Marcelo Garcia winning his weight division at the 2007 ADCCs. Photo credit European Fight Network
Marcelo Garcia is perhaps the most successful middleweight grappler in the history of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The ever-smiling Alliance competitor has won the gold medal at the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championship five times, at the ADCC Submission Grappling World Championship four times, and the Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship three times.
Garcia comes from a sleepy town in the province of Minas Gerais called Formiga, which means “ant” in English and has a population of less than 75,000 people. Remote and without much jiu-jitsu, Garcia headed for the city on a quest to learn more BJJ and found that upon arrival the differences in his accent and those of cariocas in Rio made it difficult to communicate! Later his path brought him to Sao Paulo where he came under the tutelage of Alliance leader Fabio Gurgel, who would later promote Garcia to black belt.
Several years and many gold medals later, Marcelo runs a successful Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in a radically different environment than Formiga: New York City. Just blocks from bustling Times Square and a quick elevator ride up six floors, newcomers to the academy are prone to spontaneous approach from Marcelo’s students who are quick to express that they feel lucky to train under the unassuming middleweight from a remote corner of Brazil. Those who are not nearby to his academy in the city are able to learn jiu-jitsu online via Garcia’s virtual BJJ school, MGinAction.com.
Join us this week as The FightWorks Podcast sits down with Garcia one-on-one in person at his school in Manhattan for a conversation about how the humble star began jiu-jitsu, details of his journey in the martial art, and his current plans.