Twice a week, Milton Bastos makes his way to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, ready to help a bunch of Google employees work out, de-stress, and have fun.
Bastos teaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), a type of martial art that focuses on ground fighting and teaching people how to use leverage to take on their opponents.
Bastos first discovered BJJ when he was 13 years old and an academy opened up near his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since, he’s won multiple international competitions, at times keeping a strict diet and training 6 hours a day for most of the week. Earlier this year, while living in San Jose, California, Bastos saw that one of his friends had posted about a mysterious teaching gig.
“I had nothing to do around lunchtime, so I said I could teach the class,” Bastos told Business Insider. “But I didn’t know where it was for.”
He says he was completely surprised when he found out the job was at Google. He sent over his work and competition history, and when the company accepted his credentials, Bastos signed on to teach two classes a week.
Now, he says, his classes fill up quick with Googlers from all different departments and of all different skill levels.
“I have lawyers. I have engineers. I have designers,” he says. “I have everything, even a chef who came after lunchtime.”
Bastos says that his Google students aren’t too different from his regular students: They come to his classes to take their focus off their problems (or, often in this case, get away from their computers), and to stay in shape.
“You have a stressful day at work, and you go to a class, and then you feel happier,” he says, adding that he’s had BJJ students in the past who have also managed to lose hundreds of pounds through their training.
Not only does Bastos love the free food he gets to enjoy when he visits the Google campus, but he says he appreciates the Google job because it helped him have the resources to achieve one of his long-time goals: opening his own studio. He now teaches nearly a dozen classes a week at The Milton Bastos Academy. He says that he’s already had a Googler or two drop by.
Since he started working at Google earlier this summer, Bastos said that telling his friends and family where he works often elicited great surprise.
“They were like, ‘How did you get that?'” he says. “They thought that Google would just be for engineers and things like that. They don’t know that inside they have so many things. They have everything over there. It’s really cool.”
In fact, Google offers 125 fitness classes a week at the Mountain View campus, and 250 total around the world.
“We work hard to build the healthiest workplaces possible because we believe that healthy, happy Googlers perform at their best,” Google’s Meghan Casserly told Business Insider over email. “And since staying fit means something different to everyone, we try to offer as wide a range of individual and group fitness sessions as possible — spin to acrobatics, yoga to jujitsu.”
Casserly also says that Google encourages employees to share their talents, so a bunch of classes — fitness and otherwise — are taught by Googlers to their peers.
Generally, Google employees seem to be an athletic, and a rather competitve bunch.
“Some students have friends who train over at Facebook and other places, so they suggested maybe having a Google against Facebook tournament,” Bastos says. He thinks that competition is really important (you can watch a video of him competing here), and that it teaches students to challenge themselves and learn how they can improve.
“Hopefully we can do that,” he says with a laugh.