Mario Reis debuted in the adult black belt division in 2003.
He was then 23 years old and he made his first appearance with a bang, beating the 2002 featherweight champion Fredson Paixão in the semifinal and then Alexandre “Soca” Carneiro in the final.
He won his second gold medal in 2004 after a final against he’s first big rival, Fredson Paixão.
He hasn’t stopped since.
In 2015, Reis, at 35, won his 13th medal at the world championship in 13 straight editions.
No other athlete has such a long streak of podium appearances in the black belt division at the Worlds.
As a black belt, Reis won two gold medals, three silver medals and eight bronze medals.
In 13 years, Mario competed against all of the big names of the featherweight division, from the aforementioned Paixão and Soca, including Bruno Frazzatto, Fredson Alves, Celso Venícius, Cobrinha, Theodoro Canal, Rafael Mendes, Augusto Tanquinho, Gianni Grippo, among others.
Asked about his secret to be on the podium for a decade and a half, he answered: “I am actually have been in the podium since 2000, as a blue belt. I guess my secret is to keep motivated and to hang around the right people, including my Professors throughout my career. Ze Mario Sperry taught me to live like an athlete; Silvio Behring taught me to deal with my self-confidence; The time I spent at Gracie Barra was unique, as I drank straight from the source with Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Now, at Alliance, with Fabio Gurgel I sharpened my Jiu-Jitsu with modern techniques and also it helped me become a better Professor and academy owner. I am always around people that believe in my potential and are able to extract the best in me. God has blessed me to be with people who always motivated me to be not just another one. Another key points is to set up goals and work hard to achieve them.”
We also asked Mario about the moments he kept with him more dearly: “I have never had rivals. My goal was to always be the best I could. I had great opponents and all of them helped me to be stronger and go after my weakness. I kept with me the notion that I am my biggest opponent. The most dear moment was the first world title in 2003, when I finished Fredson with the triangle and then beat Soca in the final. That result allowed me to get international exposure. It was the event that gave the boom I needed in my career. Other than that, I also hold dear the open class title at the 2006 European. That was also a milestone in the history of the sport, as I am still the lightest athlete to win a open class division in the male black belt in one of the four most events of the calendar [European, Pan, Brazilian Nationals, Worlds].”
By the way, Mario is confirmed to compete in the 2016 Worlds, where now he divides himself between athlete and coach.
From his academy in Porto Alegre, he has been giving a big boost to Alliance’s team title runs in the past years with talents like Nicholas Mereghali, Monique Elias (Mario’s wife), Jhonny Souza, Murilo Amaral, among others.
Join Mario and register today for the 2016 World championship.
The final deadline is May 24.
Click here to sign up now.