Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sad News

Alliance Blog readers. The article below is about a young man who trained with a lot of our friends and associates at Fort Benning. As you may know the head of the Army Hand to Hand combat program "Combatives" is a man named Matt Larsen. Mr. Larsen is one of Jacare's black belts. Because of Jacare's constant involvement with the Army, and especially the Rangers, this hits very close to the Alliance family.


Brain aneurism victim Pedrinho Brandao will be missed

by Deb Blyth — May 29, 2010.

The sum of a man’s life is not measured by the words he says or the promises he makes. It’s calculated by the actions he takes; the values he lives by; the character he demonstrates; the honor he portrays; the integrity he possesses; and the kindness he shows to the world.

A happy Brandao back to BJJ training at GB America

If Pedrinho Lacerda Brandao was judged by these tenets, then his life would be deemed a success.

Brandao had the heart of a lion. He was a warrior; a soldier; a fighter; a competitor…he was all those things and more. He was a Gracie Barra black belt; an Army Ranger; a husband; a father; a brother; a teacher; a mentor; and a friend. He was fearless in life, which he lived to the fullest. His young, accomplished life was suddenly and tragically cut short, but the legacy he leaves behind runs long and deep.

Brandao’s journey in life began in Rio, and was molded by Jiu-Jitsu and the friends and family he made through it. “I started training BJJ because of Flavio (Almeida),” Brandao said, “We lived next to each other and surfed together. Flavio, Marcio (Feitosa), Piu Piu (Marco Joca), and I were all friends, along with my brother Marcelo. We trained under Master Carlos. He was my mentor growing up.”

Brandao and his mentor, Master Carlos

Brandao said he did not have the easiest childhood, but Master Carlos was always there for him, and Brandao always listened to him. “He always helped me out,” he said, “He got me focused on Jiu Jitsu and he kept me straight. I will always be thankful to him because he gave me BJJ and it opened all the doors for me. He gave me something that no one can take away from me. It’s in my blood now.”

Later in life, Brandao moved to the States and met Bruce Corrigan, another man who changed his life. Corrigan owned a martial arts school in Tennessee and hired Brandao to work for him. Corrigan not only gave him a way of life, but also helped him get his green card so he could stay in the U.S. “Bruce was like my family in the States,” Brandao says, “When I had nothing, he gave me a hand. He gave me the chance to teach in his school. He always supported me and gave me a life here. He was fair with me. He’s a good guy.”

Brandao with one of his Rangers, Don E. Bowen, at the 2010 Pan

As you can see, Brandao lived an exemplary life of gratitude. He never took anything for granted and he worked hard for what he got. He appreciated what people did for him and also what they meant to him. This was evident when the time came that he decided to do something meaningful with his life. “I decided to change my life,” Brandao said, “I wanted to do something for the country that gave so much to me, so I joined the Army Rangers.”

A person has to be extremely physically and mentally tough to be in the Army Rangers. Brandao said training Jiu-Jitsu in his youth made him mentally strong and taught him the discipline he needed to be successful in the Army.

Brandao ended up being one of three, out of 60 who made it through Basic Training and Airborne School, then he went on to the Ranger Assessment Selection Program and passed that as well.

Brandao eventually became an instructor with the Army Rangers. He said he trained 150 kids at a time, but only an average of 40 to 50 guys made it through his program.

Brandao was in the Army for 5 years but had plans to stay longer. He said he really liked his job serving the country he’d grown to love so much.

Brandao competed in Jiu-Jitsu a lot as a kid and his record was impressive. He won the Pan at blue, purple, and brown belt. He took 3rd place in the Worlds at brown and purple belt and was a two-time Brazilian Nationals Champion.

GB Black Belt Brandao competing for the Army Rangers at the 2010 Pan

Brandao’s presence at the 2010 Pan was made on different terms than his past attendance at these events. This time Brandao led a team of U.S. Army Rangers to the tournament, for the first time in IBJJF history. It was also the first time the Army had ever sent a Jiu Jitsu team to any Jiu Jitsu tournament, all because of Brandao. “I kept pushing for it,” he said.

Brandao said his team did ok at the Pan with the amount of training they were able to do beforehand. “BJJ is like chess,” he said, “You make one little mistake and you’re done. But this is just the beginning. The only way we can go is up. The only way to get better is to keep fighting.”

Training at GB America with Kayron and Otavio

And fighting is what Brandao did best. “It takes a lot of discipline to be able to do my job,” he said. “It’s hard to stay sharp at all times. But you don’t quit. You keep moving forward no matter where you are, no matter where you go. The Rangers always lead the way.”

Even in death, Brandao continues to lead the way. He lived an honorable life and that is inspiring. He was a respected member of his family, his GB family, his circle of friends, and within his Army team. He will be remembered for the valiant, gracious, and respectful way he lived his all-too-short, but very powerful life.

Saturday Camp

Alliance Atlanta World Competitors:

Today we had a large class for one of the last pre-worlds training sessions:

We drilled alot of stand-up grappling today. We did some situational training on defending the single leg takedown:

Judo for the win:

Friday, May 28, 2010

No class Monday 31st

We will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Our regular class schedule will resume Tuesday, enjoy the long weekend

An Interview with Jacare


Romero Cavalcanti interview
27 MAY 2010 0

Interview by David Webb, 26th May 2010. Professor Cavalcanti, thank you so much for taking time out of Mundials preparations to talk to I know you are extremely busy right now so this means an awful lot to our readers and us.

I understand that you were recently awarded your 7th degree black belt (red and black belt) by the IBJJF in the US. That is pretty momentous. What does it mean to you personally to have been awarded such a grade and recognised alongside some of BJJ’s great champions and coaches alike?

Romero ‘Jacare’ Cavalcanti: For me it is a great honour to be recognized as a good coach but I have to share this prize with all my students that helped me over the years to get here, to be in the same level of some of the best instructors especially coming from the only reputable Federation in the world is a dream come true.

KC: How are preparations going for team Alliance ahead of next months Mundials event?

RC: The preparation here in Atlanta is going very well, I have a group of about 30 guys training very hard everyday since the last Pan am where we came home with eleven medals including 9 gold so we are ready to rock the Pyramid in Long Beach next week.

KC: For most people imagining such an array of talent on the mats, being so close to the World Championships is pretty awe-inspiring. Could you take a moment to talk us through a typical training session for a group of current and future world champions such as those training at Alliance headquarters?

RC: Well we start with a good warm up, techniques, situational training, etc. we work hard everyday with love dedication, science behind what we teach and a special sauce that you need to come here to know the secrets.

KC: How do preparations figure in the Alliance schedule for an event such as the Mundials? Do all team Alliance athletes travel to Atlanta to converge at Alliance headquarters or do some stay back in Sao Paulo, at Professor Gurgel’s academy, preferring just to travel a few days before the event?

RC: It depend last year the final stage was here in Atlanta this year Fabio is training the guys in Sao Paulo and I train the my guys here in Atlanta we always have some guests of course, but we all will be in CA. next week.

KC: Back in 2009 we all read of your health scare. How are things now and are you still able to train with the same vigour that you did before the incident occurred or are you forced to take on much more of a ‘coaching role’ off of the mats?

RC: 2009 is year to be forgotten by me, I was very sick and had a heart surgery when I implanted 4 bypasses, but well God gave me a second chance and I am grateful for that. Jiu Jitsu is my life but of course I am 57 now and I don’t train as hard as before when I was young, but I train almost everyday this way I can keep myself in decent shape for my age.

KC: Rubens Charles, Marcelo Garcia, Bernardo Faria, Gabriel Vella, Tarsis Humphreys, Bruno Malfacine, Michael Langhi and Sergio Moraes. Last year (apart from at Pesado and Pluma) Alliance had an athlete on every podium at every other weight category – that’s a pretty impressive feat by any standards. Apart from the ones named above, whom should we be looking out for from the Alliance stable of fighters at this year’s Mundials?

RC: Last year was fantastic the names that you mentioned and more, this year we have some guys in the lower belts that must do really well, our guys from Atlanta Ian, Alec, Jordan, Pedro, Jeff and a few others from Brazil Michel Langhi, Gabriel, Mateu, Bernardo, Dimitri and others. I am confident that they will do really good.

KC: How are the non-Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes from team Alliance shaping up for the [black belt] world stage? Especially as the gulf that once existed between Brazil and the rest of the world seems to be closing.

RC: In my opinion is still early to have some good black belts non-Brazilians but in a few years for sure we will produce some of the best fighters to represent the Alliance Team.

KC: In your opinion, whom should we be looking out for from the US over the next five years to make an impression on the world stage?

RC: It is hard to say but JT Torres is doing very well I think guys like Ian McPherson, Alec Baulding and a few others will do very well, I don’t have all the names on top of my mind because I usually pay attention to my guys but I am sure there will some awesome fighters.

KC: Simple question: Can Alliance take gold in 2010 and make it three years in a row as world team champions?

RC: I think so we have a very strong team but every year will harder, I am confident that we are the team to be beaten but very well prepared for one more challenge.

KC: I believe through injury, at least one of last year’s world champions in Braulio ‘Carcara’ Estima will be absent from this year’s event. A notable absentee from team Alliance is last year’s Pesadíssimo Champion – Gabriel Vella who now represents team Ryan Gracie. Would you care to share with our readers your thoughts on Vella’s decision to leave Alliance? Was it a shock for you?

RC: Not at all it is just life people come people go.

KC: Returning to BJJ from his recent MMA victory will be one Roger Gracie. Do you foresee anyone threatening Roger’s dominance of this year’s event?

RC: Yes of course Roger is the man but he will have to do really well to maintain his titles, there are a lot guys that can do really well against him this year.

KC: Not only are you head of the world best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team but also you have the distinct pleasure of being one of six (Marcio “Macarrão” Stambowsky, Mauricio “Motta” Gomes, Mario Claudio Tallarico, Nicin Azulay, Paulo Conde) Jiu Jitsoka to be awarded their black belt by Rolls Gracie – who was considered the best Jiu Jitsu fighter of the Gracie family. What does that mean to you personally and have you any recollections you would like to share with our readers?

RC: Getting my black belt from Rolls Gracie was a fantastic achievement, maybe the one that I am most proud, he was a phenomenal human being and that is why God called him earlier, he was too good to live in this crazy world where people don’t respect each other, mistreat the animals, burn the forests, pollute the oceans and do anything possible to take advantage on other people.

He also was a fantastic instructor much ahead of his time teaching new techniques, innovating drills and doing everything to get you better, he was responsible for what we are today. I was very lucky to have lived in this time and of course having such great training partners like the ones you mentioned above only made me better, everyday getting brushed on the mats by Mauricio, Macarrão and the others.

KC: You, yourself have awarded some very notable black belts in your time not least; Fabio Gurgel. How does your relationship work in developing such an array of quality grapplers for the world stage?

RC: Me Fabio, Alexandre and all the other Alliance instructors have a close relationship and work together in developing not only the fighters but the methodology and methods of teaching to give everybody the necessary support to build the team and the champions, it is a lot work, with periodic courses, exchanges, camps etc.

KC: In a recent interview on I spoke to Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes about early peers that no longer train Jiu Jitsu that he remembers being particularly great. Are there any guys you remember from your early days that are no longer training Jiu Jitsu (for whatever reason)? Which ones stood out for you as top-class players?

RC: Man I don’t really recall any really good competitors that don’t train anymore, I think if the guy really love Jiu Jitsu he will always be training a little bit at least once in while, Jiu Jitsu is like a drug is a life style, you never stop.

KC: Staying on the subject of people leaving Jiu Jitsu, and with your role as head of such a large Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ‘family’ would you say there is a large drop out rate in Jiu Jitsu or is student retention something that doesn’t really figure at many Jiu Jitsu academies?

RC: People start people stop, every school have to be prepared for the drop out of students, you have to be really good at what you do to keep people motivated to stay, there many things that you can do keep people in, each school have their one method to do it.

KC: From your experience is this different when comparing Jiu Jitsu schools in Brazil vs. the US?

RC: We have more structure here in the US in general, the middle class is much bigger and everybody can pay around 100 to 200 dollars a month to train, but I had a very good school in Brazil and Fabio is not complaining about his business there it depend on your capacity to be well succeed in life, some people win some people loose.

KC: Professor Jacare, once again, thank you very much for taking time out to talk to during what must be an extremely busy period for you and your team. Before we finish the interview is there anything you would like to add or anyone you would like to thank?

RC: Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you, I am honoured to share some of my experience and views with your readers, I am very busy everyday teaching and running my business of course and we are at the final stage of our Mundial Camp here in Atlanta, soon I will travel to Long Beach and God help us to win the third title in a row and our 5th all together.

KC: Many thanks Jacare, all the best for you and team Alliance at this years Mundials!

RC: Take care!

Train with Alliance in Brazil

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taking the Back

Fabio teaching how to take the back from the guard:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Night Class

Tonight's camp class we focused on sweeps from the DLR Guard.

And a variation if your opponent circles with you to avoid the sweep

Wed Lunch Class

We had a large class today for the camp. We worked on a sweep off of a guard pull:

Websites News Update

Some news from And

New Promotions By the IBJJF

Cavalcanti e Penha

Cavalcanti e Penha

Professors Romero Cavalcanti and Sergio Penha were recently promoted to the high rank of Red & Black Belt 7th Degree. Congratulations for their big accomplishments. Check the link below to learn more about IBJJF rank chart, and graduation guidelines.

Next we have our updates from Gracie Mag:

“I wouldn’t trade my team for an athlete like Roger Gracie.”

The phrase above sums up tidily the thoughts of Fabio Gurgel in regards to his work in Jiu-Jitsu. The commander of Alliance values teamwork much more than a big name, even though Gurgel doesn’t hesitate to declare Roger the greatest Jiu-Jitsu talent at present. “Despite his losses, he’s at a level above even Xande, who is also a great competitor,” he assays.

The General

In the run-up to the 2010 Worlds, where Alliance will pursue its third team title in a row and the general’s fifth, we found Gurgel in the team’s São Paulo headquarters.

The midday training session reserved for the upper belt levels is packed. Rolling on the mats are beasts of the caliber of Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva, Rubens Charles “Cobrinha”, Michael Langhi, Bruno Malfacine, Lucas Lepri, Bernardo Faria, Tarsis Humphreys, Antônio Peinado, Luana Alzuguir and Gabrielle Garcia, among others.

During a short break, Gurgel speaks.

Keeping with the opening phrase of this post, Gurgel reveals what to him makes a winning team. “First off, it should be serious about the job at hand. Then, the athletes need to feel confident about the team’s leadership. Third, each piece in the team needs to feel it is making a great contribution to the whole, even if it’s not training or competing.”

A fourth requisite for success is discipline, and there’s no lack of that at Alliance. As an example, Gurgel hollers at an athlete who, dazed from a bout of rolling, sprawls out on the mat. “Are you at the beach?!” the chief belts out, calling attention and ordering the student to sit with his back against the wall like the others.

Preparations for the biggest event of the year carry on unperturbed, even after taking second at the Brazilian Nationals, a setback Fabio Gurgel understands and makes no excuses about: “On Saturday we lost seven semifinals in a row, and in the end that makes a difference. Even so we scored 90 points to CheckMat’s 96.”

Langhi and Malfacine

Gurgel’s smile returns when queried about the rebirth experienced by the team, which in 2002 suffered one of the biggest splits in Jiu-Jitsu history: “Truth is that the solid results of recent years are not the fruit of five years of labor, but of 25. During the split we lost several top black belts and brown belts, but the school remained the same. We continued to produce athletes in the same manner and we learned from our mistakes. Now Alliance athletes know that we did things right; they will have great opportunities in life. It’s not without reason that we haven’t had any more dropouts, except for Gabriel Vella, who truth be told joined up and, then, left.”

Bernardo Faria

What about 2010? What’s a good result for Alliance? “At black belt we want to make it to 5 or 6 finals. This championship will be one of the toughest. If we have favorites like Langhi, Malfacine, Cobrinha, Tarsis, Lepri, Marcelinho and Bernardo Faria, the other teams have great athletes too. In relation to last year, I think we’ll show up just as strong.

Gurgel and Luana Alzuguir

If Alliance has great talents in several belt groups and, mainly, several weight groups in the black belt category; in the absolute, since Rodrigo Comprido in 2000, the team has not produced one world champion. Does that bother Gurgel? “No. I feel we have athletes who can naturally put up a front in the absolute. If registration for the absolute were today, we’d sign up Bernardo and Tarsis. Faria is in great form, having won the Pan and the Brazilian Nationals; and Tarsis is someone who can fight on even terms with anybody no sweat. At Alliance we’re concerned with producing champions and the absolute will come naturally.

Gabi and Peinado

To finish, Gurgel talks Cobrinha. The four-time featherweight champion is training hard with the team in São Paulo to make it to his fifth, an unprecedented achievement for being five times in a row in the same weight group. However, the threat to Cobrinha’s dream answers to the name Rafael Mendes, the Atos JJ prodigy who left their last two outings (the ADCC and Brazilian Nationals) the victor. Gurgel doesn’t skirt the issue: “Rafael is a without a doubt great talent, but I don’t feel he can handle Cobrinha if the two open up their games. Cobra is someone who feels fine in any situation; he’s very versatile. For that reason Rafael against him plays just to beat him; he uses that guard that stalls the game to go for the attack at the very end. For this Worlds we’re working on Cobra not letting the fight get caught up in that guard. With a free-flowing game, my money’s on Cobrinha.”

Cobrinha and Lepri

There’s less than a week to go till the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship. Do as the beasts at Alliance do and hurry to sign up. The deadline is 11:50 pm on May 26 California time. Clickhere to sign up.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Alliance In- House Tournament

This last weekend we had our association Instructors bring there students down to ATL for our in-house tournament. It was a great chance to hang out with old friends and to meet the newest members of our family.
We had over 150 competitors and and the day went off with out a hitch, I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the competitors and thank everyone that made this day possible.

Enjoy the slide show courtesy of Gus Gonzalez

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Night Class First night of Camp

We had a great turn out for our first evening session of our Mundial Camp. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome our out of town guests. It's really cool to have guys coming in from all over the US to train with us but when guys fly in from all over the world for the opportunity to train under Jacare it really helps us appreciate what we have.

After our warm up and a few variations of the position that was shown this morning, Jacare reminded us of our proud history and why we are here

After the pep talk we began situational training.

Bart (USA) vs Preston (USA)

Ian (USA) vs Lee (UK)

Edwardo (Brazil) vs Gabrelle (Italy)

From the Archives

Who can name everyone in this picture?

Monday Lunch Class

Today we worked on a variation of the knee through pass:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alliance In- House Tournament Schedule

The registration for our tournament is closed, the brackets are being made and will be posted at the event on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who is helping us and good luck to all the competitors.

  • Kids - 11-12am
  • Teens and Women- 12-1pm
  • Adult Male (all age groups) Blue and Purple - 1-3pm
  • Adult Male (all age groups) White - 3-4pm
Divisions will start on time with or without you so we recommend all competitors arrive at the school 20-30mins before their division to warm up.
Please do not call and ask about your brackets, I don't have them nor do I know how many people are in your division.

Thanks again, see you Saturday

Tekniques BJJ & Fitness
3405 Florence Cir.
Suite 100
Powder Springs, GA 30127
(678) 983-8089

Thursday Lunch Class

Today we covered some guard passing:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Interview with our Female Competitors

Tuesday Lunch Class

Today we focused on maintaining the rear mount:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jewish and interested in Judo? See below!





Other nations that are expected to participate in the judo event include Australia, Israel, and Argentina.

Competition will be in all recognized Olympic weight categories (including an open division).

Please be advised that this trip is a self-funded venture. Both the judo chair and Maccabi USA will work with committed participants to help raise the requisite costs associated with the trip.

Trip Dates – December 21, 2010 to January 03, 2011. Trip departs from Los Angeles, CA.

Cost – To be determined. Please contact Jay Fisher, Judo Chairman, for cost estimates and related details.

Trip Details – Cost will cover airfare round-trip from Los Angeles, transfers, lodging in downtown Sydney, scheduled tours and events, meals and competition costs. A more thorough itinerary will be released at a future date.

Participation requirements – Team candidates must be Jewish and at least eighteen (18) years of age. There is no upper age limitation. Candidates must also have a background in judo. Candidates will be asked to provide details of their judo rank and competition experience.

For more info on the Games, please go to:

Questions Or For More Details – Please contact:

Jay Fisher, Judo Chairman, Maccabi USA

Cell no. - (404) 519-8448 Email –