Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)

Caio Terra is a world Jiu Jitsu champion who competes under the CTBJJA (Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association). The Brazilian black belt had a controversial start to his grappling career, having left his first team and coach in not so amicable terms but managed an amazing and rampant rise to black belt from there on. Terra has also been known for his “battles” against jiu jitsu’s refereeing and for being outspoken about steroid use in the sport. In 2012 after several years teaching at Cesar Gracie‘s Gracie Elite gym in the US, Caio Terra was released from the team after he accepted to prepare a rival fighter, Carlos Condit for his UFC 154 fight (more details on the Caio Terra Interview). But controversy aside, Caio is by far one of the most talented competitors in the history of the galo division (under 57kg/127lbs) who has had great success as a grappling coach as well.

Caio Terra Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Caio Terra


Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Reylson Gracie > Paulo Maurício Strauch > Caio Terra

Main Titles:

  • World Champion (2008, 2013)
  • World No Gi Champion (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Pan American Champion (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • American Nationals Champion – No Gi (2012 absolute)
  • European Champion (2014, 2015)
  • World Silver Medallist (World Championships – 2011, 2010, 2009, 2005 blue belt)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2010)
  • No Gi World Championship Silver Medallist (2008)

Favourite Technique: Guard (all guards)

Weight Division: Peso Galo/Rooster Weight – 57kg/127.5lbs

Association/Team: Caio Terra BJJ Association (CTBJJA)

Caio Terra’s Biography

Caio Terra was born on 1986 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Although Caio Terra’s start in Jiu Jitsu (early 2000’s) did not look promising, he was forced by his mother to keep practising, after a series of bullying episodes at Terra’s school. Caio was a very small teenager weighing around 85 pounds at the time, and his mother felt he needed for him to train a martial art in order to learn how to defend himself. As Caio refused to train his mother joined the class forcing her teenage son to tag along.

The gym chosen by his mother was the famous Fight Zone academy in Copacabana, led by Rodrigo Medeiros and Ricardo Vieira at the time. But although Caio had two World Champions working by his side, he did not believe in Jiu Jitsu and much rather spend his time playing football (soccer) with his friends. Fortunately Caio Terra did not quit as he believed he owed to his mother as much as to give it a shot. The persistence paid off and he received his blue belt having never competed and still not fully aware that this was the sport he wanted to follow.

After Caio received his blue belt, his coaches and training partners encouraged him to compete, which he eventually accepted. Terra lacked faith in himself, and in his first competition, after he won his 1st match, he was so nervous that he asked his coach to quit. He did not want to enter the mat again. Fortunately his coach insisted and so he fought again… and won again. One by one he fought and beat his opponents, on his way to the final. His final match was against a man that would become his nemesis in the black belt division later in his life, Bruno Malfacine. The fight against the Gama Filho fighter (later became Alliance) was a back and forth battle but in the end Malfacine managed to submit Caio Terra. After this roller coaster of emotions Caio was convinced that grappling was something he wanted to do seriously and he started training every day, twice a day.

Caio Terra’s progress was clearly visible with this new found enthusiasm and dedication. In 2004 he fought at the Mundials (World Championships) as a blue belt and managed to place second – losing by one advantage. Unfortunately shortly after the championship (In August 2004), Caio had an argument with his coach (Vieira) causing him to leave the gym. He found a new home at Paulo Strauch’s academy.

Around this time he also decided to make a sparring mat area at his home, he took down a few walls and built it himself with the help of some friends. This arena would serve as the big laboratory for Caio’s rocket fast rise to black belt. His house was used as an open mat area for whoever wanted to come by and roll or drill Jiu Jitsu. Caio would get visits all day, some times late at night, but being a good host and always eager to train Caio would open his doors.

Caio received his black belt from Reyson Gracie and Paulo Strauch on July 2006 making his rise to black belt one of the fastest ever recorded, still, there was no doubt Caio deserved his belt as he had successively reached the podium of a World tournament for 3 years in a row.

On Caio’s first year as a black belt, he reached the top spots of the World Championship again, this time achieving what had been missing throughout his career, the gold medal. Both Caio Terra’s mother and brother (Kim Terra) continued fighting and training and his brother is also an accomplished black belt of the Checkmat Team.

Caio Terra left Cesar Gracie’s team on November, 2012 after Caio Terra helped Carlos Condit with his ground game in his fight against George Saint Pierre (UFC 154). Cesar Gracie saw this as a betrayal against his own camp, as Condit was in the same weight division as Gracie Elite team member Nick Diaz.

Note: We would like to mention Inside BJJ’s fantastic interview with Caio Terra which provided most of the content here described and our friend Monte Egbert for his valuable insight.

Caio Terra Highlight

Caio Terra vs Marcelo Mafra

Picture taken by Gracie Mag.


Digitsu Free BJJ Techniques

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)


  • Po says:

    "Caio received his black belt from Reylson Gracie and Paulo Strauch on July 2006"…."successively reached the podium of a World tournament for 3 years in a row (2005 Silver Medal Blue Belt, 2006 Bronze Medal Purple Belt, 2007 Silver Medal Brown Belt)." if he recieved his Black belt in 2006, how did he win silver at brown belt in 2007. Just saying….

  • admin says:

    Hi Po, that is a good point. I saw that title on an interview and added it, but I just tried to match it with my database from the World Championships and his name does not pop up on that year. I have deleted that 2007 title from this page.

    Thank you very much for spotting that out for me.


  • felipe says:

    a "briga "q resultou na saida dele da BRASA (check mate só surgiu muito depois) nao foi com os treinadores, mas apenas com um deles.

    Com Comprido caio sempre teve e ainda tem otimo relacionamento,


  • admin says:

    Obrigado Felipe, foi a informacao que recebi de fonte chegada a academia, mas vou tomar a sua palavra como verdadeira visto que voces sao chegados 😉

    Um abraco e obrigado pela dica


  • J says:

    Caio got his black belt after winning the 2006 World Cup as a brown – he fought at the Mundials in 2007 as a black belt and lost in the quarter finals in light feather division by referee's decision to Carlos "Esquisito".

  • claudia novais says:

    Caio' mother is training at Nova União with João Roque, in Brasília, where she lives now.

  • Kim Terra says:

    Caio’s mother is now a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. Caio’s brother (my self), is a black belt under Ricardo Vieira, and has beaten a few guys listed in this website, such as Baret Yoshida, Pablo Silva, Teodoro Canal, Leonardo Saggioro (Cascão), among others.

  • Odin says:

    A page on Grand Master Strauch needs to be completed!!!

  • Gibs says:

    It says: "Caio received his black belt from Reylson Gracie and Paulo Strauch" but the official Caio Terra Web Site says REYSON Gracie. Reylson is other Gracie brother.

  • Alexei Leao says:

    Caio is with team Brasa now.. under Felipe Costa and Rodrigo "Comprido" Medeiros.

  • Silverback says:

    How is Paulo Strauch a red belt and Reylson Gracie is still only 8th degree? Has anyone figured out how the Gracie family decides on who get what rank? Carlos Robson is the most senior member of the family and he runs tho confederation. Shouldn’t rank go through him?

  • Yadriel O. Rios-Ojeda says:

    Caio also won the NoGi worlds in 2013! He’s 8x BB World champion!

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