Joe Moreira was one of the first non Gracie black belt to move to the United States. He also fought twice in the UFC and was coach to some of the early UFC stars such as Kimo and famous referee “Big John” Macarthy.
James Boran is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Joe Moreira, and a pioneering figure for this martial art in the United States, being among the first 12 grapplers outside Brazil to have earned a black belt in BJJ, a group often named as the Dirty Dozen. A former American football player, Boran carried his competitive drive to jiu jitsu, being highly decorated as a black belt, having won important tournaments such as the World Masters Championship, the Word No-Gi Championship as well as the Pan American Championship on numerous occasions.
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.
The history of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is well intertwined with that of judo, and although many of today’s practitioners may not know of this fact, …
The “Jiu Jitsu Dirty Dozen” is a name often used to describe the pioneers of the Brazilian grappling style outside its country of origin. Find out who these extraordinary gentlemen were here.
Gazzy Parman is a pioneer for women’s jiu jitsu and a black belt under John Lewis. A unique character in the female competitive grappling scene throughout the 2000’s decade, Gazzy’s outspoken demeanor and competitive accolades made her a fan favorite across the globe.
Eduardo Venâncio, also known in the Jiu Jitsu world as ‘Brigadeiro’, is a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the legendary Ricardo De La Riva (BJJ). Though Brigadeiro did not have the flashiest of careers as a competitor in BJJ, he did manage to establish himself as one of the top coaches in Rio de Janeiro creating strong competitors and over 50 black belts.
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.
One of the most prestigious figures in the Cia Paulista academy, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Paulo Gazze Junior holds an extensive list of achievements in BJJ having defeated fighters such as Dean Lister (2x ADCC Champion), BJ Penn (World BJJ Champion/ UFC Champion), Fabio Leopoldo (World BJJ Champion) and in MMA where Gazze Junior has won against significant athletes such as Chris Leben (UFC fighter) and Dwayne Ortiz (Former Olympian for USA’ Wrestling team).
He is the Vice-President of the Arizona State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (AZSBJJF) and a top instructor from Nova Uniao. Gustavo was also part of a generation of fantastic fighters from the late 1990’s that terrorised the BJJ mats all over the world at the time.
Roberto Magalhaes, also known as “Roleta” in Jiu Jitsu is one of the “all time greats” in competitive BJJ, a 4x World Champion with one of the most creative guard games ever seen, he is regarded as the creator of “Inverted” guard.
The seed of jiu-jitsu planted on American soil by Rorion and Carley Gracie many moons ago has developed into a beautiful healthy tree and …
Adam Wardziński is a Brazilian jiu jitsu under Alan “Finfou”, who is widely regarded as one of the top medium heavyweight competitors in the sport of grappling. Adam Wardziński is also one of the first big names to emerge from Poland in the sport of BJJ.
David Avellan is an accomplished American grappler and a jiu jitsu black belt under Ricardo Teixeira, well known for his many battles in important no-gi tournaments such as the ADCC and Grapplers Quest, where he defeated legends of our sport such as Amaury Bitetti, Alexandre Ribeiro, Rafael Lovato Jr. and Tarsis Humphreys – to name a few.
Enrico Cocco is a jiu jitsu black belt under Marcos and David Avellan, who specialised in the no-gi facet of the sport, particularly in the American competitive circuit. Cocco was regarded as a grappling prodigy as a teenager, a reputation earned through his repeated victories in adult divisions of local and national tournaments. Enrico Cocco is also the head instructor and founder of Zen Jiu Jitsu, as well as a role model and active spokesperson for the benefits of plant based diets in our sport.
Vinicius Canevari, commonly known as Vinicius “Magoo”, is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Eduardo “Brigadeiro” and one of the pioneers of this martial art in the state of Paraná. A Brazilian National and South American champion, Magoo started his work in Londrina – PR during the mid 1990’s, developing one of the strongest teams in the south of Brazil: Magoo Jiu Jitsu.
Jorge Pereira is a Brazilian jiu jitsu coral belt (7th degree) who earned his black belt training under Rickson Gracie (1986). Pereira is known …
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.
Marc Laimon is a renowned grappling coach who holds the rank of black belt in Brazillian jiu jitsu, being also the founder of the Cobra Kai academy. Marc Laimon has worked on the ground games of several MMA fighters, including Bas Rutten, Oleg Tatakrov, Mark Kerr, Johny Hendricks and many others, while producing well known jiu jitsu black belts such as Sim Go and Chris Holdsworth. Marc Laimon was also an instructor on the famous MMA reality show TUF (The Ultimate Fighter).
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.