Nelson Monteiro is a jiu jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior and one of the coaches in the illustrious Gracie Barra academy. One of the first BJJ black belts from Gracie Barra to open a school in the United States, Monteiro was also connected with the birth of the ADCC, the world’s most established biggest submission wrestling tournament (Abu Dhabi Combat Club).
José Leão Teixeira or “Zé Beleza”, as he is often named within the BJJ community, is one of the founding members of the Gracie Barra academy and an important figure in jiu jitsu’s history. A former member of the epic grappling team built by Rolls Gracie, José Leão Teixeira founded the Leão Teixeira Jiu Jitsu School, one of the top kids BJJ academies in Brazil. Jose Teixeira was also involved in creation of CBJJ/IBJJF.
A spectacular jiu jitsu fighter from Checkmat and one of the most accurate finishers modern day jiu jitsu, Renato Cardoso received his black belt in 2012 by the hands of Rodrigo Cavaca and hit the ground running that year winning both a world title (CBJJE) and a Sao Paulo International Open only a few weeks after receiving the well deserved black belt.
Milton Regis is a black belt under Great Master Francisco Mansur and one of the top instructors of the Kioto Academy, leading the Sayville, NY, branch of the organization. An accomplished black belt with medals at the Pan American (Gi and Nogi) as well as the NAGA and the Brazilian National Championship, Milton Regis also co-created and promoted the Long Island PRIDE, a competition that has been successfully running since 2007.
DJ Jackson, is one of Team Lloyd Irvin’s most accomplished grapplers and an important figure in jiu jitsu’s middleweight division, having won the IBJJF world championship in every belt on his way to earning his black belt, a promotion he achieved on July 2012. Originally a wrestler, DJ Jackson became part of Lloyd Irvin’s jiu jitsu team on his off season, and picked up a series of wins from the start, relegating wrestling to the background to focus on BJJ competition.
A pioneer for jiu jitsu in Sao Paulo during the 1950s and 1960s, Octavio de Almeida (senior) was a student of George Gracie and the Japanese Ono brothers. He held the jiu jitsu flag in the state of Sao Paulo when there were very few instructors in the area and opened one of the greatest BJJ schools for children in the country.
Monica Vanessa Silva is one of the top jiu jitsu practitioners in women’s jiu jitsu, and the first Portuguese woman to achieve the rank of black belt in BJJ. A former World Champion, European Champion and World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup Trials Champion, Monica Vanessa Silva has led the classes at the “2 Brothers” academy in Portugal since her Master, Sandro “Bala” left the country in 2009.
One of the top jiu jitsu teams on the planet with strong ramifications all over the world, namely in Brazil, USA, Australia, Portugal, Italy and many other countries, Nova Uniao has been a synonym of slick and technical jiu jitsu since the 1990′s when it was considered to be the best lightweight team in the world. Nova Uniao is also famed for its strong MMA team having produced great champions such as Eduardo Dantas, Jose Aldo, Jussier Formiga and Renan Barao.
One of the hottest prospects of jiu jitsu in at the turn of the millennium, Thiago Fernandes was a jiu jitsu and submission wrestling competitor with an incredible future ahead before a hideous car crash took his life in 2001. Originally from the Oriente academy in Niteroi, Thiago Fernandes moved to Nova Uniao as a teenager where he developed into one of the best grapplers in the country through wins over well established black belts at the age of 17.
Wagnney Fabiano is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Wendell Alexander who turned into a professional MMA fighter in the early 2000’s, becoming the IFL (International Fight League) Featherweight Champion. A very successful BJJ competitor in the 1990’s, Fabiano conquered several important trophies such as the Brazilian National Championship and the National Teams tournament. Wagnney Fabiano is also the older brother of the famous 4x BJJ World Cup Champion Leo Santos.
Carley Gracie, often referred to as: “The Lion of the Gracie Family”, is the 11th child of Gracie jiu jitsu founder Carlos Gracie, and the first person to bring Brazilian jiu jitsu to the United States (in 1972). Carley Gracie is also the father of two jiu jitsu practitioners, Ralston and Clark Gracie, being the later, one of the main BJJ competitors in the world.
Examples and styles of tattoos used by jiu jitsu competitors and practitioners all around the world, from team tattoos to more cool and inventive ideas such as the Gonzo (from the Muppet Show) doing a mata leão on another character. Also Japanese kanji tattoos and many more.
Otavio Sousa is a Gracie Barra representative and one of the top fighters in jiu jitsu’s middleweight division. A BJJ black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior, Otavio Sousa spent most of his jiu jitsu education with coach “Zé Radiola” at the Gracie Academy in Recife.
One of the biggest names for jiu jitsu in Santa Cruz – California, Claudio Franca is a pioneer for BJJ in the United States, and one of the first instructors to open an academy on American soil. A Francisco Mansor black belt (5th degree), Claudio Franca has greatly developed jiu jitsu in the USA through his academy and also by organizing and promoting the important US Open tournament.
Master Francisco Sá is a jiu jitsu red belt and one of the main instigators for jiu jitsu in the region of Ceará, Brazil. Francisco Sá, who was graded as an instructor by Takeo Iano, established his academy in Fortaleza in the 1960’s, an academy that flourished with the combined effort of himself and his son Carlos Pinto Sá (also known as “Sazinho”) becoming a beacon of excellence in that Northern Brazilian state.
Fabio Santos is a 7th degree (7º grau) jiu jitsu coral belt and a black belt under Rickson Gracie who was also a pupil of the legendary Rolls Gracie for many years. Fabio Santos was also one of the first BJJ black belts to come to the United States of America to settle a jiu jitsu academy. The Fabio Santos Academy in San Diego – California is one of the most respected BJJ academies in the world, having formed several high class BJJ black belts. Master Fabio Santos is also a veteran competitor with several important titles.
One of the best jiu jitsu competitors of the 1980′s & 1990s, Crezio de Souza competed for the Carlson Gracie Team in BJJ and MMA he was also part of Brazil’s wrestling team for the Havana Pan American Games (1991) and qualified for the Olympics in Barcelona (1992). A true legend of the sport, the man from Petropolis also medalled in the Brazilian BJJ nationals in 2002 at the age of 40, being the first man to do so in the adult division.
Frederico Tisi is mostly recognized for being the first Italian to receive a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. A true globetrotter of BJJ, Frederico Tisi found himself travelling all over the world in order to receive adequate jiu jitsu instruction in a time when BJJ was scarce in Europe. Frederico Tisi is also the founder of Tribe Jiu Jitsu, one of the most famous academies in Rome, he is also the founder of the “Unione italiana Jiu Jitsu” an Italian jiu jitsu federation which represents IBJJF in the Italian Republic.
Mestre Alvaro Barreto is a jiu jitsu red belt (faixa vermelha) and one of the most important figures in BJJ, being also the brother of João Alberto Barreto and Sergio Barreto, two illustrious figures of the sport. Alvaro Barreto became a certified instructor at the famous Gracie Academy by the age of 17, years before he opened his academy where he instructed and graduated great figures of the sport.
A great figure in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Master Francisco Mansor has had tremendous influence in bringing jiu jitsu to the world. The founder of the Kioto BJJ academy, Master Francisco Mansor was also part of the exclusive group of 6 men to have earned their black belts from the late Great Master Helio Gracie.