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Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”
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Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”

John Danaher BJJ Escapes

Rubens Charles, also known as “Cobrinha” is a historical figure in the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, being an International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Champion as well as a 3x Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) champion. Originally from the town of Londrina and with a background in capoeira, Rubens Charles’ talent was discovered by the legendary BJJ competitor and instructor Fernando Terere, with whom Cobrinha worked for an extended period before joining the Alliance Team. Commonly known for his aggressive style on the mats, Rubens Charles is also an accomplished instructor with a long career developing competitors games.

Rubens Charles Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Rubens Charles Maciel

Nickname: Cobrinha was a name given to Rubens in his Capoeira days. It means “Little Snake”, and it was given to him because he was so agile and flexible.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Alexandre Paiva > Fernando Augusto Terere > Rubens Charles

Main Achievements:

  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship (2006/2007/2008/2009/2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World No-Gi Championship (2007/2008/2011/2012)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pans Championship (2007/2008/2009/2017)
  • 1st Place ADCC World Championship (2013/2015/2017)
  • 1st Place IBJJF European Open (2013/2017)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2017)

Weight Division: Peso Pena (70,00 kg / 154.5 lbs)

Favorite technique: De La Riva Guard

Association/Team: Alliance

Rubens Charles Cobrinha Biography

Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” was born on December 24th of 1979 in Londrina, Brazil. He moved to Sao Carlos when he was still a child. Being a normal Brazilian child, the first sport he practiced was Football (soccer), but that love for soccer was ruled out when he got his first taste of “Capoeira”, the Brazilian Martial Art of fancy kicking and dancing moves. He joined the “Grupo dos Jangadeiros” a club that was run my Capoeira Master Antonio Zacaria and practiced 2 times per day all 7 days of the week, a habit he followed for the most of 14 years, the time it took him to become a Master himself.

He only found Jiu-Jitsu at a later stage, when a friend that was launching a Martial Arts gym asked him to pass by to see the new place. Cobrinha was 21 and as he came in he saw a class of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he was curious and took the class. After being “schooled” by a purple belt that was taking the class, Cobrinha decided Jiu-Jitsu was the art he wanted to dedicate himself to, and on the next day, he joined a BJJ school close to him, led by BJJ black belt Mauro Pacífico.

He remained training with professor Mauro for a long time, changing his Capoeira schedule to dedicate himself fully to BJJ (the same schedule of 2x per day, 7 days per week). It was at a state championship in Sao Paulo that Cobrinha’s future would turn. After getting to the final and losing to a student of legendary Fernando Terere, Rubens Charles was invited to move to Sao Paulo and train with Terere. With the approval of his Master, he moved to Sao Paulo to train with the then world famous “TT” Team. He spent 4 months living in the Academy, jobless but training 2x a day and with rights to private lessons from the man Terere himself, every single day, sharpening every tool he already had and adding a few more to the arsenal. His team was also substantially more competitive with monsters like Terere, Eduardo Telles and Andre Galvao, Lucas Lepri, Leandro Martins, and many others every day on the mats.

The black belt came shortly after, in 2005, from the hands of Terere. It had taken him 5 years to achieve. He went to the Mundial (World Championships) and finished 3 out of 5 opponents on his way to glory. After the gold medal, he was invited to compete in Japan at the Pro Jiu Jitsu X, a tournament that he won. 2006 followed and although his team “TT” had dissolved while he was in Japan, his master, Terere helped him with his training preparing him for 2006. The Mundial came that year and Cobrinha was once again victorious, finishing all of his opponents by way of submission.

Fernando Terere, the man that had been so important to Rubens Charles BJJ career had several well broadcasted personal problems, including drug addiction and a severe case of schizophrenia which led him astray from jiu-jitsu. Before Terere left to the North-east of Brazil (namely to the town of Natal) he advised Cobrinha to join one of Terere’s former instructors Fabio Gurgel, and thus another joyful BJJ partnership had begun.

In 2007 Cobrinha went to the United States to fight at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan American Championship. While he was there he gave a seminar in Atlanta at Jacare Romero’s gym (Jacare is Fabio Gurgel’s Master). Jacare was so impressed with Cobrinha’s skills that he decided to give him a job at his academy, a job which he took. While training at his new place in Atlanta, US, Cobrinha continued like a juggernaut, destroying everyone in every competition he attended. Another World Championship in 2007, 2008 and 2009, while still finding the strength to challenge the best in no gi (Submission Wrestling) winning the No-Gi World Championships in 2008 and 2007, and securing a Runner Up spot at the ADCC 2009 in Barcelona.

Cobrinha is regarded by many as the best Lightweight Fighter of all time and was awarded “Best BJJ Fighter of 2009” by the Brazilian Press. Cobrinha is also an amazing teacher having taught BJJ World Champions Michael Langhi and Sergio Moraes, and a lot more are on the way.

Cobrinha BJJ Instructional

Rubens Charles Grappling Record

118 WINS
    41 (35%)
    5 (4%)
    63 (53%)
    6 (5%)
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    2 (2%)


Choke from back
Bow and arrow
Toe hold
Cross choke
Heel hook
Collar Choke
Inverted triangle
Brabo choke
Darce choke
    11 (52%)
    2 (10%)
    2 (10%)
    5 (24%)
    1 (5%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)


Choke from back

Rubens Charles Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
1344Baret YoshidaBaret YoshidaLReferee DecisionZST GFT70KGSF2006
1633Marcelo BocãoLPointsADCC Trials66KG8F2007
1971Rafael LovatoRafael LovatoLPts: 4x2World Champ.ABSR22008
2123Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPointsWorld Pro.65KGF2009
2182Otavio SousaOtavio SousaLPts: 2x2, AdvPan AmericanABSSF2009
2227Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPointsADCC66KGF2009
2637Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2010
2666Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 4x4, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2010
2898Celso ViniciusCelso ViniciusLReferee DecisionWorld Pro.74KGSF2011
2919Rodolfo VieiraRodolfo VieiraLChoke from backWorld Pro.ABSF2011
3123Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 4x2World Champ.70KGSF2011
3281Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPenADCC66KGF2011
3323James HarbisonJames HarbisonLReferee DecisionNo Gi WorldsABS4F2011
3577Rafael MendesRafael MendesLArmbarPan American70KGF2012
3976Rafael MendesRafael MendesLReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2012
4536Rafael MendesRafael MendesLReferee DecisionPan American70KGF2013
4640Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x0World Pro70KGF2013
4766Augusto MendesAugusto MendesLPts: 2x0World Champ.70KGSF2013
5740Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 10x8World Champ.70KGF2014
7384Rafael MendesRafael MendesLPts: 6x0World Champ.70KGF2015
9898Marcio AndreMarcio AndreLPts: 7x6World Champ.70KGSF2016
1257Reinaldo RibeiroReinaldo RibeiroWPointsWorld Cup70KGSF2005
1258Felipe VidalWPts: 4x0World Cup70KGF2005
1342UnknownWArmbarZST GFT70KG4F2006
1403Ocimar SantosWBrabo chokeWorld Champ.70KGR12006
1404T. SatoWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22006
1405Jonatas GurgelJonatas GurgelWChokeWorld Champ.70KG4F2006
1409Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWToe holdWorld Champ.70KGSF2006
1411Marcio FeitosaMarcio FeitosaWPts: 8x0World Champ.70KGF2006
1596Peter HanWN/APan American70KGR12007
1598Wilson ReisWilson ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KG4F2007
1602Wellington DiasWellington DiasWPointsPan American70KGSF2007
1603Mario ReisMario ReisWPts: 2x0Pan American70KGF2007
1733Jason TaborWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR12007
1737Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG4F2007
1738Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPointsWorld Champ.70KGSF2007
1740Mario ReisMario ReisWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KGF2007
1797Renan BorgesWRNCWorld NoGi70KG4F2007
1798Magno GamaWDarce chokeWorld NoGi70KGSF2007
1799Shane RiceShane RiceWPointsWorld NoGi70KGF2007
1899Jose AugustoWDQWorld Champ.70KGR12008
1903Scott DeWittWBow and arrowWorld Champ.70KG4F2008
1904Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWCross chokeWorld Champ.70KGSF2008
1906Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWToe holdWorld Champ.70KGF2008
1980Karel PravecWTriangleNoGi Pan Am.70KGSF2008
1981Daniel AguiarWRNCNoGi Pan Am.70KGF2008
1982R. HallWRNCWorld Cup Pro70KGNA2008
1992Karl PravecWTriangleNoGi Worlds76KG4F2008
1994C. CardosoWRNCNoGi Worlds76KGSF2008
1996Jeff GloverJeff GloverWPts: 0x0, AdvNoGi Worlds76KGF2008
2027Jonathan TorresWArmbarAll Star Pro72KGR22008
2030Bruno TostesWHeel hookAll Star Pro72KGSF2008
2032J. RaderWPts: 2x0All Star Pro72KGF2008
2062Michel MaiaWPointsCapital Challenge70KGSF2008
2064Rafael MendesRafael MendesWPointsCapital Challenge70KGF2008
2118Marcio LivioWArmbarWorld Pro.65KGR12009
2120Guilherme MendesGuilherme MendesWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KG4F2009
2121Tiago FernandesWChoke from backWorld Pro.65KGSF2009
2137Renan BorgesWArmbarPan American70KG4F2009
2140Rafael MendesRafael MendesWDQPan American70KGSF2009
2141Mario ReisMario ReisWBow and arrowPan American70KGF2009
2173Abmar BarbosaAbmar BarbosaWChoke from backPan AmericanABS8F2009
2181Rafael LovatoRafael LovatoWPts: 2x0Pan AmericanABS4F2009
2217Hiroshi NakamuraWArmbarADCC66KGR12009
2222Joel TudorWRNCADCC66KG4F2009
2226Rany YahyaRany YahyaWKimuraADCC66KGSF2009
2313Wellington DiasWellington DiasWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KG4F2009
2315Rafael MendesRafael MendesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2009
2316Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGF2009
2522Gustavo CarpioWChoke from backPan American70KG4F2010
2524Renan BorgesWChoke from backPan American70KGSF2010
2525Marcelino FreitasMarcelino FreitasWPts: 3x0Pan American70KGF2010
2659Flavio MeierWArmbarWorld Champ.70KGR12010
2660Yukinori SasaYukinori SasaWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR22010
2661Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWOmoplataWorld Champ.70KG4F2010
2664Mario ReisMario ReisWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2010
2915Claudio CalasansClaudio CalasansWPts: 4x2World Pro.ABS4F2011
3001Itaro AndradeWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
3004UnknownWChokeWorld Champ.70KGRDS2011
3092Ed RamosWPts: 3x0World Champ.70KG4F2011
3210David MarinakisWTriangleADCC66KGR12011
3248Baret YoshidaBaret YoshidaWPointsADCC66KG4F2011
3266Jeff GloverJeff GloverWPts: 6x0ADCC66KGSF2011
3319Marco MaceraWPointsNo Gi WorldsABSR22011
3354Renan BorgesWRNCNo Gi Worlds70KGSF2011
3367Justin RaderJustin RaderWAdvNo Gi Worlds70KGF2011
3566Y. NakatsukaWCross ChokePan American70KG8F2012
3574David LemesDavid LemesWCollar ChokePan American70KG4F2012
3576Mike FowlerMike FowlerWBow and arrowPan American70KGSF2012
3956Mario YokoyamaMario YokoyamaWPointsWorld Champ.70KGR22012
3966Edson de OliveiraWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGR32012
3972Eduardo da SilvaWPts: 6x2World Champ.70KG4F2012
3975Leo SaggioroLeo SaggioroWChoke from backWorld Champ.70KGSF2012
4209M. BorgesWArmbarNoGi Worlds70KGSF2012
4210Justin RaderJustin RaderWAdvNoGi Worlds70KGF2012
4424Charles GasparWArmbarEuropean Open70KGR12013
4425Daisuke NakamuraDaisuke NakamuraWChoke from backEuropean Open70KG4F2013
4429Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWInverted triangleEuropean Open70KGSF2013
4430Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPts: 2x0European Open70KGF2013
4524Jordan CollinsWOmoplataPan American70KGR12013
4532Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWChokePan American70KG4F2013
4534Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWPointsPan American70KGSF2013
4656Marcel GoncalvesMarcel GoncalvesWPointsWorld ProABSR12013
4761Theodoro CanalTheodoro CanalWPointsWorld Champ.70KG4F2013
4957D. HemmingsWRNCADCC66KGR12013
4961Marcio AndreMarcio AndreWPts: 3x0ADCC66KG4F2013
4966Justin RaderJustin RaderWPointsADCC66KGSF2013
4968Rafael MendesRafael MendesWReferee DecisionADCC66KGF2013
5723Robson BarbosaWPointsWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5730Mario SilvaWN/AWorld Champ.70KGRDS2014
5734Italo LinsItalo LinsWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG4F2014
5739Isaque PaivaIsaque PaivaWPts: 24x2World Champ.70KGSF2014
7378Italo LinsItalo LinsWArmbarWorld Champ.70KG8F2015
7380Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWPts: 3x0World Champ.70KG4F2015
7910Tezekbaev RasulWRNCADCC66KGR12015
7917Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 3x0ADCC66KG4F2015
7922Augusto MendesAugusto MendesWReferee DecisionADCC66KGSF2015
7924Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGF2015
9889Sergio GonzalezWChokeWorld Champ.70KGR22016
9893Samir ChantreSamir ChantreWPts: 7x0World Champ.70KG4F2016
11451Nelson TeixeiraWArmbarEuropean Open70KG8F2017
11457Alexandre VieiraAlexandre VieiraWChoke from backEuropean Open70KG4F2017
11460Gabriel MarangoniGabriel MarangoniWBow and arrowEuropean Open70KGSF2017
11461Gianni GrippoGianni GrippoWPts: 5x0European Open70KGF2017
12017Brandon WalenskyBrandon WalenskyWPointsPan American70KG8F2017
12022Brian MahechaBrian MahechaWChoke from backPan American70KG4F2017
12025Osvaldo MoizinhoOsvaldo MoizinhoWPts: 9x2Pan American70KGF2017
12611Joao HumbertoWChoke from backBrasileiro70KGR12017
12616Rodrigo CardosoWChoke from backBrasileiro70KG4F2017
12617Kim TerraKim TerraWN/ABrasileiro70KGSF2017
12619Rafael MansurRafael MansurWPts: 4x2Brasileiro70KGF2017
12953Wanki ChaeWanki ChaeWAdvWorld Champ.70KG8F2017
12961Gilson NunesGilson NunesWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KG4F2017
12965Jamil Hill-TaylorJamil Hill-TaylorWReferee DecisionWorld Champ.70KGSF2017
12966Leo SaggioroLeo SaggioroWPts: 0x0, AdvWorld Champ.70KGF2017
13760U. ZhakshylykWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGE12017
13768Kuba WitkowskiWArmbarADCC66KG4F2017
13772Paulo MiyaoPaulo MiyaoWPts: 0x0ADCC66KGSF2017
13775AJ AgazarmAJ AgazarmWPts: 3x0ADCC66KGF2017

Banner photograph taken by Ross Finlayson.

Rubens Charles Highlight

Rubens Charles vs Marcio Feitosa (Final of the 2006 Mundial)

Rubens Charles vs Ryan Hall (no gi Tournament)

Rubens Charles Cobrinha, Sao Paulo State Championships

Craig Jones Instructional


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