Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art and combat system that puts heavy focus on grappling and ground-fighting. Evolving from Japanese roots in 1920’s Brazil, the martial art has continued to develop and be refined to this day. Though to understand a subject deeper, it is necessary to go back to the beginning. In this case, it means going back and taking a look at the origins of Judo and the Kodokan in Japan.
Birth of Judo
Judo was founded by a man called Jigoro Kano (1860-1939). Kano was a Japanese educator and athlete; a highly-educated man who had tremendous influence on the modern Japanese education system. He was a principled man who sought to preserve the ancient martial traditions of Japan whilst employing some Western pedological ideas he had come across. This combination of ideals laid a strong foundation for what would become Judo and Judo education. Kano had learned techniques from two traditional systems: Tenshin Shin’yo and Kito Ruy. It is from these traditional systems that he developed and founded his own style in the form of Kodokan Judo in 1882. Stemming from his foundations in ‘JuJutsu,’ Kano develop his Judo techniques out of necessity. Being a man of small stature, and finding himself repeatedly beaten in sparring sessions by seniors at his school, Kano began to implement unfamiliar techniques into his sparring. He attempted various sumo and western wrestling throws/holds against his tougher and more experienced opponents, and kept the techniques which proved useful. It was this early free sparring or ‘randori’ that would lay the bedrock for Judo’s effectiveness, and by extension, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s effectiveness against live opponents. Traditional Japanese JuJutsu specialised in pre-arranged sequences of attacks and stances known as ‘kata,’ which would often be taught to students first as a means of helping them to attain familiarity with the body mechanics and unusual movements found in martial arts. Kano recognised the value of these katas, but he believed that the true growth and effectiveness of his Judo lay in the non-cooperative sparring called Randori. This free sparring allowed the practitioners to develop the correct mindset against a resisting opponent, as well as attaining technical proficiency and strength against an opponent who is fighting back.
After defining his Judo as a standalone martial art, Kano would have his chance to prove its effectiveness in the famous tournament hosted by the Tokyo Police in 1886. Fifteen matches were held at the tournament, and of these fifteen bouts the Kodokan Judo fighters won thirteen, proving the applicability and effectiveness of Judo and its training styles.
Kodokan Judo appeared undefeatable for several years after the 1886 tournament. Challengers from traditional styles couldn’t seem to defeat the Kodokan fighters; that is until the turn of the nineteenth century. The Kodokan fighters were challenged by a man named Mataemon Tanabe, a headmaster of an unknown system of Jit Jitsu called ‘Fusen Ryu.’ Unlike the traditional styles that had challenged the Kodokan before, the Fusen Ryu fighters possessed a different weapon: ground fighting. The Kodokan syllabus of training, at that point, placed very little emphasis on combat on the ground, instead focusing mainly on various throws and trips. This lack of awareness of ground fighting was displayed unequivocally in the Kodokan vs Fusen Ryu bouts. Every Kodokan fighter was taken to the ground and then submitted. Being an astute martial artist and educator, Kano invited Tanabe to teach his ground fighting techniques at the Kodokan school. This style merged well with Judo and it became popular among students at the school. During this period of evolution and Fusen Ryu techniques being introduced the Kodokan syllabus, a young man named Mitsuyo Maeda put on his Judo Gi for the first time.
Maeda and the Gracies
Mitsuyo Maeda (1878 – 1941) was a martial artist savant and one of the greatest fighters ever in Judo. Originally training in classical Jiu Jitsu and Sumo styles, Maeda eventually succumbed to the allure of Judo and entered the Kodokan. Being 164cm tall and weighing around 64kg, Maeda was spotted by Kano upon entering the Kodokan and assigned to 4th Dan instructor Tsunejiro Tomita, the smallest of the Kodokan instructors. This was to show to the new student, and others who may have been watching, that size was not important in mastery and application of Judo principles. Tomita was regarded as the weakest of the Kodokan judoka, yet this didn’t stop him from besting jujutsu champions of the time, including Hansuke Nakamura from the Tenjin Shin’yo-ryu style.
Maeda quickly made a name for himself with his skill and impressive competition performance, and along with Soishiro Satake, became the head of the second generation of Kodokan Judoka. Satake would later travel to Manaus with Maeda in 1914 and become the founder of the first historically registered Judo academy in Brazil. Maeda and Satake were one of the five Kodokan experts (Maeda being a newaza or ground-work specialist) sent overseas by Kano to demonstrate and spread the art of Judo to the world. Maeda initially visited a number of countries and accepted challenges from various opponents specialising in wrestling, boxing, savate etc. He spent time in the US in 1904 where he demonstrated his Judo against opponents with and without the gi. After spending a few years travelling across countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Europe, Mexico and Cuba, Maeda arrived in Brazil on November 14th 1914.
After settling in Brazil, Maeda joined up with an Italian Argentine circus hosted by the Queirolo Brothers. It was here in 1917, that Maeda impressed a young Carlos Gracie with his Judo performance at the Da Paz Theatre. After seeing Maeda’s demonstrations at the circus, Carlos Gracie decided to learn Judo in the city of Belem do Para. Maeda had opened his academy of Jiu Jitsu there and Carlos attended classes with him for years. Carlos would also pass on the knowledge he learnt from his classes with Maeda to his brothers. His younger brother Helio Gracie, being weaker and slighter than his brother, would go on the help him create Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and with the help of Luiz Franca and Oswaldo Fadda, create Brazilian Jiu Jitsu itself.
Helio Gracie (1913-2009) stood out among his Gracie brothers for being the smallest and possessing the least amount of athleticism, though he was still athletic in his own right, having been a rower and a swimmer in his childhood. He came into contact with martial arts at the age of 16 through his brother Carlos. Carlos passed on Master Maeda’s teachings to his brothers Oswaldo, George, Gastao and Helio Gracie, who would later go on to spread the word of their unique style via their Gracie challenge matches. Carlos opened his own school in 1925 Rio de Janeiro, it is here that he brought in his brothers to help him run the school. Out of these Gracie brothers, Helio ultimately become the most famous member. However, this is not to say he was the most competitively successful, that title would go to his brother George Gracie. In fact, Helio is most famous for two of his losses, his bout with Masahiko Kimura (of whom the Kimura armlock takes its name) and Waldemar Santana. These fights took place when Helio was in his forties, and the opponents were younger and larger men.
After the school had been open and running for some time, Carlos decided to devote himself more to the business of the family, leaving Helio as the most responsible one, to continue with the running of the school. Helio continued to run the school and teach the Gracie Jiu Jitsu to family members and students alike. The Gracie family is still one of the strongest talent makers in Jiu Jitsu today, and a lot of the credit for that lineage is thanks to Helio Gracie.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA
The early displays of BJJ merging into complete styles of fighting were the Vale Tudo (anything goes) unsanctioned matches with no rules in 1920’s Brazil. These bouts had very little in the way of health and safety or protective equipment. The fights took place with no gloves, no weight classes, and no time limit. Eye gouging, groin shots and headbutts were allowed, as well as soccer kicks and ten-to-six elbows. The Gracies made a name for themselves at these early Vale Tudo events, and eventually became known across Brazil.
Another grappling style, native to Brazil, was popular during the early years of Vale Tudo. Known as Lute Livre, it was a style of submission grappling that became somewhat of a rival to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. During these early years, Dojo storming and street fights between students of both martial arts were common, and in 1984 an attempt was made to settle these disputes once and for all. The ‘Jiu Jitsu vs Martial Arts’ event was held, at which many notable and important fighters from various disciplines competed. The event proved to be a failure in that it did not cast any light on which style was to be considered superior. So, in 1991 another event was held, which would become one of the most important events ever in Vale Tudo and MMA. The event was named ‘Dasafio – Jiu Jitsu vs Lute Livre,’ where three fighters were chosen from each martial art. The fighters representing BJJ were Wallid Ismail, Fabio Gurgel and Murilo Bustamante versus Eugenio Tadeu, Marcelo Mendes and Denilson Maia from Lute Livre. All three bouts ended in victories for BJJ. This success propelled Jiu Jitsu above Lute Livre and it became considered the stronger style. However, this event did not end the conflict between the two martial arts, and eventually the Brazilian Government stepped in and Vale Tudo was banned.
During the 1980’s, a lot of the Gracie brothers began to emigrate to the United States, specifically California where they set up Jiu Jitsu schools. In a bid to prove the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the American public, the Gracies developed a No Holds Barred event, which would become the UFC. The concept for this event was created by one of Helio Gracie’s sons: Rorion Gracie. Basing it on the Vale Tudo events back in Brazil, Rorion marketed the early UFC as an ‘anything goes’ fighting event. Though Rorion himself could have competed in the event, or indeed his brother Rickson (who was fighting in Japan at this time), it was decided that their younger brother Royce Gracie should represent Gracie Jiu Jitsu in the UFC event. Royce went on to win the competition and eventually become a Hall of Fame fighter. This initial UFC event brought Brazilin (or Gracie) Jiu Jitsu into the public consciousness. Over time, the UFC events experienced strong rule changes in an effort to legitimise the sport and strip it of its ‘blood sport’ connotations. The Jiu Jitsu kimono was removed, gloves were added and certain strikes were made illegal. Still today, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most required and important martial arts in MMA.
Jiu Jitsu Figures
A chronological order of famous Jiu Jitsu practitioners:
Carlos Gracie opens up his own school and George Gracie becomes the Gracies first champion.
Helio Gracie takes over the running of the school in Rio de Janeiro and competes in no holds barred competitions from age 18 onwards.
Pedro Hemeterio, one of Carlos Gracie’s best students wins multiple competitions and helps to develop BJJ in Sao Paulo.
Carlson Gracie is the first instructor to have group classes. His team become extremely strong in MMA and BJJ. Oswaldo Fadda becomes one of the first coaches outside of Rio and leaves lineages in teams such as Nova Uniao and GF Team.
Osvaldo Alves, a skilful Judoka, helps to raise awareness of Judo grappling among the Gracies. He had contact with Reyson and Rolls Gracie and helped develop the sport further. Ivan Gomes cross trains various martial arts, including Jiu Jitsu, and was described by Carlson Gracie as his toughest opponent.
Rolls Gracie expounds on his ideas of cross training in Judo, Wrestling and Sambo. Something which was visionary at the time is now expected today.
Rickson Gracie becomes famed for his undefeated record. After the death of Rolls Gracie, Rickson helped to raise awareness for the art in Japan and the United States. Ricardo De La Riva contributes to the technical development of Jiu Jitsu with his personal guard position.
Fabio Gurgel, the leader of the Alliance Team, wins over Denilson Maia at the Jiu Jitsu vs Lute Livre challenge. Royler Gracie sets the world record for medals at the World Jiu Jitsu championship and ADCC championship. Royce Gracie wins the first UFC and puts Jiu Jitsu on the map. Wallid Ismail, one of Carlson Gracie’s most loyal students, holds wins over numerous Gracie family members including Royce and Renzo.
Terere fights four weight categories above his own at the World Championships in 2004, earning himself a silver medal. Saulo and Xande Ribeiro win together 11 world BJJ gold medals and produce the well-known ‘University of Jiu Jitsu’ book. Marcelo Garcia emerges as a phenomenon and wins multiple world championships. Roger Gracie cements himself as one of the greatest BJJ fighters in the sport with many titles to his name.
Rafael Mendes from Atos makes a name for himself with his dominant style and entertaining guard game.
Jiu Jitsu Teams
Like many sports, Jiu Jitsu began with a strong knit community, but unlike a lot of sports, it has not lost this community, even to this day. During the 1980’s and 1990’s street fighting amongst different Jiu Jitsu schools was common in Brazil. There was a gang mentality in many of the different teams, and changing from one school to another would earn a practitioner the name ‘creonte.’ This essentially meant a traitor and someone who switched masters in Brazil during this time was not looked upon favourably to say the least.
A team composing of great names such as Romero Jacare, Fabio Gurgel, Rubens Charles and Marcelo Garcia, Alliance began as a union between black belt students of Jacare Cavalcanti. The team suffered a split during the 2000’s but has built itself back up to become one of the biggest teams in BJJ.
The 1990’s saw the rise of Carlos Gracie’s team to what it is today. They are a team which rears great talent often including – Carlos Gracie Jr, Jefferson Moura, Marcio Cruz and Vinicious Draculino.
A Gracie institution that is among the oldest there is. One of the most traditional academies in the world, they have produced many notable competitors from their home in Rio de Janeiro. These include: Royler Gracie, Rickson Gracie, Saulo Ribeiro, Alexandre Ribeiro, Leticia Ribeiro etc.
A team with a strong Christian background, Atos instructs its students in Christian teachings. It is one of the younger teams on the competiton circuit and has done extremely well, boasting talents such as Ramon Lemos, Andre Galvao, Rafael Mendes, Claudio Calasans, Guilherme Mendes etc.
Another of the ‘young teams’ in the competiton circuit, Checkmat has become successful in a short amount of time and has champions in various competitions. They have competitiors such as Ricardo Viera, Leo Viera, Michelle Nicolini and Lucas Leite.
These days this team tends to focus more on MMA than Jiu Jitsu competiton, but it once had one of the strongest lightweight teams ever seen. It holds competitors such as Andre Pederneiras, Wendell Alexander, Robson Moura, Jose Aldo etc.
Carlson Gracie Team
One of the oldest and strongest lineages in Jiu Jitsu. Today it is not as strong as it once was but it has a notable alumni list of Carlson Gracie, Cassio Cardoso, Sergio Bolao, Murilo Bustamante, Ze Mario Sperry etc.
Regulated by a governing body in the form of the IBJJF, Jiu Jitsu has grown very quickly since 1990. Some of the biggest competitions in the Jiu Jitsu world are regulated by the IBJFF all over the world.
The World Jiu Jitsu Championships (Mundial)
Starting in 1996, this is now the biggest Jiu Jitsu tournament in the world. It is run by CBJJ and IBJJF.
The Pan Jiu Jitsu Championship (Pan American)
This is the second largest Jiu Jitsu championship in the world.
World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship
A newer competiton on the circuit, competitors compete in a series of trials across the world in order to be eligible to enter the tournament.
Brasileiro de Jiu Jitsu (Brazilian National Championships)
Held in Brazil, this tournament is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions.
European Open Championship
The biggest competition in Europe and a chance for Jiu Jitsu practitioners in Europe to show themselves on the big stage. This competition is held in Lisbon, Portugal in January every year.
Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC)
The largest and most prestigious grappling competition there is. Though not exclusively for Jiu Jitsu, BJJ practitioners have been the most successful across all events.
There is a large variety to the rule sets in competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and this has led to much controversy and confusion. There is a constant battle between keeping the sports essence, keeping it entertaining and preserving the health of the competitiors. One of the most controversial rule decisions was the ‘reaping of the knee’ rule by the IBJJF. Generally, most competitions, except for maybe the ‘EBI’ (Eddie Bravo Invitational), have a points based system in which a competitor is awarded points for advancing positions. A submission equals an immediate victory. Competitions such as the ‘EBI’ differ in that rather than using points to measure dominance, submission is the only route to victory. This has been implemented in order to incentivise competitors to ‘go for the kill’ whilst competing, rather than playing it safe and winning on points from positional dominance.
The standard time limit on adult BJJ matches in IBJJF sanctioned competitions is ten minutes. Though some competitions, usually privately funded competitions allow no time limit on bouts. They effectively let the matches go on until a winner is decided.
The main points in most BJJ competitions are:
‘Queda’ – a throw or takedown. This is awarded two points
‘Raspada/Raspagem’ – a Sweep. Two points are awarded.
‘Passagem de Guarda’ – A Guard pass. This is awarded three points.
‘Pedada de Costas’ – The back mount. Taking the back earns four points.
‘Montada’ – This is taking the mount position and earns the attacker four points.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that focuses almost solely on ground fighting, or newaza as it is referred to in Judo. Although a lot of trips and throws can be used by Jiu Jitsu practitioners in order to get a fight to the ground, the majority of BJJ curriculums focus exclusively on movements and techniques that take place once the fight hits the floor.
BJJ makes use of the premise that a bigger, stronger, and faster opponent has most of these attributes negated once a fight is taken to the ground. Superior reach or strength count for much less in grappling, and especially in grappling on the floor. It is this premise that makes Jiu Jitsu such an attractive martial art for many people. It can enable even someone who considers themselves small and weak to learn how to defend themselves against bigger opponents.
The reason fighting on the ground is so effective, is the ability for technique and mechanical advantage to be superior to raw, physical strength in that domain. BJJ is unusual when compared to other grappling disciplines in that it takes into account that the practitioner may find themselves with their back on the floor. They may have been outwrestled, they may weigh much less than their attacker or have been taken by surprise. It is here where the ‘full guard’ comes into play. A signature position of BJJ, the full guard is a defensive position employed when the practitioner is on their back with the opponent in between their legs. The position is still considered more advantageous for the person on top as they still have gravity to help them generate power. However, an experienced grappler can make this defensive position work for them against even the most aggressive opponent.
In the full guard, the practitioner is controlling the opponent from his back with his legs. The practitioner can upset the balance of the opponent by using the legs and feet to push and pull. This position is defensive in nature and good for setting up counter attacks or submissions against an opponent. It is from this position that the Guard player can utilise ‘sweeps,’ which are movements that essentially reverse the positions of the two grapplers. The guard player can sweep the opponent so that the opponent is now on their back and the guard player moves on top. This is often done by disrupting the opponents balance significantly.
In the closed guard the practitioner his opponent trapped between his legs. He locks his ankles behind the opponents back and prevents him from standing up. The arms and hands of the practitioner control the upper body of the opponent, and it is here that many submissions such as ‘the armbar,’ ‘the kimura,’ ‘the cross choke,’ and the ‘Ezekiel choke’ can be set up.
The open guard is considered more versatile and fluid than the closed guard, and it lends itself well to a variety of sweeps. The open guard puts the practitioner in a similar positon to the closed guard (on their back), except they don’t lock their ankles behind the opponents back. This means the opponent can stand up if they wish, and this is often what the guard player would like their opponent to do. A standing opponent can leave a lot of gaps and be easier to sweep for a good guard player. There are many variations of the open guard and many notable Jiu Jitsu names have added their own variations to the collection. Some distinct names are ‘Butterfly Guard,’ ‘De La Riva Guard,’ ‘X-Guard,’ ‘Spider Guard,’ and more. These guards all have different strengths and weaknesses. The Butterfly guard for example, which is when the guard player has the insteps of their feet ‘stuck’ behind their opponent’s knees, is useful for sweeping opponents and manipulating their weight effectively. However, it has a weakness in that an opponent can more easily pass this guard because there is less resistance for them to fight against.
The Half Guard describes itself quite well in its name. It is a halfway point between the Full Guard and being in Side Mount – which we will discuss shortly. In the half guard the practitioner has one of their opponent’s legs trapped with both of their legs. This position is often considered weaker than full guard, but a lot of famous Jiu Jitsu fighters actually prefer this guard, as they find it easier to set up sweeps from there. Fighters such as Bernardo Faria and Lucas Leite are considered Half Guard experts and have entire books on this guard.
Side control is considered a more dominant position for the attacker on top and is the position an attacker will usually end up in after passing someone’s guard. From this position the practitioner on the bottom (or guard player) will generally try to reclaim their guard in some form – whether it be half guard or full guard is dependent on skill and luck.
In this position the attacker lies across their opponent with their weight applied mainly to their opponent’s chest. This position is one of the most unpleasant for the opponent on the bottom as they have gravity and their opponent’s full weight bearing down upon them. It has been known for many beginner students to tap out from side mount alone due to the pressure some practitioners can apply in this position. However, against more experienced grapplers, pressure is used to make them uncomfortable enough so that they will give something up or invite a pass to full mount.
This position, though limited in its amount of submissions, is excellent for control and so it is seen very often in MMA bouts. MMA fighters will control someone in side mount and rain punches and elbows down on them, whilst making sure they have incredible difficulty escaping. In Jiu Jitsu matches typical submissions from this positon include the armbar, the Americana, the kimura and also the Von Flue choke (which is also a defence against the Guillotine choke).
The full mount is perhaps the most dominant position in BJJ and feels like a naturally dominant position as well. In this position the attacker sits astride their opponent’s chest, controlling their opponent with their bodyweight and hips. The attacker can make it hard for the defender to muster any sort of defence in this position, by manoeuvring their knees into the defender’s armpits, they can open up submissions and decrease the defenders chance to escape. Many submissions are available from this position including the ‘Ezekiel choke,’ ‘Armbar,’ ‘Cross Collar Choke’ and ‘Americana.’
The back mount could be considered to be on par with the full mount in terms of dominance. There are very few attacks available for someone defending in this position, and a lot of attacks such as chokes available for the attacker. The attacker attaches to their opponents back and hooks the opponent’s thighs with their heels. They can also lock the defender in a body triangle by putting one leg across the defender’s waist and then placing the back of the opposite knee over their instep like in a triangle choke. This position often ends in a submission for the attacker, usually the rear naked choke.
Most submissions do one of two things: applying locking pressure to a joint, or cut off the blood to a part of the body – usually the brain. Joint locks involve isolating an opponent’s limb and applying a force to it against a lever which will force the joint to move further along its plane of motion than is intended. In training this pressure is applied to the isolated joint in a controlled manner so that the opponent has time to tap (submit).
A choke hold involves applying enough pressure to an artery or collection of arteries that blood flow is interrupted and results in unconsciousness. These submissions are typically not as painful as a joint lock, and so it can be more difficult for a student to know exactly when to tap. Generally, if the practitioner is out of escape options and the pressure is being applied, then it’s time to tap.
Compression locks are also a type of submission that is used in Jiu Jitsu. This is where an opponent’s muscle is compressed hard against a bone such as the wrist or shin. These locks tend to cause significant pain which results in the tap. The risk for muscle damage is high, and so these types of submissions are illegal in a lot of competitions.
Uniform and Grading
Similar to that of Judo practitioners, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu kimono is a thick material designed for repeated grabbing and pulling. Unlike the Judo uniform, the Jiu Jitsu Gi has tighter cuffs on the pants and jacket.
BJJ Kimonos are often noticed for having a large number of badges covering them, which are most often displaying the fighter’s school and sponsors. The BJJ kimono market has grown considerably in recent years and there is now considered to be a fashion/style element to consider when choosing a new kimono.
The grading system in BJJ is stricter than other popular martial arts such as Karate or Taekwondo. A black belt in BJJ can take upwards of ten years of consistent training to earn. The order of belts in Jiu Jitsu is: The order of belts in Jiu Jitsu is:
Students can expect to spend at least a year on each belt. A new belt is awarded when a student displays significant improvement in technical knowledge and practical skill. In other words, a student must be able to show the movements with correct technique, and the apply these movements and techniques under stress in sparring.
Notable Jiu Jitsu Fighters
International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Champions:
- Roger Gracie, Brazilian
- Amaury Bitetti, Brazilian,
- Romulo Barral, Brazilian,
- Oswaldo Fadda, Brazilian
- Ricardo Liborio, Brazilian,
- Kyra Gracie, Brazilian,
- Claudia Gadelha, Brazilian,
- Andre Galvao, Brazilian,
- Marcelo Garcia, Brazilian,
- Cristiane Justino, Brazilian,
- Rafael Lovato Jr., American,
- Demian Maia, Brazilian,
- Fredson Paixão, Brazilian,
- Tarsis Humphreys, Brazilian,
- J. Penn, American,
- Pablo Popovitch, Brazilian,
- Ronaldo Souza, Brazilian,
- Michael Langhi, Brazilian,
- Saulo Ribeiro, Brazilian
- Xande Ribeiro, Brazilian
- Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Brazilian
- Rodolfo Vieira, Brazilian
- Bernardo Faria, Brazilian
- Léo Nogueira,Brazilian
- Leticia Ribeiro, Brazilian
- Dominyka Obelenyte, Lithuanian
- Gabrielle Garcia, Brazilian
- Beatriz Mesquita, Brazilian
- Andresa Correa, Brazilian
- Fernanda Maio, Brazilian
- Vitor Ribeiro, Brazilian
- Fabio Gurgel, Brazilian
- Braulio Estima, Brazilian
- Rafael Mendes, Brazilian
- Guilherme Mendes, Brazilian
- Leonardo Vieira, Brazilian
- Pablo Silva, Brazilian
- Fernando Tererê, Brazilia
- Ricardo Vieira, Brazilian
- Paulo Miyao, Brazilian
- Caio Terra, Brazilian
- Claudio Calasans, Brazilian
- Gabriel Moraes, Brazilian
- Gabriel “Fedor” Lucas, Brazilian
- Lucas Alves Lepri, Brazilian
- Bruno Malfacine, Brazilian
- Fabricio Werdum, Brazilian
- Sérgio Moraes, Brazilian
- Leandro Lo, Brazilian
- Robson Moura, Brazilian
- Rubens Charles Maciel, Brazilian
Jiu Jitsu Masters – Coral Belts
- Rickson Gracie
- Carlos Gracie Jr.
- Carlos Machado
- Romero Jacaré
- Crezio de Souza
- Rigan Machado
- Jean Jacques Machado
- Mauricio Motta Gomes
- Joe Moreira
- Geny Rebello
- Armando Wridt
- Sérgio Penha
- Royler Gracie
- Fabio Santos
- Jorge Pereira
- Luiz Palhares
- Carlos “Caique” Elias
- Pedro Sauer
- Monir Salomão
- Julio Cesar Pereira
- Marcio Stambowsky
Jiu Jitsu Grand Masters – 9th Degree Red Belts
- Pedro Hemeterio
- João Alberto Barreto
- Alvaro Barreto
- Flavio Behring
- Carlson Gracie
- Carley Gracie
- Geny Rebello
- Armando Wridt
- Pedro Valente
- Wilson Mattos
- Luis Carlos Guedes de Castro
- Francisco Mansur
- Rorion Gracie
- Osvaldo Alves
- Relson Gracie
- Carlos Antonio Rosado
- Renato Paquet
- Carlos Robson Gracie
- Amelio Arruda
- Arthur Virgilio Neto
- Candido Casale “Candoca
- Crézio Chavez
- Deoclécio Paulo
- Eduardo Gomes Pereira
- Geraldo Flores
- Helio Vigio
- José Higino
- Julio Secco
- Nilton Pereira da Silva
- Octavio de Almeida
- Oswaldo Carnivalle
- Oswaldo “Paqueta”
- Paulo Mauricio Strauch
- Pedro Emerito
- Walter Nogueira
- Orlando SaraivaCarlson Gracie
Jiu Jitsu Grand Masters – 10th Degree Red Belts Belts
- Donato Pires Dos Reis
- Carlos Gracie
- Gastao Gracie Jr.
- Oswaldo Gracie
- Helio Gracie
- Luiz França Filho
- Oswaldo Fadda
Jiu Jitsu Influences and Sources
- Jigoro Kano
- Mitsuyo Maeda
- Geo Omori
- Soshihiro Satake