Marcio Stambowsky: 8th Degree BJJ Coral Belt

Marcio Stambowsky: 8th Degree BJJ Coral Belt

1. Marcio Stambowsky Details

Name  Marcio Stambowsky
Nickname Macarrão
Date of Birth February 22, 1959
Age 64 Years
Height 6 ’4 ”
Weight 76.00 kg / 168.0 lbs
Nationality Brazilian
Last fight N/A
Weight Division Peso Leve (76.00 kg / 168.0 lbs)
Career Disclosed Earning Approximately $1.3 million US
Fought out of  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
College/university Not Available
Foundation Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rank 8th Degree Coral Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Lineage Carlos Gracie -> Helio Gracie -> Rolls Gracie -> Marcio Stambowsky
Team Association Gracie Sports Team
Favorite Position/ Technique Balão Sweep
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2. Marcio Stambowsky Biography

2.1. Who is Marcio Stambowsky?

Marcio Stambowsky, famously known as Macarro, was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 22, 1959. He has a diverse ancestral lineage. His grandparents from his father's side came from Russia and his mother’s side migrated from Poland. That explains the reason for his second name “Stambowsky” because it is an odd name for a Brazilian national. Marcio is considered a legend in the BJJ community and has the 8th Degree Coral Belt in BJJ. Marcio Stambowsky is the most famous Jewish BJJ practitioner around the world. His mother was a holocaust survivor and always revered by the Jiu-Jitsu community.

What is a Coral Belt?

What is a Coral Belt?

Coral Belt is awarded to those BJJ Black belt holders who continue BJJ practice for thirty years. The belt is named after the pattern of the Coral snake. According to the new upgraded rules of IBJJF, a red and white colored belt is chosen for the 8th-degree coral belt holders. 10 years of coaching and teaching experience are required before progressing to the next level. Marcio was honored with the Coral Belt on July 17, 2010, by  Renzo Gracie

Jiu-Jitsu Color Belt System

Age Category Color Belt
Juveniles White, Gray Yellow, Orange, Green
Adults White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black, Coral, Red

2.2. The story behind Marcio's Nickname “Macarrao” 

Marcio Stambowsky's nickname ‘Macarrao” is derived from the famous Italian dish Macaroni. Actually, Macarroa was the nickname of his brother, and both brothers were often seen surfing and playing together. So, people started calling Marcio Stambowsky “Macarrao” or “Macarrao”.

2.3. Marcio’s Early Life and BJJ Career

Marcio took inspiration from his childhood friend Mauricio Gomes, who at that time was training under Master Joao Alberto.  Marcio said about his childhood martial art inspiration,

Well, yes. I really enjoyed watching Bruce Lee movies, kicking and pretend-fighting with my brother and friends.” 

His father knew the prestigious reputation of the Gracie Family and enrolled Marcio in Rolls Gracie Academy in 1975 when he was 16 years old. Marcio explained the event,

“My father was advised by his friends that he should choose Gracie's family for the martial art training of his young lad because they (Gracies) are the biggest reference in Jiu-Jitsu. We went to meet Rolls Gracie at his Academy, I asked Rolls Gracie that I wanted to enroll in your program and he showed me the whole gym.”

2.4. How did Marcio Stambowsky get into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Marcio Stambowsky gave a very straightforward and honest answer to this question in an interview. He said,

“Just to learn ways to defend myself. As I was the third youngest brother, the bullying started at home. And it’s never been easy being a kid in Rio de Janeiro. I liked surfing in Ipanema, near home, and the youngest used to be intimidated. After I started training, I would even hope for some surfer to try and start something with me! But the bullying quickly subsided.”

2.5. Early Training of Marcio Stambowsky

He trained with the pioneers of Jiu-Jitsu such as Romero Cavalcanti, Fabio Santos, Rickson Gracie, and Royler Gracie.

By the time, there had been two academies operating in the same building, Marchio trained with his best friend and collaborated with top fighters like Fernando Pinduka. The two academies split in 1978 and worked as competitors. About the starting days of his training with Rolls Gracie, Marcio said in an interview,

Rolls got me learning just self-defense, standing and on the ground, for the first 45 lessons I took. Defense against headlocks, takedowns, blunt instruments, etc. I believe that gave me a very solid base for my BJJ because it’s across those 45 lessons that the student deeply understands BJJ’s lever system in practice. It’s from the moment you understand what you’re doing, what you are seeking, that improving becomes possible and quicker. You can’t memorize in a BJJ class.”

2.6. Marcio Stambowsky’s Married Life

Due to the professional mastery and display of elite BJJ skills, Gracie's family remained in close contact with Marcio. His closeness with late Rolls Gracie was another major reason for the affiliation, trust, and respect of the Gracie family. He married Carla Gracie, the daughter of legendary Robson Gracie. He was the second son of Carlos Gracie and the 9th-degree Red Belt holder in BJJ. Marcio Stambowsky had two children named Neiman Stambowsky and Deborah Gracie.

The Honor of Deborah Stambowsky Gracie

The daughter of Marcio Stambowsky, Deborah Gracie is distinguished to be the second female of the Gracie family who has earned the rank of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the first was Hall of Famer Kyra Gracie.

Neiman Stambowsky’s Martial Art Journey

It seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Marcio's son, Neiman Gracie Stambowsky is also a BJJ lover and he proved himself as one of the top MMA fighters. He grabbed an opportunity to train with Carlos Gracie junior in California. Nieman received his Blue Belt after three months of his relocation to the U.S. Neiman started his professional journey in 3013 and has fought in Bellator MMA, UFC, WSOF, and TUF. He also won medals in Pan Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship, New York International Open, IBJJF, and World No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. His current MMA record is 11 wins and 4 losses with 9 submission wins.

2.7. Marcio's Black Belt Achievement

After Marcio achieved his black belt in 1981, he always loved to partake in the striking and fighting aspect of martial arts and loved to practice Sambo, Judo, and Wrestling sports.   

2.8. Career Setbacks

Stambowsky also participated in the elite team that Rolls Gracie trained for the Olympic Games in Moscow and  Sambo Pan American Championships in the United States. But unfortunately, because of some complications, the team never made it to the Olympics. But Marcio secured Gold and Bronze Medals in National Competitions.

Biggest Tragedy for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Rolls Gracie was the son of the Founder of Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie. The whole Gracie family respected rolls as the best fighter with impeccable style and execution. On the tragic day of June 6, 1982, Rolls Gracie died when his hang-gliding ride met a fatal accident. He died at the tender age of 31. But his legacy is alive and he will always be remembered as the legend of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Who were “The Famous Five” of BJJ?

Rolls Gracie didn’t have the chance to teach for an extended period of time. But those who avail the golden opportunity to learn from Rolls Gracie became the renowned pillars of Jiu-Jitsu. It was probably after the tragic loss of Rolls Gracie that the BJJ community decided to honor those who were lucky enough to learn from the late Rolls Gracie. Marcio Stambowsky is a part of the famous group of BJJ “The Famous Five” elite. The other legends who had the privilege to train directly from Rolls Gracie include Mauricio “Motta” Gomes, Romero Cavalcanti, Niacin Azulay, Paulo Conde, and Mario Claudio Tallarico. The number of The Famous Five group members is 6 but they decided to name the group “The Famous Five”.

2.9. Marcio Stambowsky and the Tragic Death of Rolls Gracie

Marcio Stambowsky was in shock after the tragic, sudden and unexpected death of his instructor and friend  Rolls Gracie. Marico was unable to practice BJJ for many months. All he needed was some time, for him the incident was too tragic to bear.

After a few months, he reconciled with the decision of fate and participated in“Club Hebraica” then at the Jewish community club, and in the Maccabiah Pan American tournament.

Marico Started His Own Academy in the US

In 2007 Marcio Stambowsk relocated to Norwalk, Connecticut, United States. He said the primary reason was the fluid economic situation of Brazil. He also inaugurated his gym with the assistance of renowned coaches: Luigi Mundial and Marcio Alencar. Marcio initiated the foundation of the Connecticut State Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation in 2013.

The motto was to spread awareness and provide the best training in Northeastern America. Marcio said,

“I had offers from people to come to Israel. I had offers to go to California but I looked around the area of Connecticut and thought, maybe that place is going to be a very good place. I have to try (Relocate in this area) It.”

Marcio said he was surprised by the diverse and unpredictable weather of the area. He expressed,

 “I fell in love with this state because it is a beautiful place. I felt at home living here.”

3. Fighting Style and Preferences of Marcio Stambowsky

The thing about these iconic BJJ personalities is that they have developed their own style and preferences. You can't reach a higher level without a deep understanding of the sport. One has to navigate his own ways through the narrow lanes of an archaic set of preferences and nourish some strong techniques. Marico loved to practice the "fighting" aspect of Jiu-Jitsu, contrary to the modern "sport" aspect of Jiu-Jitsu.

In their training schedule, he often puts the gloves on and rekindles his inner fighter. He often practiced blocking (it is an act of averting the opponent's attacks to secure oneself from possible injurious hits.

3.1. In Top Position

He was fluid in many sweeps but one specific and different sweep became his identification. In the fight, he didn’t open the guard; instead, he strangles the opponent with his firm ankle grip and flips the guy over, and comes on top. There were a few reasons why he was able to do such an incredible feat.

His body was long and he was amazingly versatile in the guard position. He preferred to maintain the top position and mostly went for chokes. With his agility and mastery of techniques, Marcio has many body advantages, among them being his huge hands. You can't get rid of the strong strangle of his big and strong hand grip.

3.2. In Bottom Position

On the bottom, he mostly used wrist locks.

He always played by the rules and never left the arena of just and honest gameplay.

4. Medals/Records

Year Event Medal
1981 AABB Championship Gold (Judo)
1985 Rio de Janeiro State Championship Gold (Judo)
1985 Maccabiah Games Bronze

5. Historic Fight of Marcio Stambowsky

Marcio Stambowsky, himself regarded this fight as the most memorable fight of his martial art career. It was at the start of his professional fighting training under Rolls Gracie. The fight started, Marcio pulled guard, transitioned into closed guard, and choked the fighter. Marcio explained. “ The guy went to sleep.”

Videos of Marcio’s Fight

Marcio Stambowsky competing in Brasiliam jiu-jitsu 1985

Killer Wrist Lock Sequence From The BJJ Mount by Márcio "Macarrão" Stambowsky

Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky and The Old School Triangle Choke

Fast And Simple Arm Lock by Marcio "Macarrao" Stambowsky

Photo credit: @marciostambowsky

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