Rodrigo Munduruca is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Sylvio Behring and Maurício “Behring” Pereira (RIP), who moved to Canada in 1999, helping the development of this martial art in the Northern Hemisphere. While living in the North American continent, Munduruca also became one of the most revered athletes in the Masters Division of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), where he conquered numerous Pan, European, Asian and World medals.
Rodrigo Munduruca Jiu-Jitsu
Full Name: Rodrigo Munduruca
- IBJJF 1st Place Pan American (2011/2013 Master 1)
- IBJJF 1st Place European Open (2012***/2013/2015/2016 Master 1, 2019 Master 3)
- IBJJF 1st Place Asian Masters (2018 Master 2)
- IBJJF 1st Place American Nationals (2014 Master 1)
- IBJJF 1st Place Pan Pacific (2018 Master 3)
- IBJJF 1st Place Pan Pacific NoGi (2018 Master 3)
- IBJJF 1st Place Los Angeles BJJ Pro (2018 Master 3)
- CBJJ 1st Place Brazilian Nationals (2011 Master 1)
- IBJJF 2nd Place Pan American (2016 Master 1)
- IBJJF 2nd Place World NoGi (2015 Masters 2)
- IBJJF 2nd Place European Open (2014 Master 1)
- IBJJF 3rd Place World Masters (2012/2013 Master 1, 2014/2017 Master 2)
- IBJJF 3rd Place Pan American (2014 Master 1)
- IBJJF 3rd Place European Open (2013* Master 1)
** Weight and absolute
*** Closed division with teammate
Favorite Position/Technique: Harai Goshi, Pressure Passing
Weight Division: Pesadíssimo (over 100,50 kg / 222.0 lbs)
Team/Association: Gracie Humaitá
Rodrigo Munduruca Biography
Rodrigo Munduruca was born on December 21, 1977, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, though he moved with his family to Salvador (Bahia state) at the age of 2, returning back to RJ as a 9YO.
During his childhood, Munduruca practiced several sports, with his main focus being basketball and swimming, two activities in which he competed extensively. Rodrigo also had judo as a strong reference during his upbringing, a martial art skill he started developing aged 6, and carried over to jiu-jitsu with perfection later in life. Although Munduruca never reached the rank of black belt in the Japanese art of throwing, this was mainly due to a technicality as Rodrigo could not afford the black belt exam at the time, which cost 1500 reals.
In 1995, influenced by a good friend who practiced jiu-jitsu, Rodrigo decided to give BJJ a try. With two legendary grapplers as his tutors from the very get-go, namely Sylvio Behring and Maurício Pereira (also known as Maurição da Hunter or Maurício Behring), Munduruca’s interest for this combat form grew exponentially, and very early in his BJJ development, he decided this was a martial art he wanted to experience professionally.
Munduriuca’s move to Canada spawned from the Behring-Hunter academy. Coach Sylvio had a Canadian student who owned a martial arts gym in Winnipeg and visited Rio de Janeiro regularly to train, Mr. Robert McRoberts. Bob became a good friend of Munduruca at the time – one of the few Brazilian students of Behring who was fluent in English, and in 1999, when Rodrigo visited Winnipeg for work-related reasons, McRoberts invited Munduruca to stay over for a week and coach his students. Rodrigo had started assisting Master Sylvio Behring in class and enjoyed that side of jiu-jitsu thoroughly, accepting the offer by Robert.
After this week spent coaching in Winnipeg, McRoberts offered Munduruca a full-time position as the gym’s head grappling coach, thus starting Rodrigo’s long history developing high-level BJJ in Canada, he was 21 years old and a brown belt at the time.
Although coaching in Canada, Munduruca still found the time to compete around the world, including trips to Brazil to train with his mentors on a regular basis. On one of these trips, in April 2001, Rodrigo earned his black belt from both of his long-time coaches.
Rodrigo’s instructor Maurício was a representative of Gracie Humaitá for most of his competitive career, and although he tragically passed away in 2004, Munduruca kept a close connection with this academy. In 2008, being unaffiliated with a strong international team that could help push himself and his students, Rodrigo decided to reach out to Master Rolker Gracie (head speaker of the Gracie Academy), then joining Gracie Humaitá.
While in Canada Munduruca was also the face behind a few jiu-jitsu merchandise outlets such as Fighters Market and MMA Gear, a workload he had together with his brother – Bruno Munduruca. Rodrigo would abandon all these side projects in 2018 to focus on his own San Diego, California, academy – while maintaining his affiliates in Canada.
Rodrigo Munduruca vs Garry Christie