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CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy And History

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Schools Legacy And History

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport whose foundation was laid by the Gracies. Since then, practitioners all over the world keep their legacy alive. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is one of those institutes that is responsible for keeping the art in its actual form.

There are hundreds and thousands of BJJ academies around the world. These academies come into being when proficient Black Belts leave their former organizations and aim to create new ones. And that is how today there are a considerable number of BJJ institutes around the globe.

1. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu  is one of the most famous institutes for learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The headquarters of this famous institute is in Long Beach, California, USA. Though it is not as old as other BJJ institutes, because of quality training and sheer passion earned fame and recognition in the combat sport in a very short period of time. All the credit goes to its founder Leonardo Vieira.

Its branches are spread worldwide where practitioners train hard in martial arts. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu offers franchising programs through which different instructors can open their own affiliate branch of the BJJ institute and illuminate the name of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu.

1.1. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Team Lineage

Academia Gracie > Alliance Jiu-Jitsu > Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu > CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is focused on 4 things
Confidence & Self Esteem At Checkmat Headquarters, practitioners pay special attention to students so that they can become confident. It boosts their self-esteem
Discipline & Self-Control Through consistent training, you learn to prioritize your training and build self-discipline to show up to your class. You learn to control different factors such as diet in order to gain a perfectly shaped body.
Self-Defense BJJ at CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu instructs you self-defense techniques that help you neutralize physical attacks. You learn how to defend yourself from different submissions and takedowns.
New Friends & Mentors As you learn new techniques and roll with practitioners, your social circle seems to expand. You make new connections that help you reach the top position. BJJ is all about teamwork and this is what Check mat Jiu-Jitsu teaches you.

2. The Meaning Behind CheckMat

From the name it is clear that the term is derived from an indoor game called “Chess”. It is specifically derived from the word “checkmate” which means that you have attacked the king of your rival and he can’t escape the move. The word “mat” refers to the ground position as BJJ is a ground grappling sport. Vieira brothers are credited for the innovation of such a name.

It was also because Leonardo Vieira was fascinated by chess; in his opinion, chess and Jiu-Jitsu resemble each other.

3. Vieira Brothers - Founder of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

Vieira brothers are credited for the formation of the World’s best BJJ institute, CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu, especially Leonardo Vieira.

3.1. Leonardo Vieira

Leonardo Vieira is a 6th-degree BJJ Black Belt under Master Romero Cavalcanti. He is famous for not only forming CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu but also the Brasa Club de Jiu-Jitsu team. Today, he is one of the most accomplished and skilled coaches in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has won many World Championships and is two times ADCC World Champion.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2011 ADCC World Championship 2nd
2007 ADCC World Championship 2nd
2005 ADCC World Championship 1st
2004 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st
2003 ADCC World Championship 1st
2002 IBJJF Pan Championship 1st
2000 IBJJF World Championship 3rd
1999 IBJJF World Championship 1st
1997 IBJJF World Championship 2nd
1996 IBJJF World Championship 1st

3.2. Ricardo Vieira

Ricardo Vieira is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt under Master Romero Cavalcanti. He is a 9 times World Champion. He was a prominent name in colored belt divisions. He is the co-founder of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2001 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2004 CBJJO World Championship 1st
2005 CBJJO World Championship 1st
2006 CBJJO World Championship 1st
2002 IBJJF Pans Championship 1st
2011 CBJJ Brazilian Nationals No-Gi 1st
1996 IBJJF World Championship 1st
1997 IBJJF World Championship 1st
1999 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2000 IBJJF World Championship 1st

3.3. Leandro Vieira

Leandro Vieira is a 5th-degree BJJ Black Belt under Master Romero Cavalcanti. He started training BJJ when he was only 5 years old, which is why his foundation is so strong. He is the co-founder of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
1999 Brazilian Nationals 1st
2000 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 3rd
2002 Regional Paulista Jiu-Jitsu Championship 1st
2010 Submission Ink Grappling Tournament 3rd
2010 Las Vegas International Open 3rd
2011 Las Vegas International Open 2nd

4. History of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Schools

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu was founded in 2008 by the Vieira Brothers. Since then, it's only been 15 years and CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is creating history.

4.1. Relation With Alliance Jiu-Jitsu

Leonardo Vieira, the eldest of his brothers, started his BJJ training when he was only 6 years old. Following his footsteps, later on, his brothers Ricardo and Leandro also trained under Master Romero Cavalcanti. The three of them trained hard under Romero Cavalcanti and represented the Team Alliance. They also earned their Black Belts from Romero Cavalcanti.

Before the formation of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, the Vieira brothers were a part of the Academia Strike. Jacare Romero Cavalcanti was running his own academy, Academia Strike before the formation of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu.

4.2. Left Alliance Jiu-Jitsu

Some differences developed between the Vieira brothers and Alliance’s main coach, Master Fabio Gurgel. These differences led to quarrels between other team members. The main reason for the differences was that Master Fabio Gurgel was authoritatively dictating to his students which tournaments and championships they should compete in and which to avoid. The prohibited championships were paying a really good amount of money and practitioners of Alliance under Master Fabio Gurgel didn’t care much about the ideological differences between Fabio and the organizations and joined the championships.

The Vieira brothers did not like such an attitude and decided to leave Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Eventually, in 2002, the Vieira brothers left Alliance Jiu-Jitsu. Not only did the Vieira brothers leave Team Alliance but many other World Champions too.

4.3. Reason for Conflict Between Vieira Brothers & Master Fabio Gurgel

The main reason for conflict between the Vieira brothers and Master Fabio Gurgel was the nature of tournaments. The IBJJF World Championship was scheduled to happen a week after Copa do Mundo. The prize money for Copa do Mundo was great as compared to the IBJJF World Championship which did not offer any prize money.

Leonardo Vieira and other members of the Team Alliance wanted to compete in Copa do Mundo while Master Fabio Gurgel wanted them to compete in the IBJJF. Other team members still competed in the Copa do Mundo and that is how they were expelled from the Alliance Team.

4.4. The Gang of Ronin

After leaving Alliance Jiu-Jitsu, the Vieira brothers went to different BJJ gyms to train and wanted to become a permanent part of a good team. Vieira brothers are often called the “Gang of Ronin”. It is because of their fierce fighting skills and ability to rule over BJJ competitions with their success.

4.5. Formation of Team Brasa

The Vieira brothers then decided to create their own academy. It was called Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu. It was founded in 2004 by the Vieira brothers and some other BJJ fighters such as Rodrigo Comprido, Felipe Costa, Chico Mendes, Demian Maia, Muzio de Angelis, Jamelão, Ratinho, Vitor Viana, and Ze Mario Esfiha. This team within no time won famous World Championships and became one of the famous BJJ teams.

4.6. The Downfall of Team Brasa

Vieira brothers tried their hardest to keep the team as a unit but because of a lack of leadership, the foundation of Team Brasa shattered. The main difference was between the thinking of the Vieira brothers and other fighters. Vieira brothers had different aims and visions for the team whereas other fighters couldn't understand their perspective.

In 2008, the Vieira brothers left Team Brasa and decided to form their own institute with the vision they hold.

4.7. Formed CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu

Finally in 2008, the Vieira brothers formed their own academy and named it CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu. They invited some of their friends, Chico Mendes and Sebastian Lalli, for assistance. Within a few days, CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu became one of the most developed Jiu-Jitsu affiliations. And in the 2008 World No-Gi Championship, the Vieira brothers proved that CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best BJJ institutes in the world.

It was a daring move by the Vieira brothers as there was no guarantee of success for the team. But they still took the risk while being fully determined. The same year, in 2008, Andre Galvao and Ramon Lemos left Brasa Clube de Jiu-Jitsu and formed their own institute, which we today know as Atos Jiu-Jitsu.

4.8. First World Championship

Despite being a newly formed team, the CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu participated in the World No-Gi Championship and won 1st place. It was the sheer hard work and determination of the Vieira brothers and their students that cemented their name as one of the top-class BJJ teams.

After winning its first World Championship, CheckMat Team once again appeared in the 2009 No-Gi Worlds and proved its worth.

5. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Headquarters

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu headquarters are located in Signal Hill, California. Other than having many branches, there are three main institutes. These institutes are located in Brazil, one in Rio de Janeiro and two in São Paulo.

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu hosts “The Mundials”, World Championship, every year.

6. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu Mission Statement

Since 2008, CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu has been devoted to the propagation of BJJ to the whole world. Its mission statement is:

“At Check Headquarters Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we believe in the power of positive reinforcement. We help our students grow their confidence, build discipline, and become the best they can be”.

At CheckMat Buena Park:

“Together We Stand Stronger”

7. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu - Social Project

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu started a social project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The project focused on the slums of Cantagalo. Ricardo Vieira was the one who initiated the Cantagalo project in the areas of Cantagalo, Pavao, and Pavaozinha. The aim of this project was to enlighten the techniques and principles of BJJ to underprivileged children so that they can get away with the criminal mindset which is a drawback of these slums.

Only because of this project, many kids got the opportunity to make their lives better. Alan do Nascimento and Bruno Matias are some of those competitors.

8. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu’s Top Competitors

Today, there are thousands of students that train under the CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu banner. Some of the famous students that are renowned World Champions are as follows:

8.1. Marcus Almeida Buchecha

Marcus Almeida Buchecha is a 2nd-degree BJJ Black Belt under Rodrigo Cavaca. He is 13 times World Champion with 2 ADCC World Championships and 6 IBJJF World titles. He is not only a famous BJJ fighter but now is a renowned MMA fighter. He is an IBJJF Hall of Famer too. He currently fights in the ONE Championship.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2012 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2013 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2014 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2016 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2017 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2018 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2019 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2013 ADCC World Championship 1st
2017 ADCC World Championship 1st

8.2. Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Nicolini is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt under Robert Drysdale. She is 8 times World Champion and one-time ADCC World Champion. In 2014, she was inducted into the IBJJF Hall of Fame.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2013 ADCC World Championship 1st
2014 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2013 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2012 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2011 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2010 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2007 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2006 IBJJF World Championship 1st
2010 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi 1st
2008 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi 1st

8.3. Gabriel Rollo

Gabriel Rollo is a BJJ Black Belt under Rodrigo Cavaca. He is a famous name in Pan Championships and IBJJF European Championships.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2014 IBJJF South American Championship 1st
2014 IBJJF Sao Paulo Open Championship 1st
2015 ADCC Trials Winner 1st
2017 CBJJ Brazilian National Championship Runner-up 1st
2014 IBJJF Rio BJJ Pro Runner-up 1st
2015 UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Championship Runner-up 1st
2019 IBJJF Pan American Championship 3rd

8.4. Joao Assis

Joao Assis is a 3rd-degree BJJ Black Belt under Leonardo Vieira. He is famous for his ADCC and World No-Gi titles. In 2010, Joao submitted one of the best grapplers, Jeff Monson, who was a 2-times ADCC World Champion. This victory laid the foundation of Joao’s fame inside and outside the BJJ community.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2013 ADCC World Championship 1st
2015 World No-Gi Champion 1st
2010 World No-Gi Champion 1st
2007 World Championship 1st
2009 Pan American Champion 1st

8.5. Adam Wardzinski

Adam Wardzinski is a BJJ Black Belt under Alan Finfou. He is famous for competing in the heavyweight division while winning many world titles. He is one of the emerging BJJ fighters of Poland.

Main Achievements:

Year Championship Position
2022 IBJJF European Open 1st
2021 AJP Abu Dhabi World Pro 1st
2021 AJP Grand Slam, MSK 1st
2019 AJP Grand Slam, AD 1st
2018 ADCC EU Trials 1st
2019 IBJJF Pan Championship 2nd
2021 IBJJF Pan Championship 2nd
2020 IBJJF European Open 2nd
2017 IBJJF European Open No-Gi 3rd
2021 IBJJF World Championship No-Gi 3rd

9. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu’s Record

Year Championship Position
2008 No-Gi World Championship 1st
2009 No-Gi World Championship 1st
2009 World Championship 3rd
2009 European Open Championship (Adult) 1st
2009 European Open Championship (Master & Senior) 2nd
2009 European Open Championship (Novice) 3rd
2010 No-Gi World Championship (Adult) 2nd
2010 No-Gi World Championship (Female) 2nd
2010 World Championship 3rd
2010 European Open Championship (Adult) 2nd
2010 European Open Championship (Master and Senior) 1st
2010 European Open Championship (Novice) 3rd
2011 World No-Gi Championship 1st
2011 World Championship 2nd
2011 Brazilian National (Female) 1st
2011 Brazilian National (Adult) 2nd
2011 European Open Championship (Adult) 3rd
2011 European Open Championship (Female) 1st
2011 European Open Championship (Master & Senior) 1st
2011 European Open Championship (Novice) 2nd
2012 Pan Kids Championship 1st
2012 Pan Championship 2nd
2012 World Championship (Novice) 3rd
2012 World Championship (Female) 3rd
2012 European Open Championship (Female) 1st
2012 European Open Championship (Adult) 2nd
2012 European Open Championship (Master & Senior) 3rd
2012 European Open Championship (Novice) 3rd
2012 Brazilian National (Female) 3rd
2012 Brazilian National (Adult) 3rd
2013 European Open Championship (Female) 1st
2013 European Open Championship (Master & Senior) 3rd
2013 European Open Championship (Novice) 3rd
2013 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (Adult Male) 2nd
2013 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (Adult Female) 2nd
2021 IBJJF Worlds 1st

10. CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu - Franchising Cost

The minimum investment required to open a CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu institute is $65,000 to $222,000. The figures may vary in terms of some cities and countries.

11. FAQs

11.1. How Many Branches of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu are there?

There are numerous branches of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu. As of today, there are more than 30 countries that have a CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu academy.

11.2. Who is the Current Head of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu?

The current head of CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is Professor Leonardo Vieira.

12. Conclusion

CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu is a big name when it comes to BJJ institutes. It's been only 15 years since its inception but has proven its merits many times. Professor Leonardo Vieira is especially given credit for his leadership skills and persistence. Marcus Almeida, Michelle Nicolini, and Adam Wardzinski are some of the most accomplished grapplers of this prestigious team. There are more than 30 countries that contain a CheckMat Jiu-Jitsu branch.

Photo Credit: @checkmat_fresno and @checkmatbjj

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