Marcio Simas, 6th Degree Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and President of the Florida Federation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will be conducting a seminar at Grappling Mastery BJJ Academy on January 9th at 11am. The seminar is open to everyone at will only cost $50 for adults and $40 for kids.
With over 30 years of training with the Gracie family, Marcio Simas is considered by many to be one of the top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the Southeastern United States. He is one of the only jiu-jitsu teachers in Florida who studied under the legendary Rolls Gracie (who is regarded as the best jiu-jitsu fighter in the history of the Gracie family). Marcio received both his blue belt and his purple belt at Rolls’ Copacabana academy in Rio de Janeiro. After Rolls’ death at the age of 32, Marcio became a student of Rickson Gracie at the famous Gracie Humaitá academy where he earned his brown belt.
When his family moved to the outer suburb of Rio de Janeiro, known as Barra de Tijuca, Marcio was able to reunite with his old friend Carlos Gracie Jr. When Rolls died Carlos Gracie Jr. was unanimously voted by the students to take over the teaching. Soon after, Carlos moved the academy to Barra da Tijuca where he founded the Gracie Barra Academy. Marcio was awarded his black belt by Carlos Gracie Jr. As a Gracie Barra Black Belt, Marcio is in an elite group of fighters that includes Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Crolin Gracie, Rillion Gracie, Rigan Machado, Jean Jacques Machado, Marcio Feitosa and numerous world champions.
Marcio has been doing Jiu-Jitsu for over 39 years and has four schools. He is also President of the Federation in Florida of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He introduced Jiu-Jitsu here in Florida; also expanded Jiu-Jitsu here in the state of Florida because by bringing the Pan-American Championships to Florida for four straight years. He started training Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Brazil and brought it to Florida in 1994 when he opened his first school. Since then its expanded a lot. The fact that Royce Gracie fought in the UFC helped a lot to promote Jiu-jitsu and nowadays it’s grown so much that in every corner of this planet that you go you can find Jiu-Jitsu.
“It was hard to explain to people that didn’t know what Jiu-Jitsu was about. They all were asking questions like do you do katas? Do you have forms? And we didn’t really have anything like that. Also, to explain and to show how effective Jiu-Jitsu was. Another aspect was that everybody saw Jiu-Jitsu for the first time thru the UFC, so a lot of people were scared to even watch the class, thinking we were going to beat them up and it wasn’t like this. Also the way we train, because when I came here with my first school, I came with a Brazilian mentality and I came from a fighting school we didn’t have hobbyist at that time. Pretty much everyone that was in the school was to fight and our training was towards the competition fighting all the time. Later on we understood, we had other people interested in a form of Jiu-Jitsu but the class was not directed towards those kind of people. But nowadays we did it and we can accommodate everybody. Because in reality Jiu-Jitsu is a self defense and you can drive Jiu-Jitsu to a competition, you can use for MMA and you can use to lose weight for instance.
The athletes nowadays, because of the information, because of the internet, because of YouTube, people know more and have access to more information. The athletes that practice Jiu-Jitsu today, they are much better because they can get the information much quicker, they know better how to train themselves, less injuries, they can take of the injuries. Also, nutrition is a factor; people understand nowadays, they eat better than in my time when I was fighting. So definitely the level of the fighters if you compare with my generation it’s much better. In terms of techniques, the base of Jiu-Jitsu did not change, of course you have different techniques nowadays, sweeps for instance is something that is a little bit different from my time, more sweeps nowadays. But the base of Jiu-Jitsu did not change at all. One guy that is still there to prove that is Roger Gracie that wins his competitions with no fancy movements. A lot of people are eager to learn the black belt moves. In reality, the difference is in the black belts, the moves that they sometimes emphasize, is that the guy has more experience than a blue belt. He’s been practicing longer and has perfected within himself.”
(excerpts from an interview by Vireo Puro)