Augusto Mendes, also known as Tanquinho within the Jiu Jitsu community, is a Black belt under the legendary Master of BJJ, Mr Francisco Mansur. Tanquinho is also one of the most recognized referees in BJJ and an amazing professor of the sport, being one of the head instructors at the Soul Fighters camp. In 2011 he started raising some heads his way after a successful weight drop to featherweight (was a lightweight previously) where he competed and defeated some of the biggest names in Jiu Jitsu.
Augusto Mendes Jiu Jitsu
Full Name: Augusto Lopes Mendes
Nickname: Tanquinho means “little tank” a name that came after Augusto started “going through” everyone in training. His older brother which started training a year earlier already had the name “Tanque”, so Augusto as the youngest and smallest got “Tanquinho”.
- World Pro Cup Champion (2011);
- World No Gi Champion (2012);
- 2x Rio Open Champion (2009, 2010);
- 2x Brazilian Team Champion (Black Belt Division);
- 2x World No-Gi Silver Medallist (2010, 2011);
- Pan American Bronze Medallist (2009);
- ADCC Brazilian Trials Champion (Submission de Campos – 2004);
- 2x Silver Medallist at the Mundial as a Brown Belt & Black Belt (2011)
- 3x Bronze at the Brazilian Nationals;
Weight Category: Peso Leve (Lightweight) 75kg – 167lbs
Favourite Technique: Doesn’t have one, loves every aspect of the game
Team/Association: Soul Fighters
Augusto “Tanquinho” Biography
Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes was born March 3, 1983 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He began training jiu jitsu in 1997 after his brother Bruno, who had already begun training, encouraged Tanquinho to join him. After being talked into it, he started his jiu jitsu career in Kioto gym in Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. Just a few classes in, Tanquinho had become completely hooked.
During this time his training was under professors Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, under the supervision of master Francisco Mansor. Just 4 months into training, Tanquinho fought the Rio State Championships and took the bronze medal. It was on this day that Tanquinho found his passion for training and especially for competition.
He began competing at any opportunity, taking second in the Brazilian Championships that same year and winning countless smaller tournaments. By 14 years old Tanquinho was living jiu jitsu and training three times a day.
What was to put him ahead in the gym and in competition came with the invitation to begin teaching at the Kioto gym in 1999. He began his career as a trainer and instructor, always under the close watch of Alvaro and Krauss Mansor, as well as Marcos Carvalho. Carvalho was a major influence during this time, teaching Tanquinho how to teach and correcting any errors.
In 2000 Tanquinho took home his first world title as a blue belt juvenille. In five tough matches he secured his hold on the gold medal and became Kioto’s first world champion. His passion for jiu jitsu was so great at this point that he took every penny he earned teaching class and put it toward a degree in physical education. At the University Estacio de Sa, Tanquinho dedicated himself fully to learn and improve his knowledge about training and teaching.
The Mundial in 2002 meant another world title for Tanquinho, this time after six matches at purple belt featherweight. Moving on in stellar fashion, he took silver in the 2003 Mundial as a brown belt. Despite impressive results in major tournaments, Tanquinho had to lighten up on training in order to finish his degree in Physical Education.
Tanquinho recieved his black belt in December 2004 under 9th degree black belt master Francisco Mansor. He found himself juggling studies with serious training until he finished his degree and becoming a trainer in 2006.
In June 2005, Tanquinho left Kioto gym because of differing ideas for the direction of the gym. With his brother Bruno Mendes, also a black belt at this point, the two left and founded Renovacao BJJ.
It was a difficult time for the brothers, who found that trying to start and run a gym by themselves left little time for the two to focus on their own training. In 2007 Tanquinho began to cross train with his friends Rafael “Formiga” Barbosa and Leandro “Tatu” Escobar, who had also found themselves without many students to push them. The two joined Tanquinho and Bruno Mendes, along with master Alvaro Mansor, to form the association Soul Fighters in January 2008.
After the founding of Soul Fighters, the structure created a system that allowed Tanquinho to have a tight group of talented training partners. Tanquinho continued evolving winning the Rio Open as a black belt and the Brazilian Team Championships twice–where he competed under GFTeam.
Today Soul Fighters is growing daily, with over 1000 students spanning 20 affiliate schools in Brazil and three internationally (Malaga, Spain; Bucareste, Romania; Tokyo, Japan). The team training has reached a point that approximately 10 black belts, 10 brown belts, and 10 purple belts can be found on the mats pushing training.
Tanquinho is the head instuctor at Tijuca Tenis Club, the legendary location of the Mundial before it moved to the United States. He is in charge of approximately 80 students between the ages of 4 and 60 years old.
Tanquinho is also a renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu referee certified by the CBJJ and one of the Federations main referees.
In January 2010, Augusto Tanquinho booked his place in the World Pro Cup (in Abu Dhabi) by winning the Portuguese trials in Lisbon, making a total of 47 points on his way to the podim (in 3 fights!). The first fight he was winning by 15×0 before submitting his opponent with an armbar, the second fight he scored 14×0 before submitting with a choke from the mount, and his final he beat his oponent by 18×0.
Augusto Tanquinho’s Run at the BJJ Worlds 2011
|Pena||Augusto Mendes||Ryan Hall||Points (3×0)||3rd|
|Pena||Augusto Mendes||Bruno Frazatto||Points (0x-1)||1/4 Finals|
|Pena||Augusto Mendes||Rubens Charles||Points (4×2)||Semi Finals|
|Pena||Rafael Mendes||Augusto Mendes||Points (4×4) Adv (3×1)||Final|
Augusto Tanquinho vs Claudio Calasans (ADCC 2009 Brazilian Trials)
Tanquinho vs Rodrigo Simoes (Semi Finals of copa Grancell Jiu-Jitsu in Juiz de fora- Minas Gerais)