Gustavo Pires, commonly known as “Siri”, is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Junior, and one of the top Gracie Barra competitors in the sport’s super-heavyweight division with medals at the Pan American, No Gi World, World Masters and Brazilian National Championships. Founder of the Gracie Barra Fullerton academy, Gustavo Siri is also known for his coaching abilities, having been crucial in the development of important grapplers such as André Campos and Bruno Rocha.
Julio “Foca” Fernandez is one of the late Carlson Gracie’s most well known black belts in the United States. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Fernandez moved to the United States in the late 1980’s being a pioneer for Brazilian jiu jitsu in the country. Julio is also the co-founder of BJJ Revolution Team.
Andris Brunovskis is a versatile grappler, known for his flexible and offensive guard game. This accomplished jiu jitsu black belt (awarded by Andre Galvao) is regarded as one of the top American competitors in the Brazilian jiu jitsu scene.
Jaime Canuto is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Renato Verás and a representative of the prestigious GF Team. A world and pan american champion in the brown belt division (2013) and a Rio Open absolute champion (2014)
Gustavo Dias is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Cristiano Marcello and Ocimar Costa, who competes for the Gracie Humaita team, Dias has a long list of accomplishments
Marcio André is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and one of the top athletes of his generation in the sport, being also one of the prime representatives of the Nova Uniao team in the gi.
Thiago Sá Fortes is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Ricardo Vieira, and a top level competitor in the IBJJF tournament circuit, representing the Checkmat academy.
Fabio Caloi is a Jiu Jitsu world champion competitor and a black belt under Fabio Gurgel. Fabio, also known as ‘Fabinho’ Caloi, belongs to an elite generation of grapplers developed by the Alliance Academy, a generation that raised waves in the lower belts of the sport, continuing in great form through the black belt divisions.
Leo D’avila is a Jiu Jitsu black belt under Benevenuto Antunes, having become an accomplished grappler with medals at the highest level of the sport, such as the US Nationals, Brazilian Nationals and the Pan American Championships. D’avila is also a coach at the world class Atos Academy in San Diego.
João Paulo Oliveira , also known as ‘Jones’, is the coordinator of the competition team of Strauch Jiu Jitsu academy. Considered the by many as Master Paulo Maurício Strauch’s ‘right hand man’, Jones became a regular competitor in the Rio de Janeiro BJJ circuit, having won many titles such as State Champion and America’s Cup Champion.
José Mario Queiroga, more commonly known in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community as Zé Mario Esfiha, is a BJJ 4th degree black belt under Roberto Traven, and a World, Pan American and Brazilian National medallist who is also known as one of the founders of the Brasa Jiu Jitsu academy.
Yukinori Sasa is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the legendary Yuki Nakai, from the renowned grappling academy Paraestra in Japan. Although Sasa is not an avid competitor in the main IBJJF competitions, his skills have earned him medals at the black belt division of the World (Mundial) and Pan American championships, making him one of the top super featherweights of his generation.
A Brazilian native of Japanese descent, Juan Caio Kamezawa, was regarded by the end of 2012 as one of the hottest Jiu Jitsu prospects in the world, since then the Fabio Gurgel and Luciano Nucci (Casquinha) black belt from the Alliance academy has confirmed this status.
John Crouch is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under the legendary Gracie Jiu Jitsu fighter, Royce Gracie. Crouch learned his BJJ skill from the Gracie family having used his knowledge as a coach, teaching both MMA (mixed martial arts) and BJJ at the world famous martial arts academy, MMA Lab.
Luis Herédia, also known by his nickname ‘Limão’ within the Jiu Jitsu community is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt which he earned training under Rickson Gracie’s tuition, and a historical figure in the development of the martial art in Hawaii, especially in island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands.
Rockson Gracie was the oldest son of the legendary Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter and MMA pioneer Rickson Gracie, who was considered by many, to be one of the greatest prospects in BJJ during the 1990’s decade. Rockson Gracie would also become one of the sports saddest losses when he passed away on December of 2000 in New York.
John Lewis is former MMA fighter and a martial artist who holds black belts in a variety of fighting styles, including a black belt in judo awarded by the legendary Gene LeBell and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Master André Pederneiras, having been mentioned by many as one of the first true mixed martial artists, considering he mastered many different styles in a time when only style specialists were fighting MMA.
Rodrigo Conceição, more commonly known as Rodrigo “Aquiles” (also spelled Akillis or Achilles), is one of the top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts in the lightweight division who competes for the Alliance Academy, Rodrigo Aquiles is also part of an incredible tradition of BJJ competitors from the Cantagalo slums in Rio de Janeiro, an area of the city that has produced several big names of the sport.
Jackson Sousa is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Rico Vieira, competitor off of the Fightzone academy in Rio de Janeiro – Checkmat Academy headquarters, and who is another child of Vieira’s social project at the Cantagalo’s slums.
Crézio Chavez is an important figure of Jiu Jitsu having attained the 9th degree (red belt) in the gentle art. Crézio Chavez competed several times for the Gracie Academy in the 1950s decade in Vale Tudo fights ending his career undefeated. Chavez was also a great ambassador of BJJ in Petropolis, Brazil, where he opened the first academy of the region