Monday, December 17, 2012


That's right, grapplers.  Here's Round Number 2 of our, hopefully permanent, collaboration with BJJ Hacks by Hywel Teague.  It's particularly exciting to read about red belts in Brazil.  So, let's get to it:

One thing for sure about the Red Belts documentary: it's going to be very interesting. Every week, we meet someone new who just adds more depth to the project.

Jose 'Leao' Teixeira with just a few of his many students
For example, last weekend we went to Jose 'Leao' Teixeira's Escola de Jiu-Jitsu end-of-year graduation ceremony. Everyone's hosting their graduations right now, as here in Rio the end of year is traditionally a time where promotions are made.

'Ze' as he is known is a sixth degree black belt and is an important player on the Rio jiu-jitsu scene. Apart from being a founding member of Gracie Barra, a technical director of the IBJJF, and an original student of Rolls Gracie, Ze is also known for his work teaching jiu-jitsu to kids. Guys look up to him so much, black belts from many different teams all bring their kids to him to train. He's taught countless people in his many years as a teacher, and will happily regale you with stories of teaching a 15-year-old Renzo Gracie.

'Ze' in action at the International Masters and Seniors

While at Ze's graduation, he introduced us to one of the guys who regularly trains at his academy, a 7th degree coral belt called Lucio Novelli. At 66 years old, Lucio is still on the mats at least twice a week, but what really interested us was when he told us he was a pupil of Joao Alberto Barreto, one of our featured Grand Masters, from as far back as 1969. He had a lot of cool stuff to say about how training was back then compared to now, and it'll really help illustrate what it was like training under the guys who pretty much helped create modern jiu-jitsu.

Also, Lucio moves well for a 66-year-old! He showed us some open guard stuff that was really nice – when guys have his experience in jiu-jitsu their application of techniques that we take for granted is just on another level. It's really approaching the invisible jiu-jitsu we hear so much about, but what nobody can seem to accurately describe.

This guy rolls twice a week, without fail 
Most of our time is taken up with working on the Red Belts doc so unfortunately we didn't make too many 'normal' BJJ Hacks videos these last few months. A combination of workload and technical issues meant our monthly release schedule got screwed up big time.

7th degree black and red belt Lucio Novelli

Well, we're going to make it up to you in 2013. Right now, we're working a bunch of videos (one for a December release) and we've got a whole load of filming on the horizon.

Obviously nothing is 100% and our release schedule is subject to change but here's what we're working on right now.

• De la Riva
• What it was like to train under Rolls Gracie
• Caio Terra
• Marina Ribeiro
• Favela jiu-jitsu
• The Red Belts documentary

… and maybe if the gods of BJJ look down on us favourable we might just get that goddamn Miyao Bros film done.

Until next time…


  1. Cool stuff, can't wait to see these documentaries come to life!

    Keep up the good work

  2. Any details on the Caio Terra one?

    1. We already know his brother Kim but our good friend Felipe Costa is hooking us up when Caio comes home for Xmas. Should be cool meeting him, we're looking forward to it

  3. Fun read. Keep up the good work guys!


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