Thursday, June 30, 2011

Weekend Schedule

We will be closed on Monday the 4th in honor of our independence. We will still be having our noon class on Saturday the 2nd, so come train before starting your weekend festivities!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jacare Seminar in Sao Paulo

Alliance's 2011 Mundial Highlights

Thanks to Victor Colon for putting this together and sending it to me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interview with Master Jacare


Alliance achieved the Grand Slam of BJJ this year, which is absolutely ridiculous.

In a world that has long been dominated by people and teams whose last name is Gracie (or whose first name has R’s that are pronounced like H’s), the Alliance team, headed by Romero Jacare Cavalcante and Fabio Gurgel, has hit its stride.

This year, they took the Grand Slam of BJJ. In the adult division, Alliance won the Pan American championships, the European Championships, the World Championships, and even the Brazilian Nationals. They pretty much owned the world as far as competition BJJ is concerned.

Founding member Romero “Jacare” Cavalcante was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time.

Congratulations on another successful world championships. How are you feeling now that it is finished?

Thank you, was very nice to win gain for the 6th time. Feeling really good, mission accomplished, we won the Grand Slam for the first time ever this year.

Were there any athletes that stood out for you in particular this time?

We had a lot athletes standing out this year, Marcelo Garcia, Bruno Malfacine,Sergio Moraes, Leo Nogueira, Jordon, Macarrao, Michel, Dimi, and so many that is hard to mention everybody.

What do you think makes Alliance special and gives you so much success?

Everything makes us especial, the coaches, the students,the way we treat and work with our guys, the relationship between us, the training the hard work.

How do you encourage your athletes – what kind of atmosphere do you create in training?

The atmosphere is very good, I try to encourage them and make the training very intense and very hard everyday, training all kind of situations, always showing them why and where they need to improve to get better.

How strongly do you think the influence of Rolls Gracie is still felt today?

Rolls was very influential in my life, my students don’t know much about him except for what I talk about him, my teachings has a lot of him in our style of course, I owe everything that I know to Rolls he was a great man and the best of his time.

What do you think training in the GI can offer MMA athletes?

The Gi is the base is how you can improve your game, learn the basics ad get your game tight, this only make you better, no matter what, even if you train just for mma the training with the Gi will make you better.

What one piece of advice can you give all developing BJJ athletes?

The advice I can give is to train hard, consistently with a good instructor that have roots with a good school.

What are Alliance’s plans for the rest of 2011 and next year?

The plan is the same, work hard, teach everyday, make our schools better, give support to our association, keep growing with good quality and have fun, life is short we have to enjoy it.

Thanks for the opportunity and have a great rest of 2011.

Cobrinha Article by INSIDE BJJ


How did you get involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? How old were you when you started? What attracted you to Brazilian Jiu-JItsu?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2000. I was about 21 years old. I was teaching Capoeira at a friend’s Martial Arts school, and he decided to add a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program to his curriculum because it had become very popular in Brazil. He asked me to come try it. Because of Capoeira I was in good condition, very flexible, and had good balance and strength so I expected it to be pretty easy for me. I was so surprised to see how easily someone else could beat me. It made me very interested and made me want to learn more. I kept returning and practicing. Before long found myself spending more time training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than Capoeira.


You have had the opportunity to train with many great grapplers and fighters. What has been you favorite experience?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

It seems impossible for me to pick a single experience as my favorite. So many represent major milestones in my life and career, and each had their place in my development.

Moving to Sao Paulo to train with Terere is what opened the doors to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a career option for me. Not only did his influence help me develop the skills to compete at the world championship level, but the training discipline help form the basis for how I approach everything in life today.

Moving to the US to teach in Atlanta under Jacare opened new doors and opportunities for me. I had the opportunity to develop my teaching skills and learn what it means to build a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family. Finally, moving to LA to open my own school has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To see my students developing as athletes and humans every day gives me a fulfillment that I never anticipated. To see their struggles in life and in competition hurts worse than my own, and their successes on and off the mats makes me happier than my own.


What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in Brazilian in Jiu-Jitsu? Who is your toughest competitor?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

I would have to say either my first or my last world championship title or my last would be my greatest accomplishment. The first one because it is always difficult to win the first. It takes not only incredible discipline to be physically prepared, but it also takes the right mental attitude and confidence … which is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome in winning your first major title. To add to that, in order to win my first world IBJJF title, which was in 2006, I had to beat Marcio Feitosa who was a great athlete. I consider that a huge honor and great accomplishment. That said, I think it is even more difficult to continue winning world titles because you become the target of everyone in the division. People study your game looking for weaknesses, so you have to continuously evolve and push yourself. Winning my fourth in a row was an accomplishment I am very proud of … but I am not done yet.

It is even harder to name the toughest competitor I’ve faced because so many in this division are great – and that has been true year in and year out. I always look at the field and see several athletes who are capable of winning the most prestigious titles. Guys like Bruno Frazatto, Marcio Feitosa, Theodoro Canal sit on that list. But I think Mario Reis has been my most consistently tough competitor. He has been near or at the top of the podium in any tournament he enters for that last many, many years – and he still is, placing third in this past year’s Mundial. Not only is he one of the toughest, but he is also one who I admire because of his approach to fighting. He is always fighting for the win … always looking for the submission. When he competes against me, or anyone else, I think he goes in expecting to win or lose by submission. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but he doesn’t ever look to stall or attempt to win by advantage or points. I like that warrior spirit and try to fight in that way myself.

Of course, over the past couple years, Rafael Mendes has proven the most difficult athlete to beat in the division. He is not only very skilled but also has a very strategic approach to competition which has contributed to his success. I have been open over my disappointment with our fights, even the ones I have won, because they haven’t always been the style of exciting, attacking Jiu-Jitsu that I want for our sport. That said, I think our ADCC finals match was a very exciting fight.


What is your philosophy when it comes to training? Some instructors emphasizes drilling and structured rolling and less live rolling. Other instructors emphasize more live rolling. What is your opinion on this? How do you manage your training time?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

Both are critical to the success of a serious Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete, but drilling is probably the most overlooked. I am a big advocate of drilling positions and situations. I think you should drill as much as possible to burn positions into muscle memory so you don’t have to think about your action when the situation arises. In a normal training session, I might drill for approximately 1 hour and spar for another hour or so.


What is the future of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition? Many organizations pay no prize money. Athletes survive by sponsorship, seminars and second jobs. Making a career of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is similar to wrestling in the United States. It’s very difficult to work unless you coach. Mixed-Martial Arts has created an opportunity for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes to earn a living. Do you feel this will hurt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition with the best competitors focusing more on MMA and less on BJJ competition?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

I hope our sport continues to grow and develop, which will result in more financial opportunities for the athletes to remain in the sport to make a living from competition. Already there are some events, especially the ones sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon, that provide very nice purses for the athletes. I think as our sport grows and there are more spectators, the opportunities will also improve. It is one of the main reasons that I have been so vocal about the need for us to ensure we keep our sport and our matches interesting and fun to watch. Ultimately, this will improve the quality of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu overall as it will increase the number of athletes, the number of spectators, the number of opportunities to earn a living from the sport.


Andre Galvao recently published criticism of the points/advantage system used in IBJJF tournaments. Is there anything in the existing tournament system you’d like to see changed?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

As I was just referring, I think the rules in our sport have led to a decline in excitement. There is much more stalling and acceptance of stalling as a strategic moves in tournaments, and I believe that is bad for our sport. I think we must change the rules to more severely penalize athletes who stall and institute rules that encourage more free flowing, open matches.


Recently, there’s been talk about the use of performance enhancing drugs in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think there is a drug problem in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

I suspect that in all professional sport, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no different, there are athletes who use performance enhancing drugs to get stronger, reduce recovery time, or whatever. I am totally against the use of any illegal supplement, and I hope that the sport is able to implement an effective testing process to eliminate or reduce its prevalence. I don’t know if it is rampant as some have claimed. Of course, I wouldn’t likely know for sure as the athletes who do it do not advertise it as such. I also suspect there are athletes who people think are using performance enhancing drugs who are not. The regimen of a world class athlete in our sport is crazy and includes training and intense work outs for 6-8 hours a day almost every single day. That kind of intense training will build muscle and endurance that might seem unnatural for an average person.


What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey?

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

Probably my greatest lesson is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is about so much more than what happens in a 10 minute match or during the hours of training. The lessons are not just for the athlete but extend to life. They are about having patience, determination, and discipline. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just like life in that each position or situation you are in, you must find a way to solve your problem. It does no good to complain or sulk in the moment – we are to seek solutions to the immediate dilemma just like on the mat. It is one of the things that has led to what I say to all my students, “Do not let things happen … make them happen.” That applies whether it be in the sport or in the office.


What is next for you? Any else you’d like to mention? (Sponsors, etc.)

Ruben Cobrinha Charles

This was a big year for me as I opened my own school in Los Angeles, Cobrinha Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness which is located at 4929 Wilshire Blvd on the Miracle Mile in Hollywood. I am so happy with the academy and all my students and honored that they have chosen to learn this art with me. I am dedicated to growing and improving that academy. Anyone in the LA area, come check out the school. Anyone, from any affiliation, is welcome. We’d love to bring you into our family, but you are also welcome as guests. For those from outside LA, we have a great exchange program for you to train with us. You can find more about us online at

Although originally intent on retiring after last year, I have found myself wanting to compete and was thrust unexpectedly into competition at the Abu Dhabi World Pro in April, and it ignited my inspiration to compete again. I then decided to also compete in the World Championships which were just a week ago, even though I really haven’t been training properly for that level event. I took third place this year, but most importantly, it confirmed my commitment to returning to competition form for the upcoming year.

Thank you, Tim & INSIDE BJJ, for conducting this interview and for everything you do for our sport and its followers. I’d also like to thank my competition sponsor, Keiko, for their ongoing support and constant commitment to quality. I’d also like to thank all the students at Cobrinha Jiu-Jitsu. They have inspired me to be a better person, teacher, and competitor, and they have already sacrificed a great deal to prove to me that they too will be champions in life and the sport. Of course, I can never thank my wife, Daniela, enough for all the support she provides me. There is no way I could have accomplished so much without her help, dedication, and sacrifice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Graciemag Article: Cobrinha exclusive: “Jiu-Jitsu needs more penalties for stalling”

Our GMA Rubens Charles Maciel, aka Cobrinha, returned to work at his new academy in California after scoring a bronze medal at the 2011 Worlds – his first as a black belt in the featherweight division, where he has amassed four golds and one silver.
However pleased about Alliance’s conquest of a sixth world title as a team by a large margin (127 points), the superstar also had criticism to voice and analysis to share about his matches and, of course, his 4-2 loss to Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes in the semifinal (takedown and sweep versus sweep). Rafael Mendes would triumph to become (two-time) champion.


“I felt great in my matches; I was prepared to fight anyone. And that’s what I imagine every fighter should prepare for, of course. At the same time, it brings me to ask the same question I repeat to myself at every championship, and perhaps you can answer it for me. If everyone’s training to exhaustion to face any opponent, why’s there so much stalling going on? Having motionless matches goes against the very objective and philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu itself, which is to always pursue the finish. If you take a close look, free-flowing matches were in the minority.”


“One example of a motionless match was mine with Tanquinho in the semifinals. Of course he’s an athlete who competes by using the rules in his favor. Please, I’m not trying to take any credit from him, much less complain about something that can’t be undone. But that match was a good example of it, of how the rules work against the spectacle. Furthermore, we can’t forget about the ‘influence’ on the refereeing. I feel, like a lot of good folks do, that if you don’t want to get hindered by the refereeing, you have to go for the finish. But what about when it’s impossible to achieve because your opponent falls back on evasive maneuvers? And what about when you get to a good position and he runs away to have the match restarted on the feet? Such attitudes should be penalized more severely, in my opinion.”


“I feel minor modifications can change Jiu-Jitsu in a big way, make it more attractive. I look at other fight sports, like judo and taekwondo and even MMA – the rules are frequently revised so as to improve the spectacle, which is the matches, making it more appealing to the public to watch. That hasn’t happened in Jiu-Jitsu yet. There still isn’t much by way of penalization for stalling and certain positions, like the 50/50, which aren’t shunned because some people consider them to be innovative. Nobody does anything, the matches are motionless, they’re just waiting for time to run out. I don’t believe that’s what we want for our sport, is it? How can we promote Jiu-Jitsu and get it to grow even further with situations like that? The organizers promote the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and we, the athletes, should promote the spectacle. But that’s not what’s happening these days, unfortunately. That’s why I feel the rules should be revised to help change the athletes’ mentality, so they’ll look to have free-flowing, open matches, improving the spectacle and drawing spectators and subsequently sponsors, making Jiu-Jitsu grow. At least that’s what I hope for as a fighter, teacher, and as someone running a business in the field (of Jiu-Jitsu).”

Monday, June 6, 2011

Marcelo Garcia celebrates fifth World title, credits Steven Seagal - Tamete article

  06/06/2011 13:25
Report and photo by Eduardo Ferreira, directly from California

Marcelo Garcia conquered World of Jiu-Jitsu’s title for the fifth time, yesterday, as he defeated Lucas Leite by points (2x0).

Ruling the mediumweight division, the black belt athlete, who currently trains in New York, affirmed that the feeling of winning the fifth title is the same as the one he felt when he first won the gold medal, and joked about it. “I want to thank my team, my friends and Steven Seagal, who has taught me some of the moves I did in there”, said the athlete after his triumph.

On a chat with TATAME, the tough guy explained the reason why he didn’t tried to fight the absolute, talked about his personal project and told us he wants he wants to fight ADCC, in September, in England. “ADCC is the most exciting competition because you have to wait two years for it. I’m super excited about this edition, because I’m waiting for four years and I want another win”, said.

Is there some difference between your first world title and the fifth?

It’s the same feeling you have. I like being here, training and being at the gym. I can’t do it and don’t fight, that would be pointless. The reflex of all the work we do is to come here and show what I’ve trained.

Why didn’t you dispute the absolute title?

It’s not that easy. I fight the absolute since I was 14, when I was a yellow belt and I lost to a purple belt, super heavy. The guy was monstrous and brags about it until these days. Since then I fight weight and absolute in all championships. I used to put much effort to fight these big guys and then fought on my weight division. I even fought injured, I don’t even have to tell you when it happened, but it was a big sacrifice to me. Today, my body can’t take it anymore. It’s hard to fight the absolute and then go dispute the weight title with someone who’s at his best, having to control your weight. It was it for me, and I didn’t get excited about it.

Training at your own team made much difference to you?

I guess it didn’t change much. Since I lived in Sao Paulo, when I trained at Alliance, I felt like there was not enough fighters, and I was teaching people. There was Fabio, Soluco to train, but they were fighting with a different belt on their waist, so I wasn’t used to train with black belts. I’ve always done my job independently whether the guys were better than me or not, that was never necessary in my trainings. Now, in New York, where I’ve taught the most, now I’ve completed a year and a half and I have better and better training every day. From now on, I hope it only gets better.

Talk about the MGInAction Project…

In Jiu-Jitsu, you have to do everything: teach, fight to promote the gym and show your Jiu-Jitsu to the world. This website is somewhere I can show my techniques, I show how I am, and it’s working. Instead of advertising about it, we decided to invest on athletes. We’ve invested ten thousand dollars so that the weibsite would  be done and so that everyone gets on the finals, and in case they won by points or advantages, they’d share the money with all guys who used MGInAction patches. That’s pretty much it. I hope it works. I’m getting some return out of it, so let’s do more. I want to have the chance to give more in case it’s a big hit.

How will it be your prep for ADCC?

ADCC is the most exciting competition because you have to wait two years for it. I’m super excited about this edition, because I’m waiting for four years and I want another win. I got the invitation, so I didn’t have to scarify myself on these qualifiers. Sheik Tahnoon is a guy that, with all the power he has, he still manages to find some time to dedicate himself to Jiu-Jitsu. We owe him a big time, since he did Abu Dhabi, the competition, and every time we go there.

Mundial Pics - send and I'll post!

Jordon Schultz - Brown Belt Light Weight Champion

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Alliance Dominating the 2011 Mundials

Final Results  
1- Alliance - 127

2- Checkmat BJJ - 59

3- Atos JJ - 44

Congrats to all our compeditors for winning our 4th World Championship in a row (6 total) and for being the first team in IBJJF history to win the Grand Slam!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mundial Schedule

World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2011
Blue Belt Adult Male - Purple Belt Adult male - Brown Belt Adult Male Open Class Registration.
The athletes who placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each adult blue male, adult purple male and adult brown male weight division are eligible to compete in the Open Class division.
The athletes who are eligible and wish to compete in this division should report to the admin table after your division is finished and the medals are awarded so that you may register.
Thursday - 2 Jun
10:00 AM White Adult Male - Rooster to Light
11:10 AM White Adult Male - Middle to Ultra Heavy
White Master - Rooster to Feather
12:10 AM White Master - Light to Ultra Heavy
White Senior 1 - Rooster to Heavy
1:00 PM White Senior 1 - Super Heavy and Ultra Heavy
White Female
Blue Adult Male - Rooster
2:00 PM Blue Adult Male - Light Feather
Blue Adult Female - Light Feather
3:00 PM Blue Adult Male - Feather
Blue Adult Female - Feather
4:40 PM Blue Adult Male - Light
Blue Adult Female - Light
5:40 PM Blue Adult Female - Middle to Heavy
Friday - 3 Jun
9:00 AM Blue Adult Male - Middle
Blue Adult Male - Medium Heavy
11:10 AM Blue Adult Male - Heavy to Ultra Heavy
12:30 PM Purple Adult Female
Purple Adult Male - Rooster to Light Feather
1:45 PM Purple Adult Male - Feather and Light
2:00 PM Black Belt Male - Open Class Registration
3:00 PM Black Belt Male - End of open Class Registration
3:45 PM Purple Adult Male - Middle and Medium Heavy
6:10 PM Purple Adult Male - Heavy to Ultra Heavy
Blue Adult Male - Open Class
7:20 PM Blue Adult Female - Open Class
All Blue Belts Male must register for Open Class before 3PM
NOTE: The athletes who register for the Black Belt open class division and get disqualification for non-showing are automatically  disqualified to compete in their original weight division as well.
All Purple Belts Male must register for Open Class on Friday
No registration will be accepted on Saturday
Saturday - 4 Jun
9:00 AM Brown Belt Adult - Rooster to Light
Blue Juvenile 1 and 2  Male - Rooster and Light Feather
10:30 AM Black Belt Adult Male - Open Class
Brown/Black Female - Open Class
Brown Belt Adult - Middle 
12:15 PM Brown Belt Adult - Medium Heavy to Super Heavy
1:20 PM Brown Belt Adult - Ultra Heavy
Blue Juvenile 1 and 2 Male - Feather to Medium Heavy
2:15 PM Blue Juvenile 1 and 2 Male - Heavy to Ultra Heavy
Blue Juvenile 1 and 2 Female
Purple Adult Female - Open Class
3:00 PM Purple Adult Male - Open Class
Brown/Black Female
Black Belt Adult Male - Rooster
4:20 PM Black Belt Adult Male - Light Feather to Light
6:00 PM Black Belt Adult Male - Middle to Heavy
7:30 PM Black Belt Adult Male - Super Heavy and Ultra Heavy
Brown Belt Adult - Open Class
Blue Juvenile 1 and 2 Male Open Class
Blue Juvenile 1 and 2 Female - Open Class
All Brown Belts Male must register for Open Class before 4PM
NOTE: The athletes who register for the Black Belt open class division and get disqualification for non-showing are automatically  disqualified to compete in their original weight division as well.
Sunday - 5 Jun
10:00 AM Black Belt Male - Adult - Rooster and Light Feather - Quarter Finals
10:40 AM Black Belt Male - Adult - Feather and Light - Quarter Finals
11:30 AM Black Belt Male - Adult - Rooster and Light Feather - Semi Finals
Black Belt Male - Adult - Feather and Light - Semi Finals
12:20 PM Black Belt Male - Adult - Middle and Medium Heavy - Quarter Finals
1:00 PM Black Belt Male - Adult - Heavy, Super Heavy and Ultra Heavy - Quarter Finals
2:10 PM Black Belt Male - Adult - Middle, Medium Heavy, Heavy, Super Heavy and Ultra Heavy - Semi Finals
3:00 PM Brown/Black Female - All weight divisions - Finals
4:40 PM Black Belt Finals - All weight divisions and open class
Brown/Black Female - Open class final

2011 Mundials Broardcasting Live

The World Jiu-jitsu Championship is the world's most prestigious BJJ event. Held in Long Beach, California we'll be broadcasting live giving you front row access to all of the action from some of the biggest name grapplers on the planet.

-Broadcasting live on on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th from the Pyramid @ Cal State Long Beach

-Saturday is FREE. The Pay Per View is for Sunday.

-Event starts at 9AM Pacific Time on both days

-Your hosts Caleb, Shawn Williams and Budo Jake doing commentary

Don't wait until the last minute, purchase your Pay Per View now to make sure you don't miss a minute of the action.