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BJJ Fanatics Instructionals

Daniel Maira

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Submission Back Attacks Instructional by John Danaher

Daniel Maira is a professional jiu-jitsu athlete and a black belt under Mikey Musumeci, who trained extensively with Marcelo Garcia at the Alliance, New York Academy. A co-founder of the Movement Art Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Philadelphia, Maira became widely recognized as one of the top competitors of his generation after his wins at the Pan American Championships (gi and no-gi) in the brown belt division during 2020.

Daniel Maira Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Daniel Maira

Nickname: Maira is often referred to as “Freestyle”, a name that dates back to his soccer days as he was an avid freestyle-football performer.

Lineage : Carlos Gracie Helio Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Rafael Fofitio > Gilbert Burns > Michael Musumeci > Daniel Maira

Main Achievements:

  • Fight 2 Win Featherweight Champion (2019 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2020 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2019 brown)
  • 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, LDN (2020 brown)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF American Nationals NOGI (2018 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2018 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF European Open NOGI (2018 brown)

Favorite Position/Technique: Crab Ride, Berimbolo, Lapel-Guards

Weight Division: Peso Pena (70,00 kg / 154.5 lbs)

Team/Association: Movement Art

Daniel Maira Biography

Daniel Maira was born on August 12, 1991, in Trenton, New Jersey, USA, but spent his formative years in Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.

As a teenager, Daniel found an affinity for football (soccer), a sport he pursued for nearly a decade, starting at the age of 14. Maira was fully invested in this sport, attempting a professional career during his late-teens/early-20s, reaching the second division in the US at a semi-professional level.

A victim of bullying when he was a kid, Maira made a few attempts at martial arts through taekwondo and jiu-jitsu, both experiences being short-lived at the time of his childhood. Things changed when he sparked his curiosity for combat sports as a 22-year-old man, the time he decided to try jiu-jitsu once again.

Maira’s first jiu-jitsu instruction was given by Erik Purcell, who guided Daniel during his first few months of grappling. Purcell was a mixed martial arts athlete with other life objectives outside of combat sports, leaving Maira’s tuition to pursue those when the young Jersey native was still a white belt.

Although left without a formal mentor, Daniel was already too embedded in jiu-jitsu culture to leave the sport at the time, opting to continue his training without a supervisor, with Purcell still in charge of Maira’s belt rank promotions, all the way up until brown belt.

After earning his brown belt Maira decided to look for a more professional training environment, opting for Marcelo Garcia‘s Alliance Gym in New York City, where he met and befriended Nick Salles – his soon to be, business partner.

In the period that he joined MGA, Daniel had grown disheartened with the sport and was on the verge of quitting jiu-jitsu. Around that same time, Maira’s friend, Cesar Agreda, introduced Daniel to BJJ World Champion Michael Musumeci, someone who was instrumental in Maira’s decision to remain in the sport.

Maira and Musumeci remained good friends over the next 3 years, during which Mikey provided plenty of solid technical and mindset oriented advice. So much so that, once Maira and Salles decided to leave MGA – in August 2020 – to form their own gym, Movement Art, in Philadelphia, Musumeci took the talented duo under his wing, promoting both to black belt, in November 2020.

Daniel Maira Lapel Guard Positions


High Percentage Chokes  Instructional by Lachlan Giles

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