Where do we begin? Well, lets start from the beginning before Christopher Charalambous Started his Jiu jitsu Journey. Christopher was born in Dewsbury, west Yorkshire, England. At the age of 4 years old, Christopher’s family moved to Sheffield, England on a new business adventure. Christopher’s farther & uncles, Costa Charalambous, Cliff Philippou & Michael Philippou opened one of Sheffield’s most famous restaurants in the 1980’s, The Old Coach House, on the wicker, Sheffield.
In the Late 80’s, The Wicker started to change & all three family members decided it was the right time to sell, Cliff Philippou is now the owner of Rush bar, Mansfield, & Lexis, Mansfield.
Michael Philippou is the proud owner of one of the most successful restaurants in Yorkshire, The Venus Restaurant, Dinnington.
Unfortunately, Costa Charalambous past away five years ago and is buried at the Brimington cemetery, Chesterfield.
On to how Valente Brothers based Jiu jitsu, Chesterfield Began. The last ten years for Christopher have been a very educational experience & has changed his life. Before Jiu jitsu, Christopher Charalambous was more into body building and had more of a boyish type attitude, he would watch a lot of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) he was more aggressive in personality.
In january 2009, Christopher Charalambous started taking Jiu jitsu classes at a school in Matlock called Jesters on Dale Road. Every Monday at 6pm a Brown belt instructor called Tim would teach the class, (they had a class on Friday but Christopher couldn’t make it) Tim was a Brown belt under Royce Gracie, he was a really nice guy and he is also a highly ranked in Judo too. Christopher felt that he was learning good Grappling skills and good throwing skills but self-defence lacking, also the history and philosophy was never taught. What I saw Royce Gracie do in UFC 1,2,3 & 4 didn’t truly match up, techniques were missing.
Christopher was working over 40 hours a week and very unsociable hours at that. Christopher looked to add more training to the little spear time he had, so he found another school that taught after Tim’s class on Monday in Dronfield, Derbyshire. Christopher would train in Matlock at Jesters for 1 hour, then drive to Dronfield to train for 2 hours 8pm till 10pm.
After some thought, and not receiving the answers he was searching for, Christopher Charalambous started to look deeper into jiu jitsu and its origins. Its easy to find information these days due to the internet and that brought him to Valente Brothers in Miami, Florida. After a month of research he decided that Valente Brothers were the ones to train with, as they are Black belt Professors under Grand Master Helio Gracie. On this exact date, April 25th 2010, Christopher made his way over to Miami to learn from the Valente Brothers school of Jiu jitsu and what a experience it was. On Monday April 26th, Christopher walked into Valente Brothers Jiu jitsu Academy in north Miami beach.
Christopher trained Monday to Saturday taking over 80 classes in one month, learning Throwing skills, Grappling, Striking, Self-Defence & Philosophy (Now known as the 753 Code). Christopher was overwhelmed with techniques feeling like he was in Jiu jitsu Heaven, a truly unforgettable time but this was just the beginning. On the last day of training after Christopher pleaded to Gui Valente that he had been training over a year and a half in England, Christopher Charalambous asked Gui Valente if it would be possible to promote him to Blue Belt, Gui never responded. As Christopher was saying good by to new friends in the changing rooms at Valente brothers Jiu jitsu, Joaquim Valente comes into the changing rooms and tells him to come into the back room as he wants to put me in a Gracie Challenge Fight, the opponent is on his way.
Christopher enters the private room and out of nowhere, a man with a balaclava runs at Christopher and they grapple, Christopher takes the mans back and chokes him until he taps, as Christopher looks up Pedro Valente is standing infront of him with a blue belt and the rest is history.
Once Christopher came home to Chesterfield, United Kingdom, things were never the same, Christopher stopped training in Dronfield but continued with Tim in Matlock at Jesters. after seeing the way Pedro Valente and others dedicated themselves to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle in general, that would be his next journey before heading back to Miami in 2011.
Christopher herd about a special way of eating known as the Gracie Diet, again Christopher looked to the internet for information finding a website called Gracie seminars.com. This website at the time had all the information Christopher needed to educate himself on the Gracie Diet, but found it hard to learn so he gave up on the idea. It wasn’t until after his second trip at Valente Brothers Jiu jitsu in Miami that he decided to try again and it was a success. Eating 3 times a day, two large juices morning and night and one cooked meal with a veggie juice in the afternoon, no snacks, Christopher changed his diet and is still using this way of eating to this day.
Back in Brazil, The Gracie Diet originally was known as the Alimentacion Racional Humana or in Portuguese, Regime de alimentação racional (The Rational Nutritional Regimen).
Back onto Christophers Jiu jitsu story. Christopher Became extremely dedicated to the full jiu jitsu life style and this changed him for the better. Christopher stopped consuming Alcohol in 2013 helping to clear his mind and focus on the ultimate goal of becoming a black belt, and in 2013 Christopher Charalambous became Valente brothers first UK Purple belt at the winter belt ceremony in December. so it took Christopher 3 and a half years to become a purple belt in Jiu jitsu.
Christopher Charalambous is now a brown belt under Valente Brothers, he was promoted in December of 2017 which was a great honour for him. So when did Christopher start teaching classes?
In 2012 around September at some point, just after Christophers father died. Christopher mother was living alone in Doncaster, UK. Christopher convinced his mother it would be best to live together in Chesterfield so she wouldn’t be alone. This is where a stroke of luck came about, the house they found had a extremely large garage & Christopher quickly realised that this would be the start of Valente Brothers based Jiu jitsu in Chesterfield.
Christopher started teaching in 2012 after leaving his old instructor Tim at Jesters, Matlock to find his own teaching path. Christopher is very thankful for all he has learned from Tim and all at Jesters, Matlock. Being a blue belt at the time, it was extremely hard to receive any credibility from potential students, but through out all the difficulties that surrounded him, and with the help of others, he made it work and is now teaching over 30 private classes a week and 4 hours of group classes on top of the privates each week.
The pictures above are the beginning of Valente Brothers based Jiu jitsu Chesterfield, these were difficult times.
The pictures above show how we have grown due to the dedication and hard work of Christopher Charalambous, he believed in Valente Brothers teachings and stuck by his instructors. Other instructors have criticised Christopher for staying along side the Valente Brothers and not training else where, He can think of many reasons to stay committed to Valente Brothers jiu jitsu, and one reason is the manner of how they present there school and themselves to others, they are Black belts on and off the mats. This is the reason why Christopher Charalambous is so successful and is now about to invest in a new building in the area. Christopher will continue to educate himself and associate himself with Valente brothers Jiu jitsu due to there knowledge of the philosophy and the techniques on the mat.
Christopher Charalambous has invested the last ten years training with all the Gracie Jiu Jitsu family, there is no-one in the area that can be compered to Christopher for knowledge and Philosophy. He’s rolled with Royler Gracie in a private class (Royler he made short work of him lol). He’s rolled with Relson Gracie and listened to his funny stories. Christopher has spent endless hours in the back rooms at Valente Brothers Head quarters watching and helping with private intuition, seeing many interesting techniques and hearing the history of Jiu jitsu from back in the old days in brazil. The things Christopher has seen are priceless and he is extremely lucky.
More information about our new school will be coming soon!