Yesterday morning we reported that Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Marcelo Garcia had left StudioX in New York after a dispute with the owners of the school. More details have come to light since then.
Throughout today, students from StudioX who trained under Marcelo Garcia and fellow Alliance black belt Fabio Clemente have continued to voice their thoughts on the turn of events. Note that the details that follow are based on their account on a lengthy thread on the NHBGear forum. Emails to Fabio Clemente, Marcelo Garcia, and StudioX’s Josh Griffiths for comment on Garcia’s departure were unreturned today.
Fabio Clemente is a 50% owner and head instructor of StudioX, where he has been teaching for a dozen years. Marcelo Garcia arrived at StudioX approximately a year ago. The students suggest that Garcia’s presence increased enrollment in the school significantly and that after a year had passed Garcia requested an increase in compensation that reflected his value to the school. His request was reportedly denied by the individual who owns the other half of the business.
Meanwhile, StudioX was in the process of moving from its old location of 98 3rd Avenue, illustrated by the southernmost blue pin in the map below, to 115 W 27th Street, as shown by the northernmost blue pin.
When it was learned that Garcia would not remain under the employ of the owners of StudioX, his assistant in teaching at the original location Fabio Clemente stated that he would stand by Marcelo and remain at the original location on 98 3rd Avenue, where he and Garcia would teach together.
However on November 19th the ownership filed a lawsuit in New York Civil Supreme Court against Clemente in the form of a restraining order. Voices on the forum thread from StudioX students relate that the lawsuit will serve to drive Garcia from New York and that they will indeed be faced with losing Marcelinho as an instructor.
While a separate matter entirely, the situation does bring to mind the widely-publicized situation in mixed martial arts today that exists between the UFC and Randy Couture. Couture approached the UFC management, including Dana White, and requested an increase in compensation commensurate with his contribution to the UFC’s success. His request was also not granted and Couture announced he was severing ties with the UFC. In the last week it emerged that the relationship between Randy Couture and the UFC may be on the mend, and that the fan favorite may indeed be back in business in his role as the heavyweight champion of the organization.
The students at StudioX who do not wish to see Marcelo Garcia leave hope that such a happy ending comes to pass for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom.