Alliance All Stars Seminar Review

Not only did he bring down his first black belt Fabio Gurgel, but also the superstars of the new generation of the Alliance Team in Brazil…..and, of course Marcelo Garcia. When Jacare first told me about the seminar he had been planning, I booked the first flight into the ATL out of Toronto Ontario. Not only did he bring down his first black belt Fabio Gurgel, but also the superstars of the new generation of the Alliance Team in Brazil…..and, of course Marcelo Garcia.

The seminar featured: Fabio Gurgel-Jacares first black belt and multiple time world BJJ Champion. Fabio is known as the General, and for good reason. He commands the Alliance army in Brazil and has produced and refined the games of many of todays current champions in BJJ.

Rubens Cobrinha Charles-former member of the TT team who earned his black belt in 4 years. Cobrinhas style is very similar to Leo Vieira in that he feels super light, is very fast and suprising. Cobrinha this last year won the copa do mundo and the mundials beating the famous Marcio Feitosa in the finals.

Marcelo Garcia-Ive known Marcelo for a long time, Ive brought him to Canada 3 times for seminars and Ive seen all his instructionals and just when I thought Ive seen it all, Marcelo comes out with new positions and new moves that blows peoples mind. This is why he will stay on top for a long time.

Jacare not only hosted the seminar but he also was on hand to teach some of his techniques. Jacare has seen many different progressions and changes to jiu-jitsu style and he still is enthusiastic about learning from the younger generation as he ever was. Yes he is the master, however like he said “a black belt is a white belt who never gave up and stopped learning”

The seminar also had some guest appearances by two of Fabios top students Fernando Soluco and Tarsis Humphreys. Soluco medals at every tournament and Tarsis is the newest addition to the black belt team of Alliance. I was always impressed with Tarsis’ ability but I never realized his potential untill after watching him roll this past weekend. He is a warrior who will compete against the best of them always improving. Look for him to make a splash at the ADCC this year!

The seminar is honestly the best I had ever been to, and I have been to a lot of seminars in my time. Not only did these black belts each show techniques, but each of them would walk around and show you a little variation or trick to make each move all the better. The techniques ranged from classic butterfly sweeps and combinations, to half guard and combinations to passing. Each instructor would demonstrate the techniques they were best known for. Fabio, precision mount attacks and methodical passing, Cobrinha, innovative guard sweeps mixed with submissions and of course Marcelo with attacking the back. Tarsis also showed some very interesting leglocks from passing the guard and from De La Riva.

Following the completion of the techniques, the black belts sat on the mats and allowed each student to roll with them. I think on one occasion 6 black belts submitted about 30 guys in around 10 minutes. That’s gotta be some record!

The Alliance team also graduated two new black belts. The first from Jacare was Kenny McClendon who has medaled at the Pan Ams and won many tournaments in Georgia. The second, was long time student of Fabio Gurgel, and is the wife of Marcelo Garcia, Tatiana Toginini. Tatiana, has helped the Alliance team for years and especially Fabio with organizing many of the teams events. Parabens Tati, congrats Kenny!

The seminar was a great chance to learn some of the newest techniques and “drink some water right from the source” as Fabio said. It was also a chance to meet and exchange techniques with people from all over as Jacare had many of his reps from around the world and opened the seminar to the public.

I am glad to hear that Jacare plans to do more of these seminars, more often. If you hear about it, dont miss out. If you want to contact Jacare or possibly book any of the above for a seminar, you can contact him through the website

On a closing note, I would like to thank Jacares students who always make me feel like home when visiting Atlanta. Especially…big Chad for picking us up at the airport, Pat Hurricane Harvey for taking us out to lunch, Bull Shaw for being Bull Shaw, and the guys from the Alliance camps who I was able to see again like Ed Kennedy, Chris Moriarty, Doctor John, Big John and Neal. And last but not least to Master Jacare. For being the person who lead me in my path in jiu-jitsu and having an open door and open heart to everyone he knows in life. Your dedication to the sport is to be admired and you deserve all the best in your life after all the hard work you have done. They say a man is not only judged by his actions but how his life affects others and anyone who has had the pleasure to train under Jacare for years, will admit that their lives were affected deeply by the alligator from Rio!

F.Y.I.-there will be a DVD released of the seminar soon. I highly recommned this DVD. Look for more news on the DVD and other news from the Alliance team at

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Riccardo Ammendolia