That slick Jiu-Jitsu from… Slovenia

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Wednesday, March 21, Rio de Janeiro. Jiu-Jitsu professor Carlos Maia promotes his first black belt, Carlos Eduardo Gomes, during a seminar at Celeiro martial arts school in the Jacarepaguá part of the city. Student and teacher are overcome with emotion, a classic scene. But the the teacher is the one most moved. “I’m really touched; it’s the first time I tie a black belt around someone’s waist,” Maia told

Having relocated to Liubliana, Slovenia, two years back, the Carlos Gracie Jr. black belt is in Brazil to quell his longing for his family and friends.

About to turn 35 years of age, Carlos Maia could be considered one of the gentle art’s pioneers in Slovenia, a country he came to know in 2008, when he went there to help a local athlete prepare for an MMA fight.

Catedral de São Nicolas, na Eslovênia. Foto: Divulgação.

Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Slovenia. The country's got first-rate Jiu-Jitsu. Publicity photo.

“I was invited to train an athlete and ended up doing some seminars. I was really well received, and I ended up going back a number of times, until I stayed for good in 2010,” said Maia, who heads four academies in the country, counting around a hundred students in all.

The winner of the European Championship in 2010, Maia put together the first Jiu-Jitsu competition in his adopted country, in 2011, BJJ Slovenia, with representatives of a dozen countries around the region taking to competition there.

During the class in Rio, Carlos Maia taught a variation on the armbar especially for readers. The move was dubbed the “Maia armbar.” Check it out, and comment on what you think.

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