Lots of New Fathers Among the BJJ Elite

by Caleb on September 16, 2009

There’s a saying when lots of women in a certain group begin getting pregnant at the same time that makes reference to “something (unusual) being in the water” of the community. I don’t know if something similar can be said for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community, but there is definitely something afoot among some of BJJ’s biggest names in competition right now.

Just this year GracieMag published a photo of the United Kingdom’s big names from Gracie Barra, Roger Gracie and Braulio Estima. Were they locked in a grappling battle on the mats? No, they were pushing a pair of strollers with their new toddlers as they walked through the streets of an English city together.

Another new Gracie Barra proud parent is Flavio Almeida, who just this month became a father here in Southern California.

And what about Gracie Humaita? Well if this is not an example from that side of the house then I don’t know who is: Xande Ribeiro is due to be a father in early October, just after he returns from the ADCC in Barcelona at the end of this month. I was visiting the Ribeiro brothers’ school UNIJJ earlier this month to gather interviews about the ADCCs and the UNIJJ’s preparation. While I was there, Xande introduced me to the mother-to-be. A little later Xande and I were alone for a moment.

Caleb: So, are you scared?

Xande: What do I have to be scared of? I am going to be the ADCC champion!

Caleb: No, I mean are you nervous about becoming a father soon!

Xande’s response was as confident as his original answer but there was definitely a pause as he reflected on the gravity of fatherhood!

Parabens to all of these new fathers and their mothers!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Meerkatsu September 16, 2009 at 5:22 am

Congratulations and good luck to Xande and Mrs Ribeiro.

I wonder what the percentage of BJJ guys and girls in the academy are
moms or dads?

At our place, the percentage is very high. Many have older children who come to class and there quite a few new dads in the group.

Just goes to show that BJJ is a truly family sport, that’s why I love it so much and why, when my little ones get a little bit older, I shall be taking them to class too.

Mat September 16, 2009 at 7:30 am

I’d like to see the Roger and Braulio pic.
My boy turned 1 last Sunday. Hard to believe.
I am looking forward to the day he steps on the mat.

Will September 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Now, I am no BJJ elite, but I would like to point out that my daughter was born right between Braulio’s and Roger’s. Stella already has a wicked spider guard and defends a diaper change (guard pass?) like a professional. She is already kitted out, since my instructor gave her a pink kimono when she was born.

Also, since your wife has made an honest man out of you, Caleb. You know the next step.
Perhaps the reason for the post, eh hem….

ninjamurf September 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Yeah, far from being “elite” my boy just turned 1 in July. And Meerkatsu said something that made me read the article twice…

“Congratulations and good luck to Xande and Mrs Ribeiro.”

Is Xande actually married? It almost seems like you made a point to say you met the “mother to be” rather than his “wife”?

Seriously though, like it matters to Brazilians? Sheesh! I don’t think the Gracies could keep track of their OWN children without a family tree let alone their brothers’, and cousins’ families. Can you imagine what it was like at family parties for the Gracies? Maybe a young Kyra and a young Kron eying each other? Papa Rickson stepping in, “hey you two! Knock it off! You can’t be doing that! You’re…uh…cousins…I think? Or…second cousins? Ah hell…SOMEONE GET ME THE BOOK!”

ninjamurf September 18, 2009 at 8:16 am

Nevermind. Asked Fabio last night and he informed me that Xande is indeed married.

Mike September 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

That’s great news for Xande. He and Saulo could be forming their own giant clan of BJJ experts…

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