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#88 Carlos Maia

Carlos Maia is one of the people responsible for spreading Jiu Jitsu through central Europe. When he began instructing Jiu Jitsu in Slovenia over ten years ago he didn't speak the Slovenian language, in fact, he didn't even speak English. But he did speak the language of Jiu Jitsu and was able to teach not only techniques to his new students but Jiu Jitsu culture as well. Seeing his new students arrive at classes in mismatched gis, shorts, and wearing Red Belts that are reserved for masters of the art, Carlos knew he had his work cut out for him. Carlos had faced big obstacles before and due to his past experiences and challenges, he met teaching in a foreign land head-on and now runs two academies in Europe.

Carlos began Jiu Jitsu at 12 and by his late teens was a top competitor in Brazil. However, that career was derailed when at 19 Carlos was in a car accident that shattered his knee and severely injured one of his hands. The doctor Carlos saw after the surgeries that repaired his injuries told him that the mobility in his hand was never going to be the same and that he would never compete at a high level again. This devastating news set Carlos on a path that saw him leave Jiu Jitsu altogether for over a year. During that time Carlos tried various things to fill the void leaving Jiu Jitsu left in his life but nothing gave him the same satisfaction as the martial art he loved. After about a year, Carlos was approached by his first BJJ instructor Carlos Augusto and asked if he was willing to help him teach classes. This was Carlos's entry back into Jiu Jitsu and after several months of rehab, Carlos was not just teaching classes but training and once again competing.

Carlos received both his Law degree and his Black Belt in 2005. In 2008 he traveled to Europe to help train MMA fighters and in 2010 he moved to Slovenia. There he began teaching Jiu Jitsu full-time and opened one of the first BJJ academies in Slovenia. Now has two academies where he spreads Jiu Jitsu, Jiu Jitsu culture, and the Jiu Jitsu philosophy. All the things that helped him conquer his setbacks and become the successful instructor, businessman, and Jiu Jitsu ambassador he is today.


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