Sergio de Moraes celebrates his victory over Romulo Barral for the gold medal in the middle heavy weight division with a dance at the 2011 BJJ World Championship.
What can you say? At the 2011 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship last weekend Alliance Jiu-Jitsu won the adult (male) team trophy for the sixth time, and they won the female team trophy for the second time. Here are the competitors in the black belt division that helped get them there:
- Bruno Malfacine: Rooster weight gold medal
- Rubens Maciel aka Cobrinha: Feather weight bronze medal
- Michael Langhi: Light weight bronze medal
- Marcelo Garcia: Middle weight gold medal
- Sergio De Moraes: Medium heavy weight gold medal
- Bernardo Faria: Heavy weight silver medal
- Leonardo Nogueria: Super heavy weight gold medal
- Bernardo Faria: Absolute silver medal
That’s right… of the ten male divisions, Alliance placed in eight of them!
And in the female black/brown divisions:
- Luana Alzuguir: Light weight gold medal
- Gabrielle Lemos Garcia: Heavy weight gold medal
- Gabrielle Lemos Garcia: Absolute division gold medal
What can you say? If there’s a jiu-jitsu division that needs a champion, you can bet Alliance probably has a contender for you.
While each of the competitors above have their own stories of triumph this time around, Luanna Alzuguir’s victory despite suffering a broken rib throughout the tournament is impressive. Also noteworthy is the contest run by perennial community favorite Marcelo Garcia to promote his website mginaction.com. Garcia offered to divide $10,000 among all black belt competitors who won the gold in their division, regardless of team affiliation if they wore an mginaction patch on their gi. Full results are here. Interestingly, two non-Alliance athletes enjoyed shares of the pot: Rodolfo Vieira of GF Team and Hanette Staack of Brazil 021. The contest is a great demonstration of creative marketing and a win-win for both the athletes and Garcia’s website.
While there are many tough teams these days (Atos and Check Mat appear to be the hungriest up-and-comers), there really seems to be no team anywhere close to the breadth of high end competitors that Alliance enjoys.
Like all of us, however, Alliance has room for improvement even in its elite ranks. Two potential opportunities present themselves (although the keen, vigilant eyes of Alliance leaders Jacare Cavalcanti and Fabio Gurgel likely detect more) . One is pretty easy and the other appears very tough:
- Show Gabi Garcia how to better deal with opponents who turtle up. In the 2011 Pan Jiu-Jitsu tournament Gracie Barra’s Tammy Griego exposed Gabi’s difficulty with the position in their fight for the gold medal. While it didn’t stop Gabi from winning the absolute division last weekend at the 2011 World Championship, her opponent Bia Mesquita was able to keep their fight very competitive when she weathered Gabi’s storm by finding refuge in the turtle position.
- Adding a few options to unlock the turtle position is one thing, but finding a hole in the game of heavy weight and absolute division gold medalist Rudolfo Vieira is a much tougher task. In both divisions, Vieira was never perturbed by his Alliance opponent Bernardo Faria, who actually faced Vieira in the exact same divisions at the 2011 Pan Jiu-Jitsu tournament with the exact same results. To confound matters more, Faria himself is pretty much a steamroller in every other match he fights. No one seems to be able to defeat him. Except of course, for Rodolfo Vieira, who has now beaten him in all of their six encounters. So what do you do if you are an Alliance coach? Do you tell Faria to modify his otherwise-unstoppable game? Knowing how insistent Alliance leadership is on gold, we can assume they will be engineering something very special for Vieira the next time their athletes face him.
Once again Alliance, parabens!
If you read Portuguese you may enjoy reading the comments of Fabio Gurgel about Alliance’s performance.
Marcelo Garcia visits his wife (also a jiu-jitsu black belt!) after defeating Lucas Leite to win the middle weight division gold medal at the 2011 BJJ World Championship.