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

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Cassio Werneck was one of the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu middle-weights at the turn of the century. A black belt under Ricardo Reis, Cassio Werneck fought a true who is who of BJJ, such as Terere, Marcelo Garcia, Marcel Louzado and many others having managed to win some of the most important tournaments in the world, like the Mundial and the Pan American.

Cassio Werneck Jiu Jitsu

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Reyson Gracie >Osvaldo Alves > Fabrício Martins > Ricardo Reis > Cassio Werneck

Main Achievements:

  • World Champion (2003)
  • Pan American Champion (1997 & 1998 brown, 2003)
  • Brazilian Cup (2002 – CBJJO)
  • World Silver Medallist (1997, 2004)
  • World Cup Silver Medallist (2004)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2004)
  • Pan American Bronze Medallist (2000, 2001, 2004)
  • Brazilian National Bronze Medallist (1998 brown, 1999)

Favourite Position/Technique: N/A

Weight Division: Peso Medio (82kg-181lbs); Meio-Pesado (88kg-194lbs)

Team/Association: Cassio Werneck BJJ (formerly BTT, Oswaldo Alves)

Cassio Werneck Biography

Cassio Werneck was born on the 17th of February, 1974 in the capital of Brazil – Brazilia, being the youngest of 4 children. He began his life as a martial artist when he was 11 years old, starting to practice Capoeira, an activity Cassio carried out for 4 years. He would make the bridge to grappling in 1991 moving to a Judo club where he was coached by sensei Miura.

Cassio found jiu-jitsu through Professor Sardella in 1992, an instructor who covered more the self defence aspect of the sport who was also a member of the Federal Police in Brasilia. However, Werneck only was truly converted to BJJ a few months later. That special moment occurred while doing his Judo class. A new guy (brown belt) arrived in town from Rio de Janeiro, Cassio thought the guy was Judo brown belt and asked him to grapple. Werneck was very confident of his newaza (Judo ground work) as he had been doing well against other brown belts, but after 5 minutes of training he found out that his ground game did not compare. After being submitted several times he asked where the guy trained and found out he did BJJ.

The guy’s name was Ricardo Reis (commonly known as “Tanque” in Brazil), and he became Werneck’s Jiu Jitsu coach after a few days. This was in 1993, and Werneck started training BJJ full time with Tanque until the day he received his black belt in 1998.

He came to America for the first time in 1996, where he stayed for a few months. He ended opening a training centre there with the help of Terry Maxwell and left his brother Roberto coaching while he returned to Brazil. Werneck came back to the country several times to compete, give seminars and teach at that same school, until in 2003 he was invited to come and coach full time at an academy also in Sacramento (Kovar Karate) which he did. He would open his own academy at a later stage.

While in America, Cassio Werneck also tried his luck in MMA doing very well against high level competition such as Tobi Imada in the WEC, winning both his professional bouts by submission.

Ever since he arrived in the country Werneck has been coaching full time, having also graduated several American black belts in jiu jitsu, such as:

Adrian Saldana
Al Williams
Brad Sandoval
Toby Staley
Dan Goodwin
Derek DiManno
Gustavo Enriquez
Marcos Torregossa
Zaid Mirza

Cassio Werneck Academy
3732 Auburn Blvd

Cassio Werneck vs Adriano Pires (2004)

Cassio Werneck vs Ricardo Bastos

Cassio Werneck Highlight


  • Toby Staley says:

    Thanks for the great article on Cassio. Just wanted to correct my name in the article. It's Toby Staley, not Boby Staley. Thank you.

  • Bjj Wiki says:

    Hi Toby, sorry about the error, already fixed!

  • cesar pelayo says:

    Very nice. Glad to be part of Werneck bjj team. Cassio has been my instructor since the beginning, from white to currently brown belt. Força e honra!!

  • bjjfan says:

    Left out Marcos Torregossa as one of Cassio's blackbelt…

  • Left out many of us… But its Cassio's Turn at bat. Lets just happy that we "ARE" Feliz por ser parte da família.
    Gustavo 🙂

  • Nice to see our great instructor get some attention! Cassio is building a legacy with all his successful black belts. Spelling correction: it's Gustavo Enriquez, not Henrique.

  • They left out a few of us… But its Cassio's Turn at bat. Lets just be happy that we part of the family.
    Feliz por ser parte da família.
    Obrigado Cassio

  • Ali A says:

    Hey, I also wanted to correct Mirza Zaid. It's actually Zaid Mirza, since it looks like you're displaying first name then last name. Anyway, thanks for all the hard work compiling info. about all our bjj idols :)!

  • bjjheroes says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I have now altered the names of Cassio's black belts!


  • Mike Emerson says:

    Thanks much for recognizing such a great instructor/coach/man. Not only does Cassio have EXCELLENT Jiu-Jitsu, he and his family are the kindest people I have EVER known! And it's GENUINE.

  • Toby Staley says:

    Just wanted to note that Cassio has moved to a larger location at 4837 Auburn blvd., Sacramento, CA. 95841.

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