BJJ Curated

Popular Member of San Antonio Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Community Gone Too Soon

Roberto Gomez’s pain was over the edge, though he’d had a nauseous feeling, a rapid heartbeat, and green spots in his vision for days, according to Gomez’s older brother.

Roberto Gomez poured himself a glass of milk early Wednesday morning before going to bed and suddenly felt waves of pain up the right side of his neck, Jesus Gomez said.

“He literally begged mom to put her shoes on and come with him to the hospital because he was in so much pain,” Jesus Gomez said. “Up until that time, no matter how much anyone insisted that he go see a doctor…he just refused.”

Despite the pain, Roberto Gomez insisted on driving himself to the hospital with his mother, but shortly after backing out of the driveway, he passed out behind the steering wheel. The car rolled onto a curb and stopped, Jesus Gomez said. Paramedics were called and arrived shortly after, but their resuscitation efforts failed and Gomez was pronounced dead just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

At first, family thought the death was a result of an accidental blow to the head during Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class the week prior. That’s when the nausea and spotty vision had kicked in, so it seemed the obvious cause. It wasn’t until Friday morning that the Bexar County Medical Examiner assured Jesus Gomez the head injury did not contribute to the death.

“His heart had a scar from a prior hear attack. And this last event was so massive that he did not suffer and passed peacefully,” Jesus Gomez said in a message. “It was only a matter of time before this was going to affect him.”

The medical examiner told Jesus Gomez heart disease such as this is typically not discovered until after a person passes. The police report files the incident as an “apparent sudden death.” The Bexar County Medical Examiner listed “Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease with an acute coronary artery thrombosis” as the cause of death, which the office said was natural.

The 42-year-old victim worked in customer relations and security in San Antonio and was very involved with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts communities in the city. Friends knew him by his self-given nickname “Monkey Face.”

“He had a bigger impact on people’s lives than I think he ever gave himself credit for,” said his friend Sam Walthers, who credits Gomez with inspiring him to approach the woman who he is now engaged to. “He was just a very loving person. He had a way of making anybody around him make them feel like he had known them for a million years.”

Gomez grew interested in Jiu Jitsu and the martial arts about 15 years ago, and he spent the majority of his free time at the gym teaching, taking classes, and developing his skills.

Gomez will be remembered as an artist (“He was one of the best artists that I’ve ever known… his portfolio is going to be a family treasure for sure,” Jesus Gomez said) and a video game aficionada. He loved firearms and fixing up his car. He lived with his mother to take care of her. And he was famous for his sense of humor.

“Almost everything out of his mouth was a joke,” Walthers said. “I can’t recall a single time that he ever said anything serious, and I’ve been thinking very hard about that.”

Walthers has started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs. Gomez’s funeral will be June 27 at the Castillo Mission Funeral Home on General McMullen Drive.

(Curated Article Sourced from