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Grand Master Flavio Behring - 9th-Degree BJJ Red Belt

Grand Master Flavio Behring - 9th-Degree BJJ Red Belt

1. Flavio Behring’s Details

Flavio Behring’s Details
Name Flavio Behring
Nickname N/A
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Age 85 
Date of Birth 11/21/1937
Weight 198 lbs/89 kg
Weight Division N/A
Last Weigh-In N/A
Height N/A
Fighting Style BJJ
Disclosed Career Earnings N/A
College N/A
Rank 9th-Degree BJJ Red Belt
Head Coach Helio Gracie
Last Fight N/A
Favorite Technique N/A
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Hélio Gracie > Flavio Behring
Team Association Behring Jiu-Jitsu
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2. Flavio Behring’s Biography

Flavio Behring is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu red belt, the highest possible rank in BJJ. He trained under two legendary BJJ athletes, Hélio Gracie, and João Alberto. He has spent the last seven and a half decades training and serving the BJJ community.  

2.1. Started Jiu-Jitsu Training During Childhood

Behring was not very athletic during his childhood. He suffered from health problems like asthma. To help him overcome his condition, Behring’s father tried to have him join physical activities. Behring’s father took him to Hélio’s house to learn BJJ. He started his BJJ training at the age of 10.       

2.2. BJJ Legend Hélio Gracie as His First Coach

Hélio Gracie was Behring’s first and last BJJ coach. His early training under Hélio Gracie helped him establish a strong BJJ foundation. Behring’s relationship with the Gracies became stronger over time. 

2.3. Trained with Various BJJ Legends

Because Behring became acquainted with the Gracies early in his BJJ journey, he was fortunate enough to grapple with big names like Carlson Gracie, Armando Wridt, and Hélio Vigio. 

Carlos Gracie Sr took Behring with him to another gym to check his abilities when he was 15 years old. In that gym, Behring had to compete with another athlete who was a Judo black belt of 20 years. Behring was nervous to stand in front of that guy. He was also taken down by that guy multiple times. But after a few takedowns, he strangled the neck of that guy and made him unconscious. 

2.4. Coaching Career

In 1955, Behring’s coach, João Alberto Barreto, got into an accident and suffered a knee injury. Behring was asked to fill the position of coach at the Gracie Academy in Rio Branco.

At the age of 20, Behring continued coaching at YMCA. Later, when Barreto started his own BJJ gym in Copacabana, Behring came to assist him.   

2.5. Opened His Own Academies Along with His Son

In 1970, Flavio opened an academy in Barra da Tijuca with one of Barreto’s former students. Ricardo Murgel.

In 1987, Flavio was invited to São Paulo after being offered a job. Feeling there was potential in São Paulo, he decided to open a BJJ academy alongside his son, Marcelo Behring called Behring Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Marcelo Behring was a black belt under Rickson Gracie. He was one of the best BJJ athletes in the world. Along with grappling, Marcelo Behring was also famous for surfing. Due to his fame in surfing, various surfers also joined his father’s academy for BJJ.

2.6. Death of His Son

Flavio’s sons, Marcelo and Sylvio, both learned BJJ from their father. While both brothers were exceptional BJJ fighters, Marcelo became more famous. At the age of 14, he trained under and received his black belt from Rickson Gracie. Sadly, Marcelo became a drug addict and died in 1994.       

2.7. Promotion to 9th-Degree Red Belt

On September 5, 2006, Behring received his 9th-degree red belt from Barreto. Along with the belt, he also earned the title of Grand Master.

2.8. Father of an 8th-degree Red Belt

Flavio Behring is also the father of an 8th Degree coral belt in BJJ, Sylvio Behring. Sylvio Behring was promoted to coral belt by his father and his father’s coach João Alberto Barreto and Alvaro Barreto. All these are the Grand Masters. Sylvio Behring is honored to be champion at “First Challenge of Jiu Jitsu Superfight”. He also served at Federação de Jiu Jitsu Desportivo do Rio de Janeiro as vice president. He is also a training coach for various MMA fighters.  

2.9. From Red Belt to White Belt

In 2017, Behring finished his 9th-degree red belt period. This is the highest rank in BJJ and nobody can be upgraded to 10th degree. The tenth-degree red belt is only specific for Gracies, the pioneers of BJJ. In 2017, on his 80th birthday and after spending 70 years dedicated to BJJ, Behring exchanged his red belt for a white belt. In 2015, Behring explained the reason for the belt change in an interview,

“As my body has been changing over time, I go back to the most basic positions to check whether I can still pull them off in the same way, or whether I need to adapt. But the studying continues, and in 2017 I will have a big party, in the gym at a dojo, to celebrate my 80 years of life and 70 years of jiu-jitsu. It will be the end of my cycle as a student, instructor, teacher, master, and grandmaster, and I will retire the red belt and go back to wearing the white belt. And so I will relearn everything again because that’s what living is. My students, concerned, question this retirement, but I will eternally be a BJJ teacher.”     

Photo Credit: @flavio_behring

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