Olavo Abreu is a jiu-jitsu black belt under Ricardo Libório, who worked extensively with Marcelo Alonso, Carlson Gracie Junior, Murilo Bustamante, Zé Mario Sperry, and many other members of both the Carlson Gracie Academy and the Brazilian Top Team – where he worked as an instructor. Abreu was an important figure in the development of this martial art on the Eastern side of the planet, having helped in UAE’s national grappling school program for 8 years and been the head coach of Phuket Top Team, a well-respected martial arts hub in Thailand.
Olavo Abreu Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Olavo Abreu
- 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (1998 purple M1)
- 2nd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2001 brown M1)
- 3rd Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2000 brown M1)
Favorite Position/Technique: N/A
Weight Division: Pesado (94,30 kg / 208.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Phuket Top Team / Olavo Abreu Association
Olavo Abreu Biography
Olavo Abreu was born on September 17, 1967, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Growing up in the Zona Sul area of the Marvelous City, Abreu was connected with the beach lifestyle during his formative years, making surfing one of his preferred extra-curricular activities. It was by way of boardsports that he became familiar with jiu-jitsu as many members of the Gracie family surfed locally, and many of his friends also practiced this martial art.
In 1994 Olavo decided to go with his friends to a jiu-jitsu class, then joining the Carlson Gracie Academy, a school that was seen by many as the Kodokan of BJJ. Following the CGA program, Abreu was guided early on by Marcelo Alonso and Carlson Gracie Junior.
By the end of 2000, many of the senior students at the Carlson Gracie Academy were banned from the team due to a structural dispute between those athletes and the founder of the gym, Carlson senior. The expelled grapplers decided to form their own workgroup, giving birth to Brazilian Top Team. As Abreu had worked with these men for the majority of his jiu-jitsu life, he decided to follow them to BTT.
Much of BTT was geared towards mixed martial arts (MMA), with the team’s founders – Zé Mario Sperry, Murilo Bustamante, Bebeo Duarte, and Ricardo Libório being involved with cage-fighting in one way or another, be it as managers or as fighters. Libório was left in charge of the jiu-jitsu portion of the team, yet, with the busy life he led, much of the coaching duties were laid on Olavo and his team-mate Carlos Santos. With time, Libório moved to the United States and Santos to Abu Dhabi, leaving Abreu in charge of the BJJ workgroup.
On January 2002, After nearly 3 years as a brown belt, Olavo Abreu was promoted to black belt by Ricardo Libório, in a ceremony led by Mr. Libório and Bebeo Duarte, Sperry, and Bustamante.
When Olavo’s team-mate, Carlos Santos, moved to Abu Dhabi, he did so with the intent of working alongside United Arab Emirates state authorities in the development of a national interscholastic jiu-jitsu program. With the workload pilling on with each year, Santos requested the help of Olavo and team-mate Suyan Queiroz in Abu Dhabi. Abreu accepted, spending the following 8 years in the Middle East.
After his time in Abu Dhabi, Olavo Abreu returned to Brazil for a brief period before emigrating once again to help develop another jiu-jitsu program, this time in Moscow, Russia, where he stayed for 6 months. From there, the opportunity arose to move to Thailand and work in an exciting new project in Phuket.
Abreu arrived in Thailand in 2012, where he joined Phuket Top Team, and helped pick the academy from the ground up, a gym that is, today, one of the most well known martial arts hubs in the world. The proximity with Oceania and Asia also allowed Olavo to branch out his own association which spread with affiliates in Australia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and Brazil.
Olavo Abreu Coaching