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Earl Trouble Small 2020 National Grappling Instructor Of The Year

By Brett Hart Created: December, 2020 - Modified: November, 2022

Greatmats is proud to present Earl “Trouble” Small as its 2020 National Grappling Martial Arts Instructor of the Year.

Earl, a 15-year BJJ veteran also trains in Muay Thai and is an undefeated professional MMA fighter with a 3-0-0 record, fighting out of 302 BJJ in Wilmington, Delaware, where he started a kid’s program. When the country is not in quarantine, Coach Trouble can be found coaching every single weekend, regardless of how many of his students and what age the student is competing.

Earl joked around and said, “I guess when they start having a competition on the moon, I’ll be there to coach as well.”

He first learned of his nomination by way of a personal message from a 302 mom. “Then came the ‘Coach Trouble Campaign’,” he said.

His relationship with the kids in his program led to Earl gathering more than 2,200 of the nearly 9,400 votes cast in this year’s contest.

“It means a lot,” Earl said. “It’s a reflection of the support I have in our community. I was very surprised to see how many votes I got in the competition. I was tagged in 100 posts a day asking for votes. The 302Kids are committed.”

This year’s runner up was Anthony Alexander of Adamson Bros. Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Seaside, Oregon.

“I just want to thank everyone from 302BJJ for the support,” Earl said. “Special thanks to the kids and parents who put together the nomination and fought for the votes. I can’t wait until Covid-19 clears, and we can get back to a normal schedule of training, competing, and fighting. Also thanks to GreatMats for putting together the competition.”
Earl ''Trouble'' Small
302 BJJ
Wilmington DE 19808