Marcelo Garcia – The Definitive Guide to a BJJ Champion

By on June 7, 2014

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There are so many clichéd terms that we can throw around in the sporting world that it’s mind blowing.  However, while played out, they mostly ring true because sports are such a beautiful thing where triumph and sacrifice are pushed to the forefront.

For the iconic Marcelo Garcia, his rise to infamy was no different.  Knowing what sacrifice is, Marcelo was born in Formiga, a tiny town in Minas Gerais, Brazil.  Infatuated by the world of martial arts, Garcia began his life in martial arts with karate, but soon grew tired as the practicality of the movements didn’t feel right.

“The Only Marcelo Garcia BJJ Highlight That Matters”

Like many, Marcelo moved into Judo.  At first, Marcelo was unsure of grappling, and felt that a dominant striker would be able to overpower the art form, but this quickly passed.  Soon, Garcia began training BJJ three times a week in a nearby town, and quickly fell in love with it.

Knowing that he had to head for greener pastures in order to develop a more rounded game, Marcelo relocated to a much larger gym, where he began training full-time.  By chipping in around the gym with cleaning and other various tasks, Garcia was allowed to train for free.

By the age of 16, he was fully committed to the sport.

Upon joining the gym, Garcia revved up his training and began working on his game four times a day, allowing himself to become fully immersed in the culture of the sport and to develop at a much more rapid pace.

The years would go by, and Marcelo would become one of the best in the world, with the accolades to prove it:

  • Pan American Champion
  • ADCC Champion (4x)
  • World Champion (5x)
  • Brazilian National Champion (3x)

With a resume that speaks for itself, and the work ethic to place him among the best of the best, it’s no surprise why Marcelo is often viewed as one of the best in the world when it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Always the Right Moves….

Despite being one of the most respected names in the entire sport, Marcelo isn’t someone that isolates his knowledge strictly to the elite level grapplers out there.  In fact, for such a seasoned grappler with world class experience, Marcelo has no problem breaking even the most fundamental moves down so that beginners can learn from one of the best to ever do it!

For instance, Marcelo breaks down something that we all tend to struggle with; escape from side control.  Getting out from under your opponent is a universal road block that grapplers of all levels face.

The setups aren’t too advanced, and Marcelo does an excellent job of breaking things down so that it’s easy to digest and take in.

If escapes aren’t the only thing that you’re looking for, then Marcelo won’t let you down!  Personally, I’m a firm believer that no matter how good you become you can never be too good for the basic submission moves.

Even with a foundational move such as the guillotine choke, Marcelo will likely help you add a few new pieces to the puzzle by watching home work!

Marcelo’s Dominating Style of Grappling

If you go up to any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fan, competitor or anyone that knows anything about the sport, and say the name Marcelo Garcia, you’ll likely here nothing but rave reviews about him as a competitor and for his skills.

Be it his accolades or his impressive list of victims, everyone loves what Marcelo Garcia brings to the table.  Notorious for his passes and sweeps, Marcelo isn’t a question mark when it comes to his style of grappling.

Going into the match, you know what to expect from him, and you may even be well prepared, but no matter what, you probably aren’t going to stop Marcelo from beating you at his own game.  While some grapplers like to be flashy with their technique, Marcelo doesn’t sacrifice substance for style.

And that’s what makes him such an effective and dangerous grappler.

A very strategic grappler, Marcelo knows what makes for an effective showing.  For instance, in his match with Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo dominates by keeping heavy hips, allowing him to dictate the pace of the match.

Marcelo also shows off a powerful top game with relentless pressure in a match against the lethal Andre Galvao.  Garcia is also familiar with strategic chess matches that call for his grappling IQ, like when he waged war with the legendary Renzo Gracie, which showcased his masterful work from the back.

A Laundry List of Victims On The Mat

Having been competing at some of the most trying competitions for over a decade now, Marcelo has compiled a long list of names that he has claimed victories over.

You don’t have to be just a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fan to understand the weight of some of the victories, but it doesn’t hurt to appreciate the sport.  For instance, throughout his career Garcia has racked up wins against Kron Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Mike Van Arsdale, Roberto Cyborg, Andre Galvao, Robert Drysdale…the list can go on and on of big names that he has knocked off in his climb to the top.

Even more so, for the casual BJJ fans or Mixed Martial Arts fans reading this, Marcelo has also beaten the likes of Diego Sanchez, Jake Shields, Kurt Pellegrino, Shinya Aioki, Thales Leites and Gabriel Gonzaga.

Truly a list of some of the best to ever do it, Marcelo Garcia has cemented his name among the legends of the sport, and for good reason.

With outstanding accolades sitting in his trophy case, some of the biggest names in the sport on his resume, and the knowledge and skills to back up all the talk, there is little you can say to argue against Garcia being one of the greatest grapplers ever.

If you have a problem with his status, take it up with Marcelo.

Good luck.

Dan Faggella

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About Daniel Faggella

I'm 130 pounds, absolute medalist, Brown Belt No Gi Pan Am champion, and total fanatic about lightweight BJJ technique and strategy. I've written for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and others.

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