Caio Terra is a world Jiu Jitsu champion who competes under the CTBJJA (Caio Terra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association). The Brazilian black belt has had a controversial career in BJJ, having left his first team and coach in less then amicable terms but having managed an amazing and rampant rise to black belt. He has also been known for his constant battles with Jiu Jitsu’s refereeing and more recently 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 fighters in his division who has had 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
- 2x World Champion (2008, 2013 black belt);
- 5x World No Gi Champion (2009, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- 3x Pan American Champion (2011, 2012, 2013)
- American Nationals Champion – No Gi (2012 absolute)
- 4x 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: Galo (Rooster Weight) 57kg
Association/Team: Caio Terra BJJ Association (CTBJJA)
Important DVD Releases: 111 Half Guard Techniques
Caio Terra’s Biography
Caio Terra was born on 1986 in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. Caio Terra’s start in Jiu Jitsu (in 2003) did not look promising, he was forced to train BJJ by his mother after a series of bullying issues at school. Caio was a very small teenager weighing around 85 pounds at the time, and his mother felt he needed 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. 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 colleagues started encouraging him to compete, and so he did. Although he did not have much faith in himself he managed to win his first fight, after which he was so nervous he asked his coach to quit, he did not want to enter the mat again, but his coach insisted and so he fought again… and won again! One by one he fought and won until he made it 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 (today with 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 BJJ 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.
Caio Terra Highlight
Caio Terra vs Jeff Glover
Caio Terra vs Marcelo Mafra
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)