Robson Lima, commonly known as Robson Mau-Mau is a jiu-jitsu black belt under Master Júlio César Pereira, who also worked extensively with Luiz Roberto Delvivo (Lula) while representing the Grappling Fight Team (GFT). Mau-Mau gained notoriety as an athlete particularly during his 2014 campaign with the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit when he finished the year as the #1 ranked athlete. Robson is also one of the most successful BJJ instructors in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Robson Lima Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Robson de Lima Rodrigues
Nickname: The nickname Mau-Mau relates to a Brazilian soap opera character played by actor Cauã Reymond in the famous Malhação series. The character named Mau Mau wore a headband, as did Robson at the time, which led his teammates to jokingly call him by the same name. This quickly stuck to Lima.
Lineage: Luis França > Oswaldo Fadda > Monir Salomão > Júlio César > Robson Lima
Main Achievements (Masters):
- 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2014)
- 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2013** / 2015** / 2016 / 2017)
- 1st Place IBJJF New York Summer Open (2015)
- 1st Place IBJJF Boston Spring Open (2014** / 2017 / 2018)
- 1st Place IBJJF Boston Summer Open (2013 / 2014** / 2015 / 2019**)
- 1st Place IBJJF Charlotte Open (2017 / 2019)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2013)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2014* / 2018)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Boston Spring Open (2016 / 2017* / 2018*)
- 2nd Place IBJJF Boston Summer Open (2016*)
- 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NoGi (2013 / 2015)
- 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NoGi (2014)
Main Achievements (Adult):
- 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Team Nationals (2011)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
- 1st Place IBJJF South American Championship (2011 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Rio Open (2012 brown)
- 1st Place IBJJF Dallas Open (2012 brown)
Favorite Position/Technique: Kimura
Weight Division: Meio Pesado (88,30 kg / 195.0 lbs)
Team/Association: GF Team
Robson Mau Mau Biography
Robson Lima was born on May 23, 1983, in the Madureira neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, growing up in Bento Ribeiro (also RJ).
Throughout Lima’s formative years, capoeira was the most popular martial art in the nation, a popularity that led Robson to join the sport during his pre-teens. It was at the club where he practiced capoeira that Robson became aware of jiu-jitsu, through a class that opened there when he was 14.
Robson’s first BJJ instructor was a blue belt named Cleber. The grappling classes were just starting at the Star Dance Academy at the time and given the shortage of students, Lima was allowed to train for free. Coach Cleber didn’t stay for long and was replaced a few months later by Paulo Araújo, also known as Paulinho Lelé. Paulo was Mau Mau’s instructor for a couple of years, during which time the young teenager became fully embedded in jiu-jitsu, training and competing on a regular basis.
Once Lelé moved out of the project, his place was taken by Luiz Roberto Delvivo (Lula). Delvivo was a pivotal figure in Robson’s grappling career, a coach that pushed him to reach his full potential.
While training with coach Lula, Robson’s gym affiliated itself with one of the top Rio de Janeiro teams – Gama Filho, who would later become GFT. With this link with the Meyer based academy in place, coach Delvivo encouraged Lima to start training at Gama Filho’s headquarters, where he could learn from Master Julio Cesar Pereira and higher level sparring partners.
Robson arrived at Gama Filho (GFT) as a blue belt, earning his purple and brown belts from Master Julio. During this period Lima was mostly training and competing, but as he got married, he was forced to abandon the sport due to lack of sponsorship and the need to provide for his family. Lima severed ties with the sport for 4 years in which he became clinically depressed, gaining 20 kilograms (44 lbs) in the process.
The weight gain led Robson’s doctor to advise him to return to jiu-jitsu and maintain a healthy sporting life. Although rusty, it didn’t take long for Mau Mau to get back to form and competition. This return, in 2011, also coincided with a more financially lucrative outcome as an athlete, which led Lima to return to the scene full-heartedly.
During Robson’s return to jiu-jitsu he was able to compete in the United States and brand himself as one of the leading competitors of GFT, earning his black belt in December 2012. His high-level skillset was also behind Master Julio’s offer: To lead one of the team’s affiliates in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) back in 2013. The gym had run through a few different instructors in a short period of time but Mau Mau managed to settle at the location and prosper in his new home.
Within 3 years Robson Lima went on to open his own academy, and through his entrepreneur mindset, the GFT brand quickly prospered in the Boston area, turning the city into the biggest GFT hub outside of Brazil.
Robson Mau-Mau vs Mike Tousignant
My name is Robert MCCarron. I am a member of Mau Mau BJJ. Professor Mau Mau allows me to help teach the kids class at the academy, where my children also attend. Professor Mau Mau and the jiu jitsu lifestyle helped give me purpose in life when I was down and out, which in turn was instrumental in rebuilding my relationship with my family. I was given an outlet to become a role model to not only my children, but also children in our community. Mau Mau talks about how he was taught that jiu jitsu isn’t about winning in competition, although he and his school have done more than their share, but more importantly it is about building champions in life: being good people , loving family members, respecting our elders and becoming upstanding citizens by staying off the streets. I am forever grateful to my professor Mau Mau.
Great article. Mau Mau is a great guy and an excellent instructor!
Mau Mau is someone who really cares about his students and friends. Even when I wasn’t his student he would stay late at tournaments all over the country (Boston, NY or Vegas) to coach me. That sense of being cared for made the decision to become his student an easy one. I really appreciate all he has done for me and my family. Tamo junto Mestre, OSS!
Best mestre ever, Really glad to be part of his academy, knowing him better and everyone else form gfteam…gfteam não para.
I began training Jiu jitsu on my 40th birthday and was lucky to have Mau Mau as my coach from the very beginning. Like so many say, “Jiu-Jitsu changed my life”. It did for me in many ways, but Mau Mau played a major role in the positive changes I experienced. Mau Mau is the type of person you imagine a professor of martial arts to be. He is a humble champion, trustworthy, knowledgeable, always smiling and puts other’s needs before his own. OSS!