-Heavy (brown)[26]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Absolute (brown)[27]
Las Vegas International Championship
Gold medal – first place 2013 Middle-Heavy (brown)[28]
Gold medal – first place 2013 Absolute (brown)[29]
San Francisco International Open
Gold medal – first place 2014 Middle-Heavy (black)[30]
Gold medal – first place 2014 Absolute (black)[30]

Early life and educationEdit

Cornelius's first exposure to martial arts training began at a young age, under his step-father, martial arts teacher Tom Callos, who was BJ Penn's first Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor.[33] At the age of 14, he began casual grappling training with friends. Shortly thereafter, he began receiving formal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction under Cassio Werneck, then training for three years under BJ Penn, before ultimately joining with Team Lloyd Irvin. Despite his high-level victories as a purple belt and above, Keenan claims to have had a poor competitive showing early in his career, prior to his joining Team Lloyd Irvin, a move which Keenan held responsible for his later success.[34]

CareerEdit

On February 28, 2012 Keenan won the Abu Dhabi World Pro Trials Montreal Purple belt +74 kg absolute division.[35] In April 2012 Keenan competed in the World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup, winning his division (-82 kg.) and earning a bronze in the absolute division.[36] On June 26, 2012 Keenan was promoted to brown belt under Lloyd Irvin.[37] On February 27, 2013 Keenan announced his split from Team Lloyd Irvin. A few days later, it was officially announced that he would be joining Atos Jiu-Jitsu.[38][39] After his transition to Atos, Keenan continued his run as the most accomplished brown belt in the history of the sport, winning nearly every major tournament at his weight and open class with the only exception being the 2013 IBJJF Brown Belt Absolute Division where he placed second.[40] On September 14, 2013 Keenan was promoted to black belt under André Galvão.[41] On December 8, 2013 Keenan won the medium-heavy/heavyweight division of the 2nd IBJJF Pro League for the prize of $5,000 by defeating Diego Gamoral and Jackson Souza.[42]

On March 29, 2014, Keenan was scheduled to face Vinny Magalhaes in Metamoris III. However, Vinny was forced to withdraw before the match, being hospitalized with a MRSA infection. He was replaced by Rickson-trained black belt Kevin Casey. The match ended as a win for Keenan, using 50/50 guard and getting a submission with an inside heel hook.[43] In April 2014 Keenan competed in the 2014 Abu Dhabi BJJ World Pro Championship, winning bronze in the black belt adult 94 kg division.[44] On August 9, 2014, Keenan competed against Vinny Magalhaes at Metamoris IV. The match ended in a draw. On November 22, 2014, Keenan competed against Yuri Simoes at Metamoris V. The match ended in a draw. On January 10, 2015, Keenan competed against Dean Lister at Polaris Pro Grappling. He won the match with a reverse triangle choke from back control.

Legion AcademyEdit

After a falling out with his long time gym ATOS, Keenan decided to open his own gym and fight team. On August 6th 2019 he announced he would open Legion Academy in San Diego CA. [45] [46]

Technique DevelopmentEdit

Keenan is known in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community for his creation and successful use of a unique gi guard system. Nicknamed the Worm Guard by André Galvão, Keenan ties his leg to his opponents hip and opposite leg with one hand and his opponent's loose lapel, locking them into place while leaving Keenan two free limbs to attack on one side. He and others have continued to iterate and invent techniques exploiting the lapels of the Gi jacket, a trend that is credited to Keenan's initial success with Worm Guard.

MediaEdit

In 2013, Cornelius published a 5-part DVD set teaching concepts of his competition style.[47]

In 2016 Keenan Online, a membership site, began offering his curriculum.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Silva, Naoyuki. "Keenan Cornelius: The Black Belt Hunter…Hunter". Jits Magazine. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  2. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2016". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2014" (PDF). Official IBJJF results. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  4. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "World Jiu-Jitsu Championship". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "World Jiu-Jitsu No-GI Championship 2017". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "World Jiu-Jitsu No-GI Championship 2014" (PDF). Official IBJJF results. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation -". Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Results" (PDF). Official IBJJF results. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "Results" (PDF). Official IBJJF results. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Resultados Parciais". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  17. ^ "Official IBJJF results". Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  21. ^ "Official IBJJF results". Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Official IBJJF results". Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  23. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  24. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  25. ^ a b "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  26. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  27. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  28. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  29. ^ "Results". Official IBJJF results. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
  30. ^ a b "Final Results" (PDF). IBJJF. February 9, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  31. ^ "Keenan Cornelius | BJJ Heroes". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  32. ^ "Worm Guard | BJJ Heroes". BJJ Heroes. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  33. ^ "What is Tom Callos To BJ Penn?". Hawaiisportspage.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  34. ^ Herle, Erin (September 6, 2012). "View From The Top: Keenan Cornelius Refuses to Lose". Pulling Guard Zine. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  35. ^ Rod, Dan (February 28, 2012). "WPJJ Montréal – The Finalists!". Graciemag. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  36. ^ "WPJJC 2012 Results & Photos". UAE Jiu-Jitsu. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  37. ^ Trindade, Ivan (June 26, 2012). "Nyjah Easton a black belt, Cornelius a brown belt and other Lloyd Irvin promotions". Graciemag. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  38. ^ Trindade, Ivan (February 27, 2013). "Keenan is leaving Team Lloyd Irvin. Where is he going to?". Graciemag. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  39. ^ "Keenan confirms move to Atos JJ, JT Torres follows". Graciemag. March 1, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  40. ^ "Keenan Cornelius". BJJ Heroes. September 16, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  41. ^ Trindade, Ivan (September 14, 2013). "Keenan Cornelius promoted to black belt". GracieMag. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  42. ^ Peligro, Kid (December 8, 2013). "IBJJF Pro League Results". ADCC. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  43. ^ Grant, T.P. (March 29, 2014). "Metamoris 3: Gracie vs Bravo Results, Highlights and GIFs". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  44. ^ Grant, T.P. (April 21, 2014). "2014 Abu Dhabi BJJ World Pro Championship Results and Video". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  45. ^ "Keenan Online".
  46. ^ "Legion Academy by Keenan Cornelius - coming to San Diego".
  47. ^ Faggella, Dan (May 24, 2013). "Keenan Cornelius DVD Review". On The Mat. Retrieved September 27, 2013.