Saturday, October 21, 2006

New house!!!!

I would like to thank all the people that came and read our blog here, but due to a better interface, I decided to move the Blog of the Rio Grappling Club to a place I felt gives us more than here. We need to make a few adjustments there, I tried to import the posts from here but it did not work so I will keep this blog for a few months, but from today on, new posts will be made on

Check us out there and leave a comment if you feel like it!!!

Thanks for coming, hope you enjoy our new house in wordpress!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Results from the 1st Chester County BJJ Open

Quick results from the first Chester County BJJ Open, organized by Alex Britto in Pennsylvania, USA

Tournament Results


Super Feather
1 – Matt Rizzo – Revolution Academy
2 – Roberto Oquendo – Champion/Balance
3 – Ken Henderson

1 – Juan Vazquez – Champion/Balance
2 – Andrew Sanderbeck – BJJ United
3 – Christopher Tutts – BJJ United

1- Peter Shoemaker – Renzo Gracie
2 – Su Laiman – Tatu Team
3 – Jon Catov – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Zach Stewart – Renzo Gracie
2 – Bill Dowilhg – Rio BJJ
3 – Rob Walker – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Jared Allred – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club
2 – Mark Land – BJJ United
3 – Robson Ferreira – BJJ United

Light Heavy
1 – Bob Hood – BJJ United
2 – Donald Holt -
3 – Mike Evans – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Kevin Lutz – Balance
2 – Daniel Scheetz – Balance
3 – Stephen Galletta – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Bob Hood – BJJ United
2 - Robson Ferreira – BJJ United
3 – Stephen Galletta – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club


1 – Thomaz Sexton – BJJ United
2 – Rene Perez – BJJ United
3 – William Wayne

1 – Chris Harding – BJJ United

2 – Natha Drona – Renzo Gracie
3 – Paul Mcdonough

1 – Bruce Cooper - Balance

2 – Marc Ungar – RGDA

Light Heavy
1 – Eric Young –

2 – Robert Duff – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club
3 – Aldo Sehibi

Super Heavy
1 – Matt Smith – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

2 – Rob Burston
3 – Tom Rawls


1 – Thuy Tran – Rio Fitness

2 – Carolyn Larocque – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club


Under 115 lbs
1 – John Wilson – Balance / Delco

2 – Tim Donnelly – Balance / Delco

115 lbs and Over
1 – Shane Marchesani – Revolution Academy

2 – Adam Shub – Rio BJJ


Super Feather
1 – Mike Fusco – Oregon Pound

2 – Mike Vizzoca – Champion
3 – Jason Patton – Balance

1 – Mitchell Drake – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

2 – Lia Kerrigan – NJIMB / Cabeca

1 – John Carrol – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

2 – Scott Huning - Balance
3 – Ben Sugarwala – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

Light Heavy
1 – Kenneth Berger – BJJ United

2 – Clay Yarbrouh – De la Riva

Super Heavy
1 – Brian Moore – BJJ United

2 – James Taft – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club
3 – Jon Vancleve – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Brian Moore – BJJ United
2 – Ken Berger – BJJ United
3 – Jon Vancleve – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club


Light Heavy
1 – Jayson Belfort

2 – Eric Colon
3 – Keith Holland


Light Heavy
1 – Kevin Barr – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

2 – Mike Seese – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

1 – Jeff Rockwell – The Oregon
2 – Alexis Ramus – Balance
3 – Kevin Barr – BAJJI / Rio Grappling Club

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The future!

The future of jiu jitsu in on the kids, and so I hope to see more and more kids training the gentle art world wide. In Poland we have only one club teaching but it is a start. One of the goals of the Rio Grappling Club is to have kids classes in many countries all over Europe. Above is picture of me training with one of our students in Racibórz, Silesia
Roberto Atalla

Carlson Gracie Blackbelts

A friend of mine asked me to post this list, it was the last updated one made by Carlson Gracie himself. Notice that he signaled the guys that he has expelled but he hasn't taken out their names from the list so anyone claiming to be a black belt directly under Carlson Gracie must be on this list or else is not telling the truth.
As my readers know, my black belt was given in 98 by Sergio "Bolao" Souza, who is one of the most famous fighters and coaches under Carlson Gracie and won matches against Marcelo Behring, Jean Jaques and Johny Machado, Fabio Gurgel, Castelo Branco, Roberto Traven among other great caliber guys and his sweeps are out of this world!
Here the list:
Alan Goes (expelled)
Alberto “Apaga Vela” Dos Santos
Alexandre Macedo
Alexandre Derizans
Amaury Bitetti
Andre Pederneiras
Anselmo Montenegro
Antonio Claudio Correia Buchaul
Antonio Ricardo Bittencourt Cavalcanti
Antonio Ricardo Jardim Liborio (expelled)
Antonio “Tuninho” Rodrigues
Armando Alves “Maninho” Goncalves Filho
Arthur Virgilio Neto
Ary Galo
Braulio Carsalade
Cassio Cardoso (expelled)
Carley Gracie
Carlos “Penao”Alexandre Da Conceicao
Carlos Antonio Rosado
Carlos “Bagana”
Carlos Eduardo De Oliveira
Carlos Rollyson
Carlson Gracie Jr.
Carlson Guimaraes
Christian Kennedy Grandi
Cleiton De Souza
Clovis Rodrigues
Crezio De Souza
Daniel Cristoph
Djalma Jose De Santana Filho
Edir “Monge” Da Silva
Edson Carvalho
Elair Gilberto Da Silva Reis
Elcio Figueiredo
Fabio Macieira
Felipe Figalo Barbosa
Fernando “Nutri-Baby” Da Silva
Fernando “Pinduka” Guimaraes
Fernando Rosental
Francisco “Grego” Trivelas
Francisco “Toco” Albuquerque
Gustavo Gussem
Gutenberg Mello
Henrique Chvaicer
Isaias De Souza
Jeronimo Ventura
Joao Antonio Fernandes Filho
Jose De Oliveira
Jose Eduardo Gomes De Oliveira
Jose Mario Sperry (expelled)
Julio “Foca” Fernandez
Leo D’ilha
Luis Fernando “Nando” Da Costa
Luis Carlos “Manimal” Matheus
Luiz “Bebeo” Duarte (expelled)
Luiz Carlos Vallois
Manuel “Maneco” Maria Cardoso Neto
Marcel Duque Estrada
Marcelinho “Cremulhao”
Marcelo Alonso
Marcelo Bustamante
Marcelo “Playmobil”
Marcelo Procopio
Marcelo Tadeo De Oliveira
Marcello Saporito
Marco Aurelio Kuhner De Oliveira
Marco Aurelio Valadares LisboaM
arcos “Parrumpinha” Da Matta (expelled)
Marcos Flexa
Marcos “Conan” Silveira (expelled)
Marcus Vinicius De Macedo Soares
Mario Cupertino
Marvin Swhab
Mauricio “Saddam”
Miguel Kelner (expelled)
Miguel “Dentista” Monteiro
Murilo Bustamante (expelled)
Orlando Saraiva
Oswaldo “Paqueta” Gomes Rosa
Oswaldo Viana
Otavio Augusto De Oliveira
Paulo Filho
Paulo “Mamao” Albuquerque Filho
Pedro De Secco
Renato “Macaquinho” Frossard
Renato Tavares (expelled)
Ricardo De La Riva
Ricardo “Rey” Diogo
Ricardo Luis Perrone
Ricardo Juca Santos
Ricardo “Kiko” Velloso
Rinaldo Santos
Roberto De Souza
Rocian Gracie
Rodrigo Medeiros
Sergio Abhimery
Sergio "De Niteroi" Iris Jose De Almeida
Sergio “Bolao” De Souza
Vinicius Cruz
Vitor Belfort (expelled)
Wallid “Paraiba” Ismail
Walter “Soldado” Da Silva
Walter “Casquinha” Guimaraes
Wander De Sousa

Rio Grappling Club Silesia

Silesia is one of the regions in Poland that I know better, it was here that i came first and where I spend most of my time whenever I visit this beautiful country. Most of the clubs linked to the RGC in Poland are in Silesia, in the cities of Gliwice, Dąbrowa, Lubliniec, Zawiercie and Wrocław.
We are also present in the city of Racibórż where we have classes exclusively for kids. Ten days ago I was there teaching kids from 5 to 10 years (see picture) as well as adults.
However, it is our goal to expand to other regions and we now are linked to clubs in Lublin and Bydgoszcz, respectively in the east and north of Poland.
Poland is pursuing excellence in MMA and BJJ, and very soon they will make a strong presence in many tournaments in Europe. Being not a rich country, it is sometimes a struggle to the polish grapplers to travel west and compete, but little by little they are coming and taking many medals home.
London has an ever growing community of polish people and anyone visiting the martial arts clubs there will see many of them there, training hard and improving fast, so next time you are in London, make sure you learn to say Ćżesć ;)
Roberto Atalla

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Spotlight 2

This time we travel to Brasil to put one of our most succesful competitors in the spotlight.

Igor Rodrigues, nicknamed "Baixinho", from Buzios, is 25 years old got his second gold medal in the 2006 BJJ World championships.
Igor trains BJJ for only 5 years and previously has won the Worlds in 2004 in the blue belt among many more achievements. This year he got first place in the rooster weight purple belt in both the Rio de Janeiro state and Brazilian national championships before winning the Worlds. After all this success in the purple belt, it was time for Igor to move on to bigger things and now he is a proud brown belt.
Igor always trained under the guidance of Marco Antonio Chuck, the head coach of Buzios Jiu-Jitsu (one of the 3 schools that are part of the Rio Grappling Club in Brasil) and had many achievements in tournaments, and we hope he can keep doing the same in 2007 and beyond! Thanks Igor, we are proud of you and wish you the best in your competitor career.
Roberto Atalla

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

4th visit to Poland

I arrived in Katowice on the first of October, while in Brasil everyone was voting on the presidential elections. Seems that we will have a second round and I really don't know which one of the candidates is the worst, Lula or Alkmin. Anyways, I cannot vote from here so I'd better focus on teaching BJJ ;-)
I was tired after catching a train, a bus and a plane from Livorno to Poland, but after a good night sleeping I felt fine to start my marathon of seminars. Half guard will be the focus of most of the seminars and is something I really enjoy teaching because is so detailed and complex, it takes long to grasp all that is but I'm getting a good grip on teaching that even for beginners.
Based on my experience on last seminars, Im reorganising the sequence of te positions in order to make my students progress faster, and I'm also working on my bad side when it is time to sparring, to make my game more solid from the bottom. I have to learn how to post videos in Youtube and put a link in this blog so I can give a hint on what's going on in my seminars. Hopefully sooner than later this will happen and this place will be a teaching tool. Stay tuned and come back soon!
Roberto Atalla

Saturday, September 30, 2006


The Coliseum is the most famous arena of all times, where in the ancient times the gladiators fought for the pleasure of the crowd. Nowadays it is partially destroyed but still draws a large crowd of tourists that come to see its marvelous architecture and imagine how it was in the past when Roma was the capital of thw western world.

A visit to Rome cannot be complete without going to the Coliseum. I have been here last year but it was at night and I wanted to come again during the day. This picture above is one of the best I took myself. Enjoy!
Roberto Atalla

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

October in Poland

My next stop will be Poland and it will be a busy month, with many classes and seminars scheduled by my student Krystian Kwiecen.

Here is the list of places I will be visiting from October 2nd:

2-6 Dąbrowa Górnicza info. (+48) 502785561 Roman
7- Racibórz info.
(+48) 888505423 Jabu
9-12 Bydgoszcz info.
(+48) 607081051 Piotr
13- Zawiercie info.
(+48) 693399611 Krystian
14-15 Gliwice info.
(+48) 510414458 Krzysiek
16- Lubliniec info.
(+48) 693399611 Krystian
18-19 Lublin info.
(+48) 609763159 Fiodor
20-26 Wrocław info.
(+48) 665362597 Maciek

Monday, September 25, 2006

Half guard seminar in Livorno

After ten days training in Livorno, a beautiful city in the heart of Tuscany, it was time to deliver another focused seminar to develop my students game in our school located in a nice gym called Living.

Big props to Jean Luc that woke up at 5am to come all the way from Modena, and to Danilo, 51 years old and still willing to learn, that came from a place near Firenze. The day started a bit chilly so we did a good warm up and started taking a deep look at half guard.

I had trained for many years with Roberto Gordo Correa, the grappler that developed most of the modern half guard and this is not a new stuff for me. In fact, all the stuff Eddie Bravo claims to have developed, I learned from Gordo a long time ago and started using in training and competition since 93.

I believe that the half guard is a strong position only if you use it as a transition, but do not rely on staying there for too long, because it would give your opponent chance to adapt and neutralize your sweeps and reversals and pass your guard.

In this seminar I talk about all the secrets to have a successful half guard and show the most important variations that can keep your opponent on the defensive. For 2 and a half hour we drilled those positions with focus on the details and in the last half hour we tried to make it work with resistance. In the end I asked everyone in the class to try to pass my half guard from both sides, allowing me to drill a bit the stuff I showed, and it was good to see that my blind side is finally developing. Everyone at class had the chance to train a bit with me while the others could see the positions being applied in live training. We finished the class and start to make plans for next year, and now I'm off to see the brilliant victory of Renzo Gracie against Miletich.

This week I will visit Rome and post some pictures of the Coliseum.

Roberto Atalla


Genova is one of the most famous cities in Italy, an old port that in the middle ages controled along with Venice the shipping of condiments and goods coming from the East to Europe. It is also the place where Colombo was born (for those not into history, he was the first european to reach the new continent, America, in 1492).

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, though, is a new thing for this old place. No one was training it until 5 years ago when a small group lead by Andrea Goa started it under the supervision of Robin Gracie. Andrea is a skilled blue belt that runs the only club training BJJ in Genova since 2001. Like everywhere else, people come and go but a few guys stick to it and help bring our sport to a higher level. Andrea has traveled twice to Brasil and speaks portuguese quite well for the small time he spent there. When asked by me how that is possible, he smiles and says that loves brazilian music, and is a big fan of Raul Seixas (Raulzito was a famous singer that mixed rock and roll and brazilian styles, and a rebel, also called the Maluco Beleza, which means crazy nice fellow!). There are two brazilian students that help improve his language skills. Stefano and Thiago come from Sao Paulo, and started their training in Genova.

Saturday I arrived in Genova coming by car from Livorno and after finding the gym where the seminar would be hosted, we quickly put our armours [I mean, the Gis ;)] and warmed up to train our stuff.

The seminar I did here was based on the things I have shown previously in Denmark but a bit adapted to fit into 3 hours. In the end we drilled escapes from the cross side position and headed down to one fine local restaurant to eat some pizzas.

Andrea has a very positive attitude towards BJJ and goes to Barcelona whenever is possible to train with his master Robin but also try to seek instruction with good people to help improve his game. He is very dedicated to his gym and I hope BJJ grows here in Genova because for sure it is in good hands. We talked a lot about BJJ and related stuff, and I was invited to come back next time I am in Italy, which certainly I will do as soon as possible. We finished eating late at night and Bernardo had to drive back to Livorno where in the next day our guys were waiting for the half guard seminar at 930 am. But that is another story, one that will be written in our next post.

Roberto Atalla

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Kombat League italian champions

Congratulations to Luca, Romina and Pasquale, champions of the last season Italian Grappling Rankings, organised by the Kombat League.

Saturday I traveled to Modena with Bernardo to attend a meeting of the Kombat League, one of the biggest organizations in Italy. The meeting discussed next season improvements and regulations to their competitions in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, MMA, Grappling and BJJ done by them. In the end all the last season champions were awarded their belts. Since our athletes could not come to Modena, Tuesday in the gym at Livorno we made a ceremony in the end of the class to give them their prizes for their hard training.

Well done guys!!!

Roberto Atalla

Italian Job

After three weeks in Scandinavia, I arrived last week in Livorno, a nice small town in Tuscany, on the west coast of Italy, very close to the famous tower of Pisa.

Its my fourth time here in the last 3 years, where my friend and student Bernardo Serrini lives. We are training every night in their gym, and I will stay for ten more days. This weekend will be busy, with a seminar in Genova saturday and another one here in Livorno. Jiu-Jitsu is still not big in Italy as compared to some countries but is growing steadily, with big clubs in Milano and Rome and small groups almost everywhere.

Our group is growing strong in Livorno, we have 3 purple belts and at least 20 people training regularly, with good results in the Italian BJJ and Grappling tournaments last season.
Roberto Atalla

Monday, September 11, 2006

Seminar in Stockholm

This weekend I had my first seminars in Stockholm, Sweden. Some of the best guys from Christian's school attended and we had 6 hours of technical training. The subject Saturday was half guard, and we also drilled nice sweeps from open guard with the opponent standing. In the end we had drills starting from half guard. Sunday we worked on attacks from the side control, the subject I studied most this year and presented in many seminars. I believe that everytime I explain the same positions to a diferent audience, my teaching improves and I am able to break them up better, which benefits the class.
Eveyone got stoked with the Kimura variation. From now on I am calling that position the De Lucca submission, once I had learned this position from him. I saw this later in some BJJ tapes but no one had the precision on details that I got from Shihan Leopoldo de Lucca. I will post a detailed sequence of that later on the blog. Stay tuned!
Roberto Atalla

Thursday, September 07, 2006

From our archives 2

Brasileiro da Superliga, 1997. Me on the first place, Anselmo Montenegro second and Suyan Queiroz third, receiving our medals from Carlson Gracie
Roberto Atalla

From our archives

This picture was taken many years ago, even before I started BJJ, in the 80's, long before we had the Brazilian National champioships.
The importance of this image is that in here, you not only can see my teacher Sergio Souza (Bolão) sweeping Jean Jacques Machado to win the match, but in the background you can see the great Carlson Gracie yelling to motivate Sergio and his father Carlos Gracie, the man that introduced Jiu-Jitsu in Brasil, watching this historic match.
Sergio not only won matches against Jean but also against his brother Johnny, Fabio Gurgel and other top competitors of the past. He was one of the first guys to come from Manaus to learn the gentle art in Rio de Janeiro, and he was very succesful as a fighter and later as a teacher, graduating many guys that won Brazilian and World tournaments. Sergio started teaching inside Carlson Gracie school in Copacabana, and later opened his own school. He teaches out of Rio de Janeiro and has his own website:
Roberto Atalla

Wednesday class @ Stockholm

This wednesday was my second class at Christian Kennedy's Stockholm BJJ School. The class had a few more guys than monday and we finished drilling escapes from the back. Everyone learned how to defend and escape when someone attacks them and after we were done doing the positions, we trained especifically with resistance, with all the guys showing great progress with the escapes. I feel the seminars saturday and sunday will be attended with a lot of enthusiasm, those guys are very energetic about BJJ here.
All the rumours that BJJ is becoming more and more popular in Scandinavia are true. Hopefully next time I go to Norway and Finland too. Above you can see two students drilling triangles to warm-up with Carlson observing. I will suggest all my clubs to put pictures of him as he was the greatest master of BJJ and the master of my master, Sergio Souza.
Roberto Atalla

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stockholm, Sweden

After 2 great weeks in Denmark, I arrived in the Swedish capital to meet my friend Cristian Kennedy, that has been living here for seven years and teaching for more than 4. A black belt under Carlson Gracie, Cristian comes from Rio de Janeiro and trained years with Liborio, Minotauro, Murilo Bustamante and other students of the greatest master of jiu jitsu of all times, Carlson Gracie.
Stockholm is an impressive city, and we walked past the city center before going to his club. Nice sightseeing, not only because of its architecture but also the size of the ships coming in and out of its harbour. A legacy of the vikings period? I don't know, just a guess...
Our first class started, we bowed to the Carlson Gracie picture, and I started to think how many people he has influenced, he was by far the most successful master of our martial art, the one and only Carlson. He is missed by all of us that had the pleasure to meet him and train under his guidance, and his legacy lives on here.
After that we started to warm up and drill positions, the class went on for one hour and a half and I sparred with three of Cristian students. I was always told by many people that BJJ was flourishing in Scandinavia and the level was the highest in Europe. Now I can say that is all true and this makes me happy as my goal is to see BJJ big in the old continent. This weekend I will teach a seminar here and hopefully next year I come back and visit also Norway and Finland too.
Roberto Atalla

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sunday's seminar in Hillerod, Denmark

Sunday I did my first seminar in Hillerod, Denmark.
The class was organized by Choke Academy, owned by my long time friend and training partner JP. 20 of his students came, some from other parts of Denmark and the class was held in a brand new Dojo, where we spent most of our 4 hours together training basic and advanced moves from side control and drilling specific exercises aimed to improve their attack and defense for the upcoming tournament in Copenhagen they are training for.
Its easy to notice that BJJ is growing fast all over Scandinavia, with lots of guys gathering to train the gentle art in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Being JP the best guy in Denmark, its not hard to figure that his guys have a very good technical level after 3 years training under his guidance. Saturday we will come to the capital city, Copenhagen, where some of his students will compete in the Danish Open and I will be there to support them.
On a Handball court next to us, blonde girls were practicing their stuff in such grace that I wondered why I haven't found a job teaching women ;)
A link for more pictures of the seminar last Sunday:
R. Atalla

Saturday, August 26, 2006

News from AFS / Rio Grappling Club UK

The summer has been a busy time! We have hosted an excellent series of classes with Roberto and he has once again helped to develop our game to a new level. We were pleased to meet Roberto's good friend Luiz Tosta who accompanied him on his second visit and helped us with some new half guard sweeps.

The Summer started with preparation for the Gracie Invitational competiton at the SENI Exhibition in Birmingham. We took a 5 man competiton team made up of Jamil Sorouji, Dave Pawan, Richard Haydock, Pete De Silva and Pascal Brierley. For many of the guys it was their first experience of competition and they all performed remarkably well. Jamil captured the gold medal in the white belt light heavy and stayed on in Birmingham over night to compete in the No-Gi competition the next day where he won the bronze medal with only 8 months training behind him.

The next event was the Bristol Open tournament that was organised by Pedro Bessa. This time we took a four man team comprising of Tim Murray, Jez Lozeby, Jamil and Dave P. Jez won the bronze in the white belt middle category, impressing us with his throws and defense. Jamil and Dave closed out the white belt middle heavy to win double gold. Both decided to enter the absolute where Jamil won the gold and Dave the bronze. An excellent set of results all round.

More recently Jamil and Dave entered the British Submission Championship held in Battersea, London and organised by Roger Brooking. Unfortunately Dave lost a very close quarter final match but Jamil once again progressed to the finals where he faced the U21 Britsh Wrestling champion (representing London Shootfighters). Jamil fought hard and took the fight to his opponent who had no interest in engaging him on the floor. In the end Jamil lost the fight by -3 points for jumping to guard in an attempt to get his opponent to fight.

We also saw a number of promotions over the Summer. Roberto's first visit saw the long overdue promotion of Dave Lucas to purple belt. Dave has worked incredibly hard on his ground game and developed an extremely tight and technical game.

More news soon....

Steve Haydock