Fabio Clemente is a leader for many aspects of the sport. He spread the art to places it hadn’t seen, gave opportunities to now top athletes and paved the way for many after him.
GRACIEMAG.com made a visit to his GMA academy on 3rd Ave in New York City this month. As the first Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Academy in New York, this upstairs nest is home of many champions from past and present.
Fabio Clemente is a black belt under Rigan Machado, coming up in the ranks alongside the Machado family. “I was a blue belt at the same time as Jean Jacque Machado,” he says.
After moving to New York and opening his NYC academy, Fabio became part of the Alliance banner. Not long after the move, the promotion to black belt and the changing of teams, Fabio took the responsibility of sponsoring one Alliance member to move from Brazil to the states. This athlete was Marcelo Garcia.
What you might not know about Fabio beyond his accomplishments and Jiu-Jitsu flagship in the states is his love for photography. In fact, he has worked in Paris for Vogue and many other prestigious fashion outlets. He has since put away the lenses once the digital era erupted and having kids, but he still maintains a strong eye.
After some time with Marcelo teaching at the Alliance academy, the split was made and the Marcelo Garcia Academy was born. Thereafter came another champion: Lucas Lepri.
While Lucas trained and taught classes, the academy helped create a competition atmosphere that only furthered the intensity for team Alliance on the competition mats. Lucas has since moved to teaching at the Alliance Headquarters in Atlanta, GA, but the intensity in New York still remains.
Training at the academy finds people of all ages, genders and ranks. Black belts train with white belts, company is kept tight and the inside jokes are plenty. It is a tight knit family who welcomes any who buzz their door. Many students have been given the opportunity to teach at other places around the town and even at the main academy, allowing full-time focus as an easy option. Fabio maintains a strong lead but a soft hand as he treats his students like his own children– both of whom train religiously.
Check out this video below of the technique of the day taught by Fabio Clemente with his student and assistant, David Bass:
Don’t miss the photos as well. To learn more about the second Jiu-Jitsu academy established in New York, visit www.AllianceBJJNYC.com[flickr set=72157632444444552]