Gracie Humaita’s Leticia Ribeiro and Beatriz Mesquita Prepare for the 2010 BJJ World Championship

In May The FightWorks Podcast brought you a long-overdue interview with Leticia Ribeiro and Beatriz Mesquita, two of Gracie Humaita’s top female competitors. Both women have been reliable sources of medals for Humaita over the years and have kept Gracie Humaita’s women’s team in the spotlight.

The FightWorks Podcast was invited by Ribeiro to watch the two train as Steve Nave of the International Bulgarian Bag Confederation put the ladies through a very tough workout here in San Diego to get ready for the 2010 BJJ World Championship this coming weekend. The result of that meeting was this video and two exhausted women.

Ribeiro:

You wait a year for this tournament. We won the last one. We are training hard, especially me, Bia, and Penny [Thomas]. We’ve trained together for a long time. We’ve been doing strength and physical training for two months straight. We are gonna be prepared man. I don’t know about the opponents, but we will be prepared. A fight is a fight. We never know what’s going to happen. But it’s gonna be hard to beat us there.

BJJ Poll Review with Penny Thomas

2009 has been the first year where every week we post a BJJ poll. I have to say it has been informative to get real numbers for trends and behaviors in our community. Plus it gives us something fun to talk about every Sunday on the show.

So about a little over a week ago I met up with 2009 BJJ World Champion Penny Thomas to put together a brief recap of some of our polls from this year. We did not get into the real crazy ones about marijuana or steroids. But it’s a nice reference that people can find on YouTube that will hopefully point them to the interesting data that was gathered.

If you’re curious, the two black belts in the video you see are Joao Assis (CheckMat) in the white gi and Andre de Freitas (Cesar Gracie) in the blue gi at the 2009 American National Championship.

Enjoy! More to come in 2010!

2008 Absolute Champion Xande Ribeiro's Knee Injury

Today 2008 Black Belt Absolute Division World Champion Xande Ribeiro sat down with The FightWorks Podcast to explain his absence from the 2009 Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Championships which will take place this coming weekend in Long Beach, California. Ribeiro won the gold medal in the black belt adult male heavyweight and absolute divisions in 2008 with victories over Alexandre Souza (Gracie Florianopolis) and Roger Gracie (Gracie Barra), respectively. Many jiu-jitsu observers were anticipating the 2009 absolute division to result in a rematch between historical rivals Xande Ribeiro and Roger Gracie again this year. In a vote here on The FightWorks Podcast, 66% of respondents expected the two to face off for the absolute title.

This widely held prediction was not to be, however. Saturday it was announced that Xande Ribeiro was not going to compete at all this year in the Mundials because of a knee injury.

The FightWorks Podcast was able to visit the University of Jiu-Jitsu here in San Diego where Xande and his brother Saulo Ribeiro host Gracie Humaita’s athletes who are preparing for the BJJ World Championships this weekend. In this video, Xande explains his absence from the 2009 Mundials. Among other statements from the champion, Ribeiro states:

I’m sorry to my fans that I won’t be there competing but I will be there representing my team Gracie Humaita, hopefully for the team title, and to see who will be the black belt absolute champion. I have my favorite [contender for the 2009 black belt absolute champion title], I know my favorite is going to win, and I still expect to fight him next year.



Check out all of our video offerings in iTunes, in YouTube, or download the original files here.

And remember we’re getting together for coffee on Sunday morning at the World Championship!

Kron Gracie at the Gracie US Nationals in 2008

Back in February 2008 Rose Gracie (daughter of UFC founder Rorion Gracie) and her husband Javi Vazquez held their annual Gracie US Nationals at the LA Convention Center. The event had saw approximately 400 competitors mostly from Southern California, including a healthy children’s division. BJJ practitioners-turned-MMA-fighters Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Fabio Leopoldo stopped in to check out the action too. Although tons of elite-level BJJ practitioners were present, including Saulo Ribeiro, Xande Ribeiro and Jeff Glover, the competitor in the event with the highest profile had to have been Kron Gracie. Kron, the son of Rickson Gracie and a brown belt in BJJ at the time, had four matches that day all of which were won by submission. Above is video footage of the endings of three of them, presented in order. Here are the details of his performance that day:

  1. Middleweight division: Kron Gracie defeats Daniel Santana (Franco de Camargo) by armbar.
  2. Middleweight division: Kron Gracie taps Alfredo Barun with a choke from the mount.
  3. Absolute division: Kron Gracie armbars Felipe Fogolin.
  4. Absolute division: Kron Gracie armbars Bruiser Neal (not in video)

Kron threw the Kikskin gi he won for his performance into the crowd after the medal ceremony.

While Kron did lose his debut match as a black belt later in 2008 at the 2008 BJJ Mundials to Alliance‘s Sergio Moraes, he has since bounced back, winning all of his matches at the 2009 European BJJ Championships.

As always, if you’re interested in automatically having our BJJ video automatically download to your computer, you can subscribe to them in iTunes!

Helio Gracie Ceremony – Video 3 of 3

On February 7th, the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California held a ceremony to commemorate the life of Grand Master Helio Gracie, who passed away in late January at the age of 95.

The third video with some words from Ralek Gracie is posted over on YouTube but I still recommend you subscribe to our BJJ Video feed in iTunes so that every time we release a new video it will be automatically downloaded to you, your iPod and / or iPhone, so you won’t miss anything!

This post marks the last of the short videos we’ve brought back.

Helio Gracie Ceremony – Video 2 of 3

On February 7th, the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California held a ceremony to commemorate the life of Grand Master Helio Gracie, who passed away in late January at the age of 95.

The second video with some words from Ryron Gracie is posted over on YouTube but I still recommend you subscribe to our BJJ Video feed in iTunes so that every time we release a new video it will be automatically downloaded to you, your iPod and / or iPhone, so you won’t miss anything!

This post marks the second of the short videos we’ve brought back. We’ll post the last one tomorrow.

Helio Gracie Ceremony – Video 1 of 3

On February 7th, the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California held a ceremony to commemorate the life of Grand Master Helio Gracie, who passed away in late January at the age of 95. We headed north to capture what we could of the event and brought back three short videos that we will share today, tomorrow, and Thursday.

The first video with some words from Rorion Gracie is posted over on YouTube but I still recommend you subscribe to our BJJ Video feed in iTunes so that every time we release a new video it will be automatically downloaded to you, your iPod and / or iPhone, so you won’t miss anything!

Gracie Barra San Clemente Video

gracie barra flavio almeida
Flavio Almeida faces portraits of Gracie Barra leaders.

Twenty Gracie Barra black belts made the trek to San Clemente, California on Sunday to celebrate the official opening party of Flavio Almeida’s academy and take part in his promotion to a three-stripe black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The FightWorks Podcast headed north from our headquarters here in San Diego to check out the event firsthand, and brought back a three-minute video for you.

The video is posted over on YouTube but I still really recommend you subscribe to our BJJ Video feed in iTunes so that every time we release a new video it will be automatically downloaded to you, your iPod and / or iPhone, so you won’t miss anything!

Penny Thomas Video Posted

jiu jitsu penny thomas

We had Penny Thomas here as our featured guest on The FightWorks Podcast back in Episode #132, and I only just now got around to putting together the video I snagged when I went to interview her. Sorry Penny!

Penny received her black belt this year and is an ADCC, BJJ Pan-Ams, and BJJ Mundials gold medalist.

The video is posted over on YouTube but I still really recommend you subscribe to our BJJ Video feed in iTunes so that every time we release a new video it will be automatically downloaded to you, your iPod and / or iPhone, so you won’t miss anything!

Also, the video that’s made available in iTunes is sharper and easier to watch than the generic YouTube video, so there’s another good reason to go that route.

In the video of Penny Thomas, she is shown training with Gracie Humaita black belt Leticia Ribeiro, and Tarsis Humphries of Alliance.

In addition to this video of Penny, we captured four videos of jiu-jitsu action at the 2008 US Jiu-Jitsu Nationals over the weekend that are now posted in iTunes and on YouTube as well. Enjoy!