The academy on Figueiredo Magalhães Street lives on. The legion of old isn’t there anymore, that dream team that dominated Jiu-Jitsu competitions for decades and launched some of MMA’s most famous champions. But there’s a tightly-knit group keeping up the Carlson Gracie Academy tradition.
The plan is to produce new champions: Samir Chantre, Victor Paschoal and Breno Abad are part of the new generation, with solid results in a number of big events. The link to Carlson never broke, and now it’s even stronger with the presence of Carlson Gracie Jr.
“The team had kind of faded out for a time. After my father died each set off on his own direction. I hadn’t been here in four years, but now I’m traveling a lot, visiting a lot of people and trying to organize the team again,” says Carlson Jr.
The Gracie’s charisma enraptures the room, all paying close attention to the positions on display. The academy’s professors Marcelo Saporito and Alan Moraes help out. Everyone there expects a promising future for the team.
“We had good results last year: first place at white belt and second in the master and senior divisions of the Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American. All we’re missing is gathering everyone, holding internal championships and putting together the best team again. We have branches in Europe, Australia, Central American and the United States, as well as the headquarters here in Copacabana. We’re getting stronger. I’m grateful to all the teachers,” says Junior.
Keen to all the latest goings-on, the master also has his eye on the submissions that livened up the MMA world: the double attacks used by Fabricio Werdum on Fedor Emelianenko and Anderson Silva on Chael Sonnen.
“Jiu-Jitsu proved more than ever that it’s the most complete style of fighting. In adverse situations the fighter manages to surprise with simple and efficient positions like these attacks from the triangle. Werdum is sensational; I’m an admirer of his. Anderson, too, represents well. Anyone who’s ever fought MMA knows that things get hairy. It’s not Disneyland in there, and they represented really well,” he remarks.
In GRACIEMAG #161 Augusto “Tanquinho” Mendes teaches a number of double-attack positions, one of the weapons making Jiu-Jitsu so effective, as proved by Werdum and Anderson. Carlson Gracie Jr, too, knows a number of them. He teaches GRACIEMAG.com readers a double attack that he guarantees “is brand new!”
Check out the photos from the visit: