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Chico Mendes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the legendary Leo Vieira and a representative of the Checkmat Academy in the United Kingdom. Mendes has Checkmat flag halfway across the world delivering seminars in distant places such as the United States, Singapore, China, Denmark and many other places. Chico Mendes is also an accomplished BJJ competitor with wins in important tournaments such as the World Cup and the European No Gi Championships.

Chico Mendes Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Francisco Ramos Mendes Neto

Nickname: “Chico” which is short for Francisco in Portuguese.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Leonardo Vieira > Chico Mendes

Main Achievements:

  • World Cup Champion (2010)
  • European Open Nogi Champion (2012, 2013, 2015 Master 1)
  • London Open Champion (2012)
  • London Open No Gi Champion (2014 weight and absolute)
  • London Winter Open Champion (2015 Master 1)
  • Paris Open Champion (2014)
  • Paris Open No Gi Champion (2014)
  • Copenhagen Open Champion (2014 weight & absolute – Master)
  • World No-Gi Runner-up (2015)
  • BJJ Pro Cup Runner-up (2011)
  • European Open Runner-up (2015 Master 1*)
  • European Open No Gi Runner-up (2012 open weight)
  • British National IBJJF champion (2015 weight & absolute)
  • British National NOGI IBJJF champion (2015 weight & absolute)
  • Rome Open Runner-up (2013)
  • London Open Runner-up (2013, 2014)
  • London Winter Open Runner-up (2015 absolute – Master 1)
  • International Master & Senior Runner-up (2010 – Master)
  • World Masters Bronze Medallist (2015)
  • Brazilian National Bronze Medallist (2010 – master)
  • 4th place – State Circuit of Rio de Janeiro Final Ranking (2005)
  • Scandinavian Open Champion 2005 (absolute and division)
  • Brazilian National Teams Runner-up (2004)
  • Brazilian National Champion (2004 brown)
  • São Paulo University Games 3rd place (2004 – nogi)
  • State Circuit of Rio de Janeiro Final Ranking Champion (2003)
  • Brazilian National Teams Cup 3rd place (2003)
  • BJJ Pro Cup Bronze Medallist (2011 weight & absolute)
  • Rome Open Bronze Medallist (2013 absolute)
  • London Open Bronze Medallist – No Gi (2013)
  • Copenhagen Open Bronze Medallist – No Gi (2014)

*closed the division with my team mate.

Weight Division: Peso Médio (82kg-181lbs), Peso Pesado (94kg/207lbs)

Favourite Position: Half-Guard from the top.

Team/Association: Checkmat

Chico Mendes Biography

Francisco “Chico” Mendes was born 14th of July, 1980 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started training Jiu Jitsu in his early teens at Romero “Jacaré” Cavalcanti academy, though his introduction class was given by Leonardo Vieira (who was a purple belt at the time). At the time the gym had a huge range of talented people giving classes, such as: Jamelão, Jacaré, Franjinha and of course, Leozinho Vieira.

Chico Mendes received all his yellow (in 1994) and blue belts from the Alliance master Romero Cavalcanti and Leo Vieira, and after master Jacaré went to the United States and Leozinho to Sao Paulo, Mendes moved his training to Octavio Couto’s gym (Also known as Ratinho). Training there he achieved both his purple and his brown belt. In 2003/2004 he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil to be reunited with Leo Vieira.

In December 2004 Chico Mendes was awarded his black belt by Vieira. In the beginning of 2011 after some time travelling and displaying Checkmat’s jiu jitsu in seminars around the world, Chico settled in England, United Kingdom, teaching at Trojan Free Fighters, later establishing the Checkmat Hearquarters of the region in Bristol.

Chico Mendes Related Websites and fan pages:
Checkmat website:
Checkmat Fan Page: Facebook
Chico Mendes Fan Page: Facebook
Chico Mendes website:

Chico Mendes at International Master & Senior (2010)

Chico Mendes at International Master & Senior (2010)

Chico Mendes’ Work in the United Kingdom


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