Pedro Duarte is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Murilo Bustamante, as well as a former World Champion of the sport, known for his close connection with the development of Hilti, one of Scandinavia’s strongest grappling academies as well as his work for Palm Sports in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a company closely linked with the growth of the sport towards worldwide recognition.
Suyan Queiroz is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Master Carlson Gracie, and one of the main lightweight competitors of the late 1990s/early 2000s era, having beaten big names of the sport such as Jefferson Moura, Leonardo Peçanha, Leonardo Santos, Raphael Abi-Rihan among many others. Queiroz is also revered for his work in Abu Dhabi, helping establish one of the most important grappling programs on the jiu jitsu world.
Jorge Pereira is a Brazilian jiu jitsu coral belt (7th degree) who earned his black belt training under Rickson Gracie (1986). Pereira is known …
Carlos Rollyson is a Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) coral belt (7th degree) who earned his black belt from Master Carlson Gracie, having also a black belt in judo, which he achieved while training under Takise Ueda. After the passing of his BJJ mentor, Rollyson decided to leave the Carlson Gracie Academy, joining the multiple time world champion team, Alliance Jiu Jitsu. Carlos Rollyson is also one of the most high ranked jiu jitsu figures in South Florida.
Rosângela Conceição, is a historic Brazilian jiu jitsu figure, being the very first female world champion in the sport. Conceição is also a legendary figure in judo and freestyle wrestling having been part of the Brazilian national Olympic squad for both sports, being regarded as the most accomplished female wrestler ever produced by the south american country.
Vinícius Cruz, is a historic figure in Brazilian jiu jitsu, having medalled on multiple occasions in important tournaments such as the Copa Company, the World Championship, the Pan American Championship and many others. A former member of the Carlson Gracie Academy, Vinícius Cruz is often associated with the “loop choke”, a technique he perfected during the 1990’s applying it often in competition.
Sergio “Malibu” was one of the most recognizable figures in Jiu Jitsu during the 1980s and 1990s. One of the main advocates for the surfing/jiu jitsu lifestyle crossover, and former Pan American and Brazilian National Jiu Jitsu Champion, Malibu was a student of Rolls Gracie and Rickson Gracie who became highly involved with the start of the Master Academy of Romero Cavalcanti.
Eduardo Leitão is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Waldomiro Perez and the head coach of the Cia Paulista team in Brazil, one of the leading academies of the São Paulo state. Leitão was also one of the main figures in São Paulo’s jiu jitsu landscape throughout his career, having competed on all age divisions from Infant to Master 4, whilst also earning several titles in the black belt division.
Roy Harris is an accomplished American martial artist, known in the Brazilian jiu jitsu world for being a black belt under Joe Moreira and for belonging to jiu jitsu’s “Dirty Dozen”, the first group of 12 non Brazilian men to have been distinguished with the rank of black belt in this grappling style. Roy Harris is also known as one of the first instructors to publicly publish a formal testing criteria for jiu jitsu, formalizing his promotion tests from white belt to black belt. Find more of Harris’ story here.
A black belt in jiu jitsu under Royler Gracie, the BJJ world champion Paulo “Coelho” became a reference in the sport as a fighter, and also as an instructor, having moved to the United States in 2012 to pursuit his coaching career.
The first female to achieve the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was Yvone Duarte, a belt rank received in 1990. This incredible pioneer of the sport was one of the main forces behind the implementation of a female division in Jiu Jitsu competitions, being also the first female to start her own BJJ team.
Totila Jordan, commonly known by his nickname ‘Pitoco’, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the illustrious Renan Pitanguy, being also the co-founder of the Infight Academy. Master Pitoco was also one of the first coaches to develop Jiu Jitsu in the surfing hotspot of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.
José Mario Queiroga, more commonly known in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community as Zé Mario Esfiha, is a BJJ 4th degree black belt under Roberto Traven, and a World, Pan American and Brazilian National medallist who is also known as one of the founders of the Brasa Jiu Jitsu academy.
Luis Herédia, also known by his nickname ‘Limão’ within the Jiu Jitsu community is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt which he earned training under Rickson Gracie’s tuition, and a historical figure in the development of the martial art in Hawaii, especially in island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
Rockson Gracie was the oldest son of the legendary Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter and MMA pioneer Rickson Gracie, who was considered by many, to be one of the greatest prospects in BJJ during the 1990’s decade. Rockson Gracie would also become one of the sports saddest losses when he passed away on December of 2000 in New York.
John Lewis is former MMA fighter and a martial artist who holds black belts in a variety of fighting styles, including a black belt in judo awarded by the legendary Gene LeBell and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Master André Pederneiras, having been mentioned by many as one of the first true mixed martial artists, considering he mastered many different styles in a time when only style specialists were fighting MMA.
Guto Monteiro is the founder of the Associação Monteiro, a prime Jiu Jitsu academy in Manaus, Amazonas. Having earned his black belt from Royler and Rolker Gracie, Guto (a 4th degree black belt) and his brothers helped raise the technical level of BJJ in Manaus.
Kid Peligro was one of the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu related bloggers, being an inspiration for the hundreds of BJJ blogs that spawned since he started back in 1998. As well as being a blogger and a published author, Kid Peligro is famed for his passion for other sports such as Surfing, and “Ginastica Natural”, having been instructed in this Brazilian gymnastics by the creator of the style, Alvaro Romano.
Carlos Elias, commonly known as “Caique”, is one of only 8 non Gracie men to have received the degree of black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by the late Great Master Helio Gracie. A former member of the Gracie Academy, Carlos Henrique “Caique” reached the degree of coral belt (red and black) in 2009 from Rickson Gracie, he is also one of the first men to bring BJJ to Southern California, where he has been located since the 1990’s.
Rafael de Lima is one of the Correa brothers which are among the most important siblings in BJJ. Rafael Gordinho is a Jiu Jitsu black belt world champion and one of the main figures in competitive BJJ at the turn of the 20th century, he has also been involved in the development of the sport and other teams such as his brother’s academy, Gordo Jiu Jitsu and Renzo Gracie Academy in New York.