Sinistro Brings the Fire to True Believer Jiu Jitsu

The week of February 4, 2019, Francisco “Sinistro” Iturralde came to Pittsburgh to host the Connection Camp, a three-day seminar comprising multiple two-hour sessions per day. The students of True Believer Jiu Jitsu truly seized the opportunity to learn from a special talent — with some students recording more than 12 hours of training with Sinistro over the three days.


In Portuguese, the word “Sinistro” literally translates to sinister, but Francisco earned the nickname through Brazilian slang, which uses the word “to describe something out of the ordinary,” according to BJJ Heroes. One of the first big names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to emerge from Ecuador, Sinistro formerly trained with Alliance Jiu Jitsu before opting to train independently out of San Diego, California. He earned the nickname during his meteoric rise as a teenager when he won two of his world titles. Over the years, his brand of grappling has become synonymous with a dynamic and submission-centric approach to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.


Much like Sinistro, the Connection Camp at True Believer Jiu Jitsu was something out of the ordinary. Throughout the seminar, students learned practical progressions starting from a knee slice, transitioning to more advantageous positions through pressure passes — in addition to executing various lapel chokes from side control and the mount. On the third day of the seminar, students trained without the traditional kimono, drilling techniques from the same progression in the no-gi format and finishing with variations of the anaconda choke.

Each of the six sessions was followed by 10 hard-fought rounds, where students worked to apply the newly learned techniques. Outside of the seminar, Sinistro also instructed during regularly scheduled classes and held private instruction with students.


True Believer Jiu Jitsu consistently strives to bring top competitive talent from across the sport of Jiu Jitsu to Pittsburgh — spanning different nationalities, backgrounds and grappling styles.

Check out the video from the event below, and be sure to follow Sinistro.

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