BJJ Black belt dies in Italy after falling into lake during wedding trip

In a heart-wrenching incident, Octavio Couto Da Silva, a renowned Brazilian-American Jiu-Jitsu master, met a tragic fate as he fell from a wall into a lake during a visit to Italy for a wedding. The incident occurred on Friday, August 25, at Lake Como, according to Italian officials as reported by Italy 24 News. After attending the wedding festivities, the 52-year-old was on his way back to his hotel when he stopped by a low wall overlooking the picturesque lake.

As recounted by Ansa, an Italian news outlet, the tourist lost his balance and plunged into the lake. Emergency personnel and the police discovered his lifeless body at approximately 6:30 a.m. the following Saturday. Known by the moniker “Ratinho,” Couto was not only a sixth-degree black belt but also a champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as noted by Il Messaggero.

Couto’s cousin, Rick Knight, paid tribute to him through a heartfelt GoFundMe campaign, describing him as “a mentor and a professor, a true trailblazer in the art of Jiu Jitsu.” Knight’s Facebook post was filled with emotion as he stated, “The world has lost a legend.” He added, “Heaven is going to get a kick out of you, my friend. You were one of the greatest Jiu Jitsu masterminds, and even better cousin and friend.”

Tributes have been pouring in from the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community, showcasing the impact Couto had on those around him. Octagon MMA, a mixed martial arts school based in Dallas, Texas, where Couto had previously served as the head coach, shared their grief in a poignant Facebook post. They portrayed Couto as a beloved figure, a professor, mentor, and friend who had taught and guided numerous students across the globe. Recognized as one of the most esteemed BJJ coaches globally, Couto’s legacy extends far and wide.

Described as a person with unparalleled kindness and compassion, Couto’s legacy remains etched in the memories of those who knew him. His easy smile, quick wit, and fervor for life are cherished by many.

A former student, Phuong Huynh, conveyed her gratitude to Couto through a heartfelt Facebook tribute, expressing, “Thank you for all of the pearls of wisdom on and off the mats, Octavio.”

Octavio Couto Da Silva leaves behind his sister, wife, and daughter, as disclosed by Knight to McClatchy News. While the circumstances of his passing are still under investigation, officials are yet to ascertain if he succumbed to the fall or drowned, according to Il Giorno. The serene Lake Como, located approximately 410 miles northwest of Rome, has now become a poignant backdrop to this tragic incident.

The world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mourns the loss of an extraordinary talent and compassionate individual who has left an indelible mark on the community.