Kemal Akagunduz is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Lachlan Giles of Absolute MMA. He is also the former head coach of Absolute MMA Shanghai, which is now called Method MMA.
Kemal’s journey with martial arts began in Belarus, back in 2009, where he initially began training in Muay Thai. In 2012, he moved to Shanghai where he attended college and dove headfirst into his passion with training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu seven days a week, three hours a day. He even founded the BJJ Club at East China Normal University in 2012 and was coaching No Gi jiu-jitsu as a blue belt.
With a vision of building up Shanghai’s jiu-jitsu scene, Kemal founded Warzone Jiu-Jitsu Academy in 2016. There he built a flourishing community as head coach until 2018 before becoming the head coach of the BJJ program at Absolute MMA Shanghai.
In 2019, Kemal received his black belt from Lachlan Giles, who is widely considered to be among one of the top coaches and competitors in the world. Kemal was also the grappling coach and a primary training partner for fighters – Li Jingliang and Song Kenan in recent UFC bouts.
In 2020, he won gold at the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro Shanghai Open in the Gi 94kg division at black belt. In 2021, he won gold at the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro Beijing Open in the No Gi 94kg division at black belt. Later that year, he was a grappling tournament champion at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai.
Kemal’s goal is to become an elite, world-class athlete, and mentor his own successful students. With his analytical philosophy of jiu-jitsu, nothing beats measured practice, establishing specific goals, and mapping out how to achieve them. To him, focusing on correcting one mistake at a time will prove more useful than aimless daily hard sparring.
In 2022, Kemal started METHOD Online Grappling Academy – a platform of online grappling courses designed specifically for practitioners of jiu-jitsu. And in the coming year, he looks forward to growing the Absolute MMA program in Melbourne, Australia.