Since 2008 the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Academy has taken over our sport in a display of total domination, winning every World Championship team title since then, adding also numerous Pan American and European Open championships. The black belts have been a deciding element of the final scores, where the fact that Alliance successfully placed 53 adult black belts in the tournament’s finals over the past 10 years played a significant role in the team’s overall performance. Even more so, when the largest team in the world (Gracie Barra) placed 48 finalists – third being Checkmat with 20. But as proven last year (see board), the groundbreaking work put together by Alliance’s many affiliate gyms as a whole, has proved the famous jiu jitsu eagle is not solely reliant on the black belt elites to win a team title. YEAR PLACE GENDER TEAM PTS 2013 1 M Alliance 94 2013 2 M CheckMat 62 2013 3 M Atos 46 2013 1 F Alliance 62 2013 2 F CheckMat 45 2013 3 F Humaitá 38 2014 1 M Alliance 99 2014 2 M Atos 97 2014 3 M Gracie Barra 52 2014 1 F Alliance 79 2014 2 F CheckMat 52 2014 3 F Humaitá 86 2015 1 M Alliance 121 2015 2 M PSLPB 72 2015 3 M Atos 58 2015 1 F Alliance 68 2015 2 F Humaitá 61 2015 3 F CheckMat 29 As the sport has grown, so has the professionalism taking place in the lower belt divisions, where Alliance has shown supreme skills and excellent synergy between all affiliates. Through schools such as Alexandre Paiva‘s Leblon academy (RJ), Fabio Gurgel‘s HQ in Sao Paulo, Marcelo Garcia in NY, Mario Reis in Porto Alegre, Master Jacaré in Atlanta and now Cobrinha in Los Angeles, the team shows no signs of slowing down as their network expands in numbers and in quality. With a solid black belt team, a dream brown belt line-up with talent such as Hiago Gama, Tayane Porfirio, Lucas Araujo, Adam Benayoun, Nicholas Meregali or Isaque Bahiense, it is hard not to foresee another solid high flight for this bird of prey. But there will be plenty of adversity to overcome with Matheus Gonzaga (GFT), Jake Ferrara, John Combs (Easton Training Centre), Max Gimenes (GFT) and company, in front of Alliance’s brown belts and a true platoon of grapplers to face in the black belt division. Though very strong in the upper echelon of the sport, Alliance relies also on numbers, being only beat by Gracie Barra in the amount of warriors they will be bringing out to Long Beach’s battlefield next week. REGISTERED ATHLETE COUNT 2016: Gracie Barra 242 Alliance 240 Checkmat 171 Atos 164 GF Team 111 Ribeiro JJ 103 Gracie Humaitá 67 Team Lloyd Irvin 35 Ns Brotherhood 21 PSLPB 20 The numbers are overwhelming and have translated very well to podium placements. These are the numbers of medallists from the top teams in the lower belt divisions (adults) on 2015: TEAM PODIUMS Alliance 33 Gracie Barra 17 Atos 13 Checkmat 13 PSLPB 13 TLI 11 Humaita 10 GF Team 9 Ribeiro JJ 6 In sum, and although there are very tough challenges ahead for Alliance, in every division of the world’s toughest jiu jitsu tournament, the team seems well placed to scoop yet another world title, and clear the distance between their (already) record breaking number of team titles. Eagle photo used for banner, taken by Photo by Don Baccus.