Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Team History, Fighter Stats, Biographies and News

It is finally here! After much thought and months of real world testing the BJJ Heroes x Ezekiel Kimonos collaboration Jiu Jitsu gi is finally here. The BJJ Heroes Gi is a lightweight kimono, fit for BJJ competition with BJJ Heroes embroyded logos at the front (chest), side (right arm) and back (top) as well as Ezekiel logo on the pants/trousers and arm (left). It is fully IBJJF legal, and in fact has already been tested at an IBJJF competition. For more details, check this post.

Helio Vigio is a 9th degree red belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and an important figure in this martial art’s history. A former instructor of the Gracie Academy in the 1950’s, alongside Carlson Gracie, Robson Gracie and Joao Alberto Barreto, Helio Vigio defended the Gracie Jiu Jitsu name in several “Vale Tudo” (No Holds Barred) fights later becoming one of the best BJJ/NHB/MMA referees in the world

Luiz Panza is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Marco Barbosa who is one of the top heavyweight competitors of his generation. A former professional model, Luiz Panza traded the catwalk for Jiu Jitsu, turning professional in 2013. On his first year as a black belt competitor, Luiz immediately made a name for himself piling up medals at the highest level of BJJ.

Bruno Mendes, more commonly known in the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu world by his nickname “Tank”, is one of the leaders and founding members of the BJJ team: Soul Fighters. A black belt under Alvaro Mansor, Tank spent several years working behind the scenes of IBJJF competitions before fouding his own team with his brother, the world champion Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes, Leandro Escobar and Rafael Barbosa.

Marcio Corleta is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Mauricio and Sylvio Behring, who was considered one of the top ultra heavyweights of his generation in the sport. Through his excellent sporting career, Corleta brought awareness to the quality of Jiu Jitsu practiced in the south of Brazil

Marcio Stambowsky, also known as Macarrão, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coral belt, who is one of the 10 men to have been graded as a black belt by the legendary Rolls Gracie, often (wrongly) mentioned as the “Famous Five”. Stambowsky, who was one of the top competitors of in the 1980’s.

Soul Fighters is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team founded by former members of the Kioto BJJ Academy and the Brazilian Top Team. The team was founded in 2008 and quickly elbowed its way in to the top spots of BJJ.

The debate generated over this past week regarding female competitor Gabrielle Garcia who was asked to compete against men at the last ADCC led us to ask the question to a few of our Jiu Jitsu friends, professionals of the sport, men and women that regularly compete at the highest level in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Do You think Men and Women Should Compete Against Each Other in Jiu Jitsu?

Leandro Escobar, also known as ‘Tatu’, is qualified instructor in Muay Thai and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under “Dedeco” Almeida, being also one of the leaders of the Soul Fighters BJJ academy and the head coach of its competition team in Rio de Janeiro.

Another edition of the world’s most prestigious submission wrestling/No-Gi Jiu Jitsu tournament in the world happened on the 19th and 20th of October, 2013. Here are the fill results of the ADCC 2013.

Paulo Mauricio Strauch is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Master (9th degree red belt) who trained under Master Reylson Gracie before founding his own academy in 1984. From his academy in Copacabana Master Paulo Mauricio Strauch has taught numerous champions such as the world famous Caio Terra, Alexandre Vieira and many others.

Keenan Cornelius is a Hawaiian and a famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor with a tremendous fan base in the United States. The talented fighter received his black belt from André Galvão in September 2013 though he started his career as a grappler training under BJ Penn and Lloyd Irvin’s tuition where he won all the top tournaments in the purple and brown belt levels, being considered the most accomplished brown belt of all time.

Marcelo Azevedo, also known by his nickname “Uirapuru” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the illustrious Vinicius Draculino, who filled in Draculino’s boots as head coach of Gracie Barra Belo Horizonte head quarters after the departure of the famous instructor to the United States.

Ricardo Vieira, a 9x world jiu jitsu champion speaks about how he came out of retirement to compete in the ADCC, the world’s biggest submission wrestling competition taking place in China on October 2013.

Cristiano Lazzarini, commonly known in the fight world as “Titi” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Vinicius Draculino, who has had a tremendous career in BJJ with medals at the World Jiu Jitsu Championships, the Pan American and Brazilian Nationals.

Yuri Simoes is one of the best athletes in the Checkmat Academy. The black belt under Ricardo Vieira, is a former world champion (purple and brown) and Pan American champion (black belt) who is doing a tour around Europe giving seminars after a while living in Australia. BJJ Heroes had the opportunity to catch up with Yuri in England and talk about his recent trips and a bit more.

There is a famous quote in jiu jitsu that says: “jiu-jitsu é a única arte marcial que tem família” (jiu-jitsu is the only martial art that has a family), though my knowledge of all martial arts isn’t strong enough for me to attest the truthfulness of this statement, my understanding of the background and the history of the sport can certainly verify that strong family ties are what helped build this sport/martial art.

Luzia Fernandes, also known as Lulu or Luka Fernandes, is a Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (3rd degree) black belt under Marcio Feitosa, who has been a part of the Brazilian Judo National Team and has numerous titles in BJJ, including 4 world titles the first of which she achieved at the age of 13, making her the youngest person ever to win an adult world title in the sport.

Claudio Silva Interview “I Don’t Choose Fights”

Claudio Henrique Silva is an experienced BJJ and MMA fighter, after being frustrated with the course of his MMA and BJJ career, Claudio decided to have an exclusive interview with BJJ Heroes and tell us what is on his mind.

Alberto Crane is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Vinicius Magalhães being also the first American citizen to become a black belt under the Gracie Barra Academy banner. Alberto Crane stacked a series of accolades as a BJJ and MMA competitor as well as from a coaching stance.

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