Mauricio Antunes, commonly known as “Tarja”, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Cicero Costha, who worked extensively with Alexandre de Souza. One of the top competitors of his generation, Antunes made his mark, particularly in the Masters (over 30) division, where he conquered important trophies such as the #1 Ranked Athlete in the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) in 2019, having also earned important medals in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit, namely at the World Masters, European Open and Pan American Championship.
Mauricio Antunes Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Mauricio Togni Antunes
Nickname: Antunes is often referenced by his peers as Tarja, which literally means “Stripe” in Portuguese. The name, however, in this instance, is an allusion to psychiatric medication, which in Brazil is known as Stripped Medication due to the black stripe that crosses all packaging of such type of drugs. The nickname started being referenced early on in Mauricio’s development in BJJ due to his unwillingness to tap, which sometimes resulted in him being choked unconscious. His training partners would jokingly mention he needed “Black Stripe medication”, a name that with time was shortened to simply Stripe/Tarja.
- #1 Ranked UAEJJF Master 1 Athlete (Player of the Year) 2017-2018
- #2 Ranked UAEJJF Master 1 Athlete No-Gi 2016-2017
- 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2019 Master 2)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, Abu Dhabi (2018 Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, London (2018 Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Africa Continental Pro (2018)
- 1st Place UAEJJF British National Pro (2018** Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF Switzerland National Pro (2018 Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF South African National Pro (2018** Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF RAK International Pro (2017 Master 1)
- 1st Place UAEJJF RAK International Pro No-Gi (2017 Master 1)
- 1st Place FPJJ São Paulo State Championship (2013)
- 1st Place WPJJC National Cup (2013)
- 1st Place IBJJF Manaus Open (2014)
- 2nd Place IBJJF World Masters Championship (2016 Master 1)
- 2nd Place IBJJF European Open (2016** Master 1)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2016 Master 1)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Rio Fall Open No-Gi (2015)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Paris Open No-Gi (2016 Master 1)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, Abu Dhabi (2017 Master 1)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, London (2017 Master 1)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Netherlands National Pro (2018** Master 1)
- 2nd Place UAEJJF Switzerland National Pro (2018* Master 1)
- 3rd Place CBJJE World Championship (2014)
- 3rd Place UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro (2017 / 2018 Master 1)
- 3rd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, Rio de Janeiro (2015* Master 1)
- 3rd Place UAEJJF Grand Slam, Los Angeles No-Gi (2016 Master 1)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place IBJJF International Masters & Seniors (2013** brown)
- 1st Place CBJJE Brazilian Nationals (2013 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Rio Open (2013 brown)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship (2013 brown)
- 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2013 brown)
Favorite Position/Technique: Pressure Passing
Weight Division: Meio Pesado (88,30 kg / 195.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Honor Roll
Mauricio Antunes Biography
Mauricio Togni Antunes was born on March 30, 1983, in São Paulo, Brazil, where he spent his formative years.
Although recreational sports such as swimming and football (soccer) were part of Mauricio’s upbringing, it wasn’t until he found jiu-jitsu that Antunes decided to challenge himself in the competitive arena. His first contact with grappling occurred in 2002, at the age of 20, when he moved to Florianopolis, (State of Santa Catarina) to join the local university and study Social Sciences.
At the time when Mauricio arrived in Florianopolis, his brother was already a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. Influenced by the positive effects grappling had on his brother’s life he decided to look for an academy for himself, finding one near his college campus where he met Alexandre “Pop” Souza, the coach who taught there.
De Souza is widely regarded as one of the best athletes ever produced by the state of Santa Catarina, as well as one of the top coaches in the country, and it was he who first who saw the potential in Mauricio for BJJ pushing him to compete and practice.
After his university graduation, Maurício moved to Ribeirão Preto in São Paulo, where he arrived as a purple belt and started training at the Nucleo Academy. Closer to the sport’s epicenter that was São Paulo, Antunes had more chances of competing against high caliber opponents and truly test his skill set. The positive results he started obtaining and his love for BJJ led to him quitting his academic career to pursue on in jiu-jitsu, an objective he accomplished as a brown belt.
In trying to find the best possible training partners for his evolution in the sport, in 2013, Mauricio joined the Projeto Social Lutando Pelo Bem team, also known as PSLB – Cícero Costha, and on October that year, Mauricio was promoted to black belt. He also opened a gym in Ribeirão Preto, becoming an affiliate of the Cicero Costha association.
Mauricio Antunes also taught for a short period of time at the Z1 Academy in the country of Angola in 2016, going on to work for Gracie Barra Angola, a function he kept ‘on-and-off’ until 2018, this way making his mark on the African jiu-jitsu landscape.
Mauricio Antunes vs Mauricio Carra