Brazilian Jiu Jitsu phenom, Samuel Braga, was awarded his black belt by Master Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes in 5 years after consecutive wins at the lower belt levels of the main tournaments in the world. Originally from the Gracie Barra Belo Horizonte team, Samuel Braga moved to the United States opening a Gracie Barra franchise gym in Knoxville, TN.
Samuel Braga in Detail
Full Name: Samuel Cruz Braga
- 5x World Champion (2002 purple, 2004 brown, 2005, 2008 & 2010* black)
- 5x Brazilian Champion (2001 blue, 2002 & 2003 purple, 2004 & 2005 brown)
- World Nogi Champion (2007 black)
- Pan American Champion (2004 brown)
- Brazilian Teams Champion (2003 purple)
- 2x World Silver Medallist (2003 purple, 2007, 2009** black)
- Pan American Silver Medallist (2008 black)
- 3x World Bronze Medallist (2001 blue, 2006 & 2011black)
* Closed bracket with team mate Pablo Silva.
** Samuel was stripped of his medal by the federation (check biography below).
Favourite Position/Technique: De La Riva Guard.
Weight Division: Peso Pluma (64kg/141lbs).
Team/Association: Gracie Barra
Samuel Braga Biography
Sanuel Braga was born in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. His age has not been disclosed as for some reason; Mr Braga does not happily submit this information. What is known is that Samuel Braga started practicing Tae Kwon do when he was a 7 year old child; he followed the sport seriously for years, competing avidly and earning his black belt when he was still a teenager.
In his later teenage years he quit Tae Kwon Do and had a short break from martial arts. In 2000, Samuel intended on returning to TKD and signed a gym membership to follow through with his intentions. Fate would have it that this same gym also had a Jiu Jitsu class, a martial art Samuel had heard about through watching UFC and other MMA shows. After checking out a class of BJJ Samuel decided to leave Tae Kwon Do aside and start doing Jiu Jitsu instead.
His first few years in the lower belts at Gracie Barra BH, Samuel showed just how fast he was learning and how far he could go. He ran through his competition, earning 5 Brazilian national titles in a row: blue belt division in 2001, twice in the purple belt division (2002 & 2003), and again twice in the brown belt division (2004 & 2005). He was awarded his black belt by his master Draculino shortly after the Brazilian Nationals in 2005 still in time to compete at the Mundial (World Jiu Jitsu Championships) as a black belt, which he did, winning his first world title as a black belt that year.
In 2009 controversy struck Samuel Braga’s career. At the finals of the Mundial in a fight against Guilherme Mendes, Samuel was defeated and did not take Guilherme’ flamboyant celebrations lightly. He pushed Mendes being disqualified from the tournament (after the tournament finished) something unprecedented at the higher level of Jiu Jitsu. He was stripped from his Silver Medal by IBJJF, the sport’s ruling body.
Samuel Braga at Mundial 2011