Otavio Sousa is a Gracie Barra representative and one of the top fighters in jiu jitsu’s middleweight division. A BJJ black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior, Otavio Sousa spent most of his jiu jitsu education with coach “Zé Radiola” at the Gracie Academy in Recife.
2010s Jiu Jitsu
Josh Griffiths is a BJJ black belt under former UFC title contender Kenny Florian, and the main instructor of the Clockwork Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Josh Griffiths started his career in jiu jitsu under Fabio Clemente of Alliance, and trained with Marcelo Garcia for a long period of time before he severed his ties with the Alliance Academy duo in a well debated case all over the internet which ended in a lawsuit against Garcia & Clemente (later dismissed), and shook the BJJ community back in 2007. Josh Griffiths was also one of the top competitors in the New York BJJ scene with wins at the Pan American Championship as a brown belt and multiple World Jiu Jitsu Pro Cup trials wins.
An avid competitor for the Grappling Fight Team academy, Vitor Henrique Oliveira is a jiu jitsu black belt under Master Adilson Lima “Bitta”. Vitor Henrique is also one of the few representatives of the famous Rio de Janeiro based team (GFT) outside Brazilian soild, more precisely in Ohio, United States of America.
Igor Rodrigues, also known as “Baixinho”, is a jiu jitsu lack belt under Marcos Chuck who trains and competes for the Checkmat academy in Rio de Janeiro. Originally from the region of Buzios, Igor became a Capoeira master before turning to BJJ. His biggest achievements to this date in grappling have been his titles at the Brazilian nationals.
Ben Baxter is a jiu jitsu black belt graduated by the iconic Wellington “Megaton” Diaz who trains and competes for the Rafael Lovato Junior academy. Ben is regarded as one of the top competitors in the United States having medalled in many important tournaments
Vitor Toledo, also known as “Gigante” is a jiu jitsu black belt under Erivaldo Junior with a long list of achievements in the black belt medium heavy weight division. Since moving to the Atos team Toledo started making a bigger impact in the main events of the BJJ calendar, namely two silver medals at the Pan American & the World Pro Cup (2012). Vitor is also the cousin of another established black belt, Eduardo Toledo.
David Juliano is a BJJ black belt competitor in the feather weight division, who often competes for Atos Jiu Jitsu. David has won important titles at black belt such as the South American title, the European Open and many other tournaments at a national and international level.
Koji Shibamoto is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo black belt who is regarded as one of the top grapplers in jiu jitsu’s rooster weight division. A former competitor for the Tokai University judo team, who also represented Japan at international judo tournaments, Koji Shibamoto turned his focus to BJJ in the mid 2000’s where, under the instruction of Mitsuyoshi Hayakawa, he became one of the most acknowledged Japanese fighters of his generation.
Rodrigo Fajardo is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the illustrious Gustavo Muggiati who fights for the Gracie Barra – Curitiba team camp. Rodrigo Fajardo has been a top competitor for the medium heavyweight division since the mid 2000’s conquering several important tournaments including the European Open, the Brazilian national championship and the south American championship.
Valmyr Neto is one of the top BJJ black belts competing and coaching in the United Kingdom. Originally from Belém do Pará (the birthplace of Jiu Jitsu in Brazil), Neto travelled to England after he earned his black belt from Walter “Broca”, where he established his team in the region of Gravesend.
Marcos de Souza is an accomplished Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under his father, Adilson de Souza. Marcos comes from a family of competitors including his father Master Adilson (RIP) and his brothers Mauricio Dai Souza, Roberto Satoshi and Cristiane Yukari de Souza. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Marcos moved to Japan in 2007 where he opened a BJJ academy together with his brothers.
James Puopolo is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Rafael Lovato Junior who became one of the most highly regarded American submission grapplers in the BJJ circuit having won several important tournaments at a national and international level.
Roberto “Toshi”, is the son of the late Master Adilson de Souza, he is also one of the top competitors in the Jiu Jitsu lightweight division. Having been a BJJ black belt since May 2011, Roberto Satoshi has already beaten some of the division’s top athletes, such as Michael Langhi and JT Torres havin won important tournaments including the Mundial, the European Open, the Asian Open and many others.
Marina Ribeiro is a top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor from the Checkmat Team out ofRio de Janeiro,Brazil. A proof of just how talentedMarinais was her meteoric rise to black belt, which took her only 4 years, training under the legendary and former BJJ World Champion, Ricardo Vieira.
Renan Barão is a professional MMA fighter with a Jiu Jitsu background having become the 100th black belt awarded by the Andre Pederneiras in 2011. Originally fighting out of the Kimura/Nova Uniao camp in his naive town of Natal (RN), Barao also trains regularly at Rio de Janeiro with the main Nova Uniao team, sharing the mats with Jose Aldo, Marlon Sandro and many others.
Mark Ramos is an accomplished American fighter who holds a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Master Edson Carvalho. Born and raised in New Jersey, Ramos became a very successful competitor earning his black belt in an astonishing 5 and ½ years.
James Harbison (often called “Jim” or “Jimmy” Harbison) is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Lloyd Irvin who gained notoriety in the grappling circuit after he won the 3 major tournaments in the IBJJF circuit in the brown belt division (European Open, Pan American & Mundial) in 2011. Since achieving such an impressive landmark, Harbison has been awarded his black belt and is an avid presence in the main Jiu Jitsu tournaments.
A fantastic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner from Danmark, Alexander Trans had a rampant career as a purple and brown belt, winning every major tournament in the world before earning his black belt from Leonardo Vieira late in 2011. Alexander is a Checkmat representative in Copenhagen, training alongside Ida Hansson, Shimon Mochizuki and many others.
The creator of the Baratoplata technique, Rafael Freitas (AKA Barata) is also an accomplished Jiu Jitsu black belt, having competed and won in some of the most respected tournaments in the BJJ international circuit. Barata is also the coach of Gracie Barra New Mexico.
Ian Mcpherson is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Master Romero “Jacaré” Cavalcanti and one of the top competitors from the Alliance HQ academy in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where he also learned a great deal from “Cobrinha”. Mcpherson made a name for himself by winning the World BJJ Championship and the Pan American as a brown belt back in 2010.