#57 Roberto "Gordo" Correa


Born in 1970, Roberto "Gordo" Correa grew up with Ralph Gracie and was shown Jiu Jitsu over the years but didn't take classes. Then one afternoon when he was a teenager he was at the Gracie house, doing Jiu Jitsu with Ralph and others. Master Rigan Machado was there and saw the young men practicing. Rigan asked Roberto where he had been training, when Roberto responded he didn't train at an academy Rigan told him to be at class the following Monday. This is when one of the most important men in the evolution of Jiu Jitsu began his formal training.


Roberto started his journey under the Machado brothers and after they left for the United States he started training under Carlos Gracie Junior at what would become the world-famous Gracie Barra Academy. Roberto went on to receive his black belt from Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in 1993.


Prior to becoming a black belt, at the age of 18 is when Roberto began to develop what would change the art of Jiu Jitsu forever. A severe knee injury made Roberto change his game. While still a purple belt, he began playing the Half Guard position to protect his injured leg. Keeping his still injured leg on the ground while protecting himself with his top leg. This became the Half Guard position. Roberto took an offensive approach Half Guard, a previously last effort defensive position used before an opponent passes your guard. He used the Half Guard to attack and take his opponent's back, thus revolutionizing Jiu Jitsu and becoming one of the most influential practitioners of the art.


Along the way, he won every major tournament and was a 2x World Champion and a 5x Pan American Champion. Roberto also became a coach at the Gracie Barra Academy and eventually formed his own team and academy, Gordo BJJ. Gordo also spent 2 years as the head coach of the United Arab Emirates National Jiu Jitsu team. Gordo has trained many champions in both BJJ and MMA including, UFC contender Renato Babalu Sobral, and UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos.


Gordo now has academies in the US and Brazil, still trains world champions and hobbyists alike, and with over 30 plus years of mat experience, Gordo has become a legend in the martial art earning the nickname King of the Half Guard.


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