Nicolas Renier, 36, is a black belt who, after making his career as a grappling competitor, undertook the mission of spreading the history of luta livre around the world. Champion of four ADCC tryouts in Europe, he even participated in the biggest grappling event six times – twice being invited by the organization of Mo Jassim, the main organizer of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club.
Today, the Frenchman resides in Rio de Janeiro, specifically in the borough of Jardim Botânico, where he runs his gym NR Fight, specializing in Luta Livre, an art for which Nicolas has a huge passion.
In parallel with his classes, Nicolas takes time to produce and create documentaries that will help popularize Luta Livre. In 2014, he single-handedly produced a documentary called “Luta Livre Spirit” with 12 episodes that brought together personalities such as Roberto Leitão, Leozada Nogueira, and Alexandre Pequeno.
“My mission is to popularize the name of luta livre, to show that there is not only one modality of ground fighting. There’s also luta livre, which can be another option besides Jiu-Jitsu. We can build “a better world” by offering an alternative for practitioners of martial arts. In the documentary, which is available on my YouTube channel, you can get to know how luta livre was important for so many people, and how this modality changed the lives of many Brazilians. I want everyone to know that”, explains Nicolas, a practitioner since 2001, when he had Flávio Peroba as his teacher.
Nicolas also gives his opinion why luta livre did not achieve the same projection as Jiu-Jitsu in terms of visibility.
“We didn’t get a big projection like Jiu-Jitsu because we lacked some thinking minds to use marketing and be able to sell our modality to a larger audience. Jiu-Jitsu fighters learned a lot from luta livre, as there was always this exchange of information between the two. Milton Vieira at BTT, master Roberto Leitão at Nova União…”, comments Nicolas, a black belt for nine years.
Nicolas wants to maintain the growth of his school in Brazil and increase its branches in France, in addition to using the internet to take the philosophy of luta livre to more practitioners.
“I have already conquered everything that my level allowed me to. Nowadays I am proud of what I managed to win and participate to have a name in this modality. Now I want to show my fight in a different way, both on the internet and with the opening of several academies in France”, concludes the professor.