Wednesday, September 10, 2014


After many years of covering grappling from around the world we feel we have done at least a tiny bit in helping to expose the importance and influence of Luta Livre on both BJJ and MMA. We've covered the history of LL and it's roots it Catch Wrestling and Judo, several times before. There really is no need to do it again, but we will leave you with a few broad points to ponder (which of course will make some people angry.)

1. Catch Wrestling (the father of LL) is the catalyst in the "creation" of BJJ.
2. You would not be attacking ankles in the gym if it wasn't for Luta Livre.
3. LL has had more influence on modern MMA than any other art.

Now that we have made you irate, its time to enjoy a video from Luta Livre Blackbelt and ADCC vet Nicolas Renier, NR Fight Productions brings us Luta Livre Spirit featuring Roberto Leitao. Watch and enjoy some of the greatest and most influential grapplers in the world.


  1. I'm a BJJ guy and it is funny to think if a Luta Livre guy won UFC 1 we would all be doing that now instead of BJJ. Its crazy how one single moment in time could impact an entire sport like that.

    You are going to have to explain point 3 to me in more detail :)

    1. Very good point!
      For #3, the LL fighters forced BJJ players to play their own game. Meaning they forced BJJ guys to take off the kimonos and pants, and fight with open rules which included leg locks and usually striking (Vale Tudo matches.) LL practicioners have also always had an open mind toward training (especially since the art is a hybrid of CACC and Judo.) They were one the the first to incorporate boxing strikes and later the first to add Muay Thai into their arsenal. Those elements describe virtually the same approach of modern MMA - Wrestling, Sub Grappling, Muay Thai.

    2. Ah I see! Thanks for explaining it :)

  2. Like most things, its debatable. Might have depended more on which one imported/marketed their art to the US faster/better. Clearly 93' helped the rep of BJJ out a ton, but the real lesson was learning to fight on the ground instead of thinking your supreme one-dimensional martial skills will prevent anyone from taking you down.

    I wish we had more LL schools here to crosstrain with...

    1. I def agree. The money and marketing behind the Gracies allowed them to push their particular style of Japanese Jiu Jitsu (with a new name) and make it mainstream via UFC. I also wish it was more popular in the US, unfortunately like most CACC influenced arts, it's a rarity to find qualified instructors and good schools.