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Luca Atalla, Jiu Jitsu’s Silent Benefactor

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Gordon Ryan Guard Passing Instructional

Luca Atalla is one of the silent benefactors of jiu jitsu. A pioneer in the sport’s journalistic scene, this illustrious Carlos Gracie Junior black belt – and former blue belt world champion, headed the oldest and most prestigious publication in BJJ for many years: GracieMag.

On August 2013 Luca dropped GM to pursue a different career route as a photographer and manager of a stock image company (Crayon Stock) “I left my daily activities with GracieMag and carried on with CrayonStock up until December 2015. About two years away [from following jiu jitsu], but never stopped training” – said Atalla, who has since returned to his one true love.

Early this year Luca launched a new and exciting project: Gallerr.

Gallerr is a social media app and a website, solely focused on jiu jisu, where you can connect with athletes, coaches and like minded people, being also an incredible source of historical content through Luca’s personal photo stock (displayed on the Gallerr profile) and that of profiles such as GM, who pour great moments from the past on their profiles on a daily basis.

The project is still in its infancy, finding its feet – sort to speak: “Our idea is to develop the jiu jitsu industry. We started as a social network, and still have that characteristic”, however Gallerr follows a ‘lean methodology’, testing each environment to find what the market is craving for, according to Atalla: “We are always developing more, and running tests. Paying attention to the feedback and investing our resources in what gets better results. This is a start-up, and as such is subjected to many changes.”

The idea has been very well received by the community, says Luca: “Athletes, coaches and practitioners have picked up on the platform very quickly, particularly to consume our content. The support has been overwhelming, Saulo [Ribeiro] even wore our patch on his gi at the Master Worlds this year.”

But driven as he is, in Atalla’s return to jiu jitsu he hasn’t ‘just’ stuck to one project. This year has also marked Luca’s return to the hard copy publication that started him back in 1994:

“I have edited the last three numbers of the magazine, and I’m helping out a together with Dudu [Eduardo Ferreira] who was from Tatame and also works with me on Gallerr. He is more in charge of the online edition and I’m on the printed one” – Said Luca, who has also been very active on Márcio Cruz‘ podcast ‘Resenha Black Belt‘, a Portuguese spoken series, that has gathered a great following through its straight talking approach to some of the serious issues surrounding our sport.

“This is an incredible project by ‘Pé de Pano’, who is an important character in jiu jitsu and a friend of mine. I’m always available to help, but it is his project (…) I always notice that the top coaches and champions follow the stream.”Luca Atalla.

With jiu jitsu growing at a steady pace, it we will wait to see what more Luca Atalla will bring to our sport, in assurance it will be well planned and entertaining. In the meantime, be sure to pay Gallerr a visit and check the historic content and incredible technique database on display there.

Gallerr Website:

Cover photo: Luca Atalla (front) at the Instagram/Facebook headquarters with colleagues  Marco Nascimento, Thiago Nascimento and Rodrigo of Península BJJ.

John Danaher BJJ Escapes

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