At age 20, Pat “Buff” Mendes has already set the bar for Olympic Weightlifting. Being only the 3rd American in history to Snatch 400 lbs as well as Clean & Jerk 500 lbs. While both of the other lifters were late in their career, he is merely beginning! He proves himself as one of the most promising names to watch – a star on the rise. A phenomenal athlete in high school, Pat excelled primarily in football. However, at age 18, he began to notice his talent in weightlifting exceeded his football prowess. After graduation, unlike most athletes, he chose Weightlifting over football. Since then, Pat has been making huge strides and excelling in his new sport; always meeting the high expectations he places on himself.


I was born and raised in Lithuania living with my parents and older brother. I learned how to work hard from my father who I always helped out in his auto body shop. I worked with him and realized that this is not the life that I wanted for myself. As a child watching Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movies, made me be fascinated with the idea of becoming a bodybuilder. At 14 years old I was introduced to “the gym”, which I made in my attic above the garage. At age 18, I started going to a real gym, which now I would call “my home”. At age 19, I entered my first bodybuilding contest, the Lithuanian Championships in which I took 5th place. From there on out, I knew that this was something I wanted to do.


Beginning in the early 1990s, jiu-jitsu began receiving notoriety worldwide and Brazil was quickly becoming the Mecca of jiu-jitsu. Robert returned to Brazil in 2000 to dedicate himself entirely to training, and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Over the years he has trained continually, initially with Maromba Club and eventually team Brasa Jiu-Jitsu Club in São Paulo, Brazil.

While training and competing for Brasa Club he received his Black Belt in 2004[citation needed] from the famed Leo Vieira. He has competed and taught in various countries around the world, including Germany, United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland, France, Sweden, Finland and Mexico and just recently, Australia; while teaching and hosting seminars in cities across the United States.