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#76 Flavio Almeida

Flavio Almeida has dedicated himself to Jiu Jitsu and through all his years on the mats, he has become one of the most influential people in BJJ. Professor Flavio is CEO of Gracie Barra Franchise Systems and Gracie Barra America. Gracie Barra is the biggest Jiu Jitsu team in the world with affiliates across the globe and students numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. But there was a point during his Jiu Jitsu journey that Flavio quit Jiu Jitsu altogether, when his identity as an unbeatable champion was shattered by losses. Flavio had to come to terms with losing and start his journey again to become the leader he is today.

Flavio started Jiu Jitsu as a teen in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro after a short time training Karate. Flavio joined his older brother Ricardo who was already training under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. at the first Gracie Barra academy. Flavio quickly became a top competitor in the sport, winning the World Championships as a Blue belt then again in the Brown belt division.

However, it was early losses in the Black belt division that devastated Flavio. Flavio has stated that he had built his identity around being a winner and that not knowing how to deal with losing shattered his sense of self-worth. Flavio quit training and concentrated on his academic career, earning a degree in Economic Science.

Flavio spent several years away from Jiu Jitsu and greatly missed the community that he had within the sport. He began training once again but this time with a different purpose. He now trained for the love of the sport and its community, rather than training for the sake of training as he did in the past. This new way of committing himself to the sport allowed Flavio to find a new identity, one that was bigger than himself, allowing him to deal with losses while also giving back to the sport as an instructor.

Flavio moved to the United States in 2006 to work and train at his brother's academy in New Jersey. Shortly after his move to New Jersey Flavio found himself in California, first working at Marcio Feitosa's academy then opening his own academy under the Gracie Barra banner.

Now over a decade later, Flavio has worked his way up through the Gracie Barra organization to become one of its leaders, spreading Jiu Jitsu, its sense of teamwork and community across the world.


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