Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Flavio Santiago is a Luta Livre Black Belt who now resides in France and trains his students to break limbs. What more could you ask for in a good instructor?

For those of you that are grappling laymen, Luta Livre is BJJ's evil cousin. For years Luta Livre Esportiva (LL) and BJJ had a long standing rivalry that pinned styles against each other. Luta Livre was often considered a poor man's BJJ since often times the LL players were poor and did not wear gi's (or could not afford too.) Luta Livre allows any and all locks/cranks which those in the BJJ community thought was dirty. Regardless of those past stereotypes LL is an awesome artform and takes influences from Judo, wrestling, and CACC to create a Brazilian form of no-gi submission grappling. Luta Livre is also the precursor to Vale Tudo.

Over the years, many of the rivalries have been squashed or pushed to the wayside and the popularity of MMA has put BJJ on the map as a legitimate sport. Unfortunately this has left LL in the shadows where it has been hiding for a long time. There are still a few surviving schools in Brazil and a few have branched out to the US, UK, Germany and France. For example Team Kaobon from the UK hosts a hotbed of UFC talent, all lead by a Luta Livre Black Belt Professor, Marcelo Brigadero.

Take a look at this video where Flavio Santiago shows us a LL/no gi counter to my much beloved DLR hooks.