Kyra Gracie, Rilion Gracie, and Renzo Gracie last year at the 2009 BJJ World Championship.
Careful observers of the jiu-jitsu competition scene could not have missed a new entity on the registration lists for the 2010 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship that takes place this coming weekend. Also known as the Mundial, the event is the most highly regarded competition in the gi and draws the planet’s best jiu-jitsu athletes, so fans take note when several highly regarded competitors’ affiliation this year was listed as Gracie Elite Team.
So what is Gracie Elite Team, and how did it come about? The FightWorks Podcast caught up with Cesar Gracie and got a few answers. According to Cesar, the new squad is comprised of athletes from Gracie family members Ralph, Renzo, Rilion, Ryan, and from Cesar’s own crew. The intention was to put together a more formidable team than they might individually, and “shake things up a bit”. The idea to create the new team was proposed about a month ago. When asked if this was a team that jiu-jitsu practitioners can expect to see for many years to come in high-end competitions like the World Championship or if this was just an experiment, Cesar replied that you never know and that they would just see how it goes.
Gracie Elite Team’s 2010 Mundials black belt competitors:
Black / Brown Belt Women:
- Kyra Gracie (Leve)
Black Belt Men:
- Caio Terra (Galo)
- Joseph Capizzi (Galo)
- Almiro Barros dos Santos (Pluma)
- Samir Chantre (Pluma)
- Caio Almeida (Pena)
- Celso Venicius Alves (Leve)
- Joao Paulo Bertuccelli (Leve)
- Alexandro Ceconi (Pesado)
- Luiz Gustavo Costa (Pesado)
- Marcel Fortuna (Super-Pesado)
- Gabriel Vella (Pesadissimo)
(If you’re still having a hard time remembering what the different weight classes are, here’s a list.)
Several of the competitors listed are regular winners of medals in events like the World Championship like Alexandro Ceconi, Kyra Gracie, Caio Terra, and Gabriel Vella. Expect to see similar results this weekend in Gracie Elite Team’s debut performance.