After beginning my brazillian jiu-jitsu training in the late 90’s, it had always been a dream to me to train in Brazil.After beginning my brazillian jiu-jitsu training in the late 90’s, it had always been a dream to me to train in Brazil.

I never even thought much about the dangers of a trip to Brazil, but the more and more I heard about the country, the more I became eager to visit the jiu-jitu Meca of the world. Now after visiting the country 3 times, I am pleased to say that Thank God,I have never encountered any dangerous situations and have always had a great time. Some of the best times I have had have revolved around my times at the Alliance Jiu-jitsu Camp in beautiful Buzios Rio De Janeiro.

The camp was originally founded in 2004 by Romero JACARE Cavalcanti, leader of the powerhouse Alliance Team. The camps idea is very simple, plenty of training with plenty of fun in one of Brazil’s best kept secrets, BUZIOS! Buzios is a small town about 2 and a half hours by car from the Rio de Janeiro airport. The Camp has gone on three times and has been an excellent way for me to enjoy a vacation as well as totally focus on my jiu-jitsu game, with tips and techniques from some of BJJ’s top instructors and fighters. Every year the camp has featured different guest instructors all adding different spices to the game.

This years instructors were:

-Felipe ZICRO Neto:an amazing jiu-jitsu practicioner who teaches at a beauiful facility in Barra di Tijuca at the Compania Athletica. Felipe is not a flashy faced paced player, but has very strong precise technique that can neutralize anyones game!

-Alexandre GiGi Paiva: Former world Jiu-jitsu Champion and instructor to many of BJJ’s top competitors (Terere,Leo Leite, Haroldo Bunn and more!) as well as an amazing person to spar with. GiGi is in super great shape as he just completed some sort of triatholon and pretty much manhandled me on the mat. Off the mat, he’s a super funny guy who also runs the HotBlood online Clothing store. (

-Fabio Gurgel:The legend! What can one say about Fabio. The only thing I can compare Fabio to is like the legends I have always heard of Rickson Gracie. Fabio passed my guard with suttleness and speed but transitioned into one of the heaviest mounts I have every felt. Fabio has also been the man who fine tuned some of jiu-jitsu’s top stars (Leo Vieira, Terere, Marcelo Garcia, Damian Maia, Eduardo Telles, Tarsis Humphreys and many more!) The “Genereal” as he is sometimes referred to, seems to be in the best shape I have seen him and recently was victorious at the world Masters Championships.

-Ricardo Vieira:Unfortunately, Ricardo only came by for a short period of time this year as he was busy winning the Copa do Mundo, AGAIN, but the wait was well worth it. Ricardo is the type of person who just decides to train and help people at any time. It’s amazing to be able to train with Ricardo as he is an amazing mixture of awesome competitor, excellent teacher, hilarious comedian and an amazing person on and off the mats. Ricardo teaches to the people of the Cantagalo Slums as well as the his main academy in Copacabana.

-Last but not least Romero Jacare: Jacares knowledge of the sport and jiu-jitsu is unparalleled. He know exactly the game of every one of his students and can probably name you any match in jiu-jitsu history and tell a story about it as if it happened yesturday. He also knows how to push his students or anybody for that matter to compete at there best and is a person who cares more about the martial art and sport of Brazillian Jiu-jitsu than anybody I have met. The results speak for themselves as he has taught many of todays Brazilian and North American Champions in Jiu-jitsu.

Now aside from the amazing training that is the main feaure of the camp, the camp features transportation to and from the main airport in Rio De Janeiro. Hotel as well as food. The good times are up to the individual and there are no shortage in Buzios! Buzios is party central with plenty of bars and nighclubs as well as cafes and restaurants. No worries about being robbed as it is totally safe and very tourist friendly. You will be surprised how many tourists you bump into. But dont worry guys, there are plenty of brasilian women too! Just show em the gringo charm. If you have never been to Brazil, and are worried about where to go to train, who to train with, the camp is an excellent way to meet new people and instructors from all over. For example, if one wanted to, they could have returned to Sao Paolo with Fabio Gurgel and went to train with Marcelo Garcia, or one could go with Ricardo Vieira to his academy to train with his many rising stars who took home the gold this year at the mundials, or perhaps you could go to beautiful Leblon with either Felipe Neto or Alexandre Paiva to see one of Rios most beautiful beaches and train Carioca style! The options are limitless.

The camp is the way to go, from the diehard jiu-jitsu fan looking to train with some of the best coaches, to the veteran tourist looking for a good time and training, you wont be dissapointed.Heres what some past Alliance BJJ Camp members had to say about there time spent at the camp. “The Alliance BJJ Camp was a great experience that allowed me to train with some of the best black belts in the world right before the Mundials in Rio de Janeiro. I would never have had such a great experience if Jacare Cavalcanti had not adopted me while in Brazil. He made it possible for me to train as hard as I wanted in Buzios at the camp and then made absolutely sure I was taken care of in Rio for the time leading up to the Mundials. He helped me learn so much about my game and then coached me when I needed it the most. Thank you Jacare, and thanks to everybody at the Alliance camp last summer!”Katrina A. Weilbacher (2005 Mundial Blue belt champion) PARAGONBJJ (Santa Barbara, California)

——————————————————————————————————“Awesome beaches, great people, and the finest techniques and training available are what you can expect at the Alliance camp. The camp is a great way to experience Brazil without worrying about the minute to minute details of traveling, eating, lodging and training. Jacare does an excellent job of directing the camp and leading a team of top notch instructors. Just an unbelievable experience!!!” Josh Johnson Luiz Palhares Brown Belt —————————————————————————————————–

“Without a doubt, attending last years Alliance Camp in Buzios Brazil was one of the most magical experiences of my life. Training with world champions, making incredible new friends and experiencing the beaches and beauty of this very special place, will be a memory I will always cherish. Regardless of your belt or skill level, you must go to this camp. There is no other camp in the world you can go and get this level of training along with such amazing scenery and culture.” – Ed Kennedy (Atlanta, Georgia) ——————————————————————————————————-“The Alliance camp in Buzios was by far one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. In the morning we would get up and train hard with some of the best instructors in the world and afterwards go relax on sunny beaches and swim in cool blue water. In the evenings we go into town and enjoy the some of the local night life. They have awesome bars and restaraunts and you can enjoy a well earned beer while watching copoeira performers in the streets. I made some wonderful new friends. I saw an amazing country, and I learned some kick ass jiu jitsu. The Alliance camp is something that I highly recomend every bjj practitioner experience at least once.”

-Jon Van Holm (Atlanta, Georgia)————————————————————————————————————“Overall great experience! Not only did we get to train with great coaches such as Jacare Cavalcanti, Philipe Neto, Fabio Gurgel, and Alexander Paiva, but we got to experience all the beauty that Brasil has to offfer. We trained hard, and then spent our free time on the beautiful beaches of buzios.”

Maurice (Atlanta,Georgia)

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Riccardo Ammendolia