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Jake Mackenzie

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Jacob Mackenzie, commonly known as Jake Mackenzie,  is a Canadian-born jiu-jitsu black belt under Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu who became well-known on the international grappling circuit for his prolific use of the deep half guard position. Despite being from the Northern Hemisphere, Mackenzie competed extensively in Brazil, where he established a family in the early 2010s. While in South America Jake Mackenzie joined GFTeam and became known as one of the top figures in the legendary Rio de Janeiro-based gym.

Jake Mackenzie Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Jacob Williams Mackenzie

Nickname: n/a

Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Francisco Albuquerque > Roberto Abreu > Jake Mackenzie

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals NOGI (2013 / 2014)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Team Nationals (??)
  • 1st Place IBJJF South American Championship (2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Asian Open (2019)
  • 1st Place IBJJF São Paulo Open (2013 / 2015 / 2017)
  • 1st Place FJJR Rio State Championship
  • 1st Place FJJAM Amazonas State Championship (2016)
  • 2nd Place AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2018)

Main Achievements (Masters):

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Masters Championship (2018 M1)
  • 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2022 M1)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2022 M2)
  • 1st Place AJP Brazilian National Pro (2020** M1)
  • 2nd Place AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro (2019 M1)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2008 purple)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2010 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2009 brown
  • 1st Place AJP Abu Dhabi Pri US Trials (2009 / 2010)

* Absolute
** Weight and Absolute

Weight Division: Peso Leve (76kg-167lbs)

Favorite Position/Technique: Deep Half Guard

Team/Association: GFTeam

Jake Mackenzie Biography

Jacob Mackenzie grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia – Canada. It was also in Truro that Jake started training Jiu Jitsu, when he was 14 years old, by his father’s advice who wanted Jake to learn some self-defense.

Chuck Sproule had just opened a BJJ gym at the time which wasn’t too far from where Jake lived, a grappling temple that became Mackenzie’s training ground. His first coach was none other than the 3x World Champion Márcio Feitosa, who stayed in the gym for approximately 5 months. After Feitosa left Márcio Canário came and trained Mackenzie for the following two years.

While competing all over the globe, Jake found himself traveling to Brazil regularly. He caught up with the language fast, and that helped his travels even further. It was also in Brazil that Jake discovered his love for the half guard. At the time he felt that the half guard was his “Achilles heel”, so he took advantage of the good exchange rate between the “Dollar” and the “Real” (Brazilian Currency) to book himself, several one-on-one classes, with a few half guard experts for a 4 month period while staying in Brazil.

In 2007 purple belt Jake Mackenzie joined Roberto Abreu’s team. Jake and Cyborg had met on many occasions becoming friends, and as Roberto decided to open a gym in Florida he invited Jake to come and train with him. Jake jumped on board immediately and started training almost exclusively with the man from Mato Grosso for a few years which eventually led to his black belt promotion on June 12, 2010. Mackenzie would later move to Brazil where he joined GFT.

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  • Danger says:

    I get a lot of inspiration from Jake's half guard game, he truly is one of the guys I really enjoy watching

  • Jay Storm says:

    I was just curious, what or who is the connection between Nova Geracao/Cyborg and GFT? I recently saw a video where Jake was at GFT in Brazil training. Is their a mutual relationship or did he switch teams. His Association above lists both GFT/Fight Sports, was he GFT before joining Cyborg, with his frequent visits to Brazil and all. Is this a newly acceptable trend..I say this with certain examples in mind such as, Hillary Williams(Westside/Fight Sports), Joao Assis(Checkmat/Carlson Gracie teacher), Marcus Buchecha(Checkmat/Avengers/Armory), etc.

    • bjjheroes says:

      Hi Jay, I am not in touch with the full details, but I am sure he has friends on GFT and a good relationship with those guys, so at the end of the day if Cyborg's team has no aspirations to win a team award he win register on the tournament for whomever has the stronger team or the one with bigger aspirations.

      As for Joao Assis, he coaches at CG, but he always competes BJJ for checkmat. That is indeed his team. Buchecha is from Cavaca, so it is more or less the same as Jake's situation, fights for the team with the biggest aspirations or with whom he spent more time in preparation for the tournament.

  • Isaiah says:

    Jake is probably the most influential guy I ever met, I had a huge opportunity to interview him last night, he’s story is so amazing,

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