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Ricardo Cavalcanti - A Well Known BJJ Coral Belt

Ricardo Cavalcanti - A Well Known BJJ Coral Belt

1. Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Details

Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Details
Full Name Antonio Ricardo Bittencourt Cavalcanti
Nickname N/A
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of Birth 26th of June 1964
Height N/A
Weight 82kg/181lbs
Weight Division Peso Medio
Foundational Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Rank Coral Belt (7th Degree)
Head Coach Grand Master Alvaro Barreto
Favorite Position/Technique Side Control Smash Armbar
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo Cavalcanti
Team Association/Affiliation Team Cavalcanti (Carlson Gracie)
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2.Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Biography

Born on June 26, 1964, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ricardo Cavalcanti is a well-known name in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. He discovered Jiu-Jitsu at the young age of seven through his friend, Otavio. Cavalcanti witnessed Otavio execute a few BJJ techniques on his opponent and became interested in learning gentle art. His first coach was Grand Master Alvaro Barreto and after some time he moved to Carlson Gracie Sr. and trained there until Carlos Gracie’s death. He provides training to many known Martial artists including Frank Mir. He also gave guidance to the Henderson Police Department and S.W.A.T group. He also specializes in teaching self-defense to women leaders and executives, creating a fun and educational atmosphere in his classes.

2.1. Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Early Life

Ricardo Cavalcanti was born on the 26th of June,1964. He is known for his commitment to the BJJ community, especially in the US. At the age of 7, he got his inspiration from his friend when he saw him using his BJJ techniques to defeat his opponent. His interest developed from there that by using a few techniques even a lean person can pull down his enemy.

Ricardo Cavalcanti began training in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He became passionate about BJJ right away after being introduced to it at a young age. With the help of skilled instructors in Rio de Janeiro, Cavalcanti advanced his skills and gained an in-depth understanding of the techniques and ideas of BJJ. He committed himself fully to BJJ, becoming experienced in martial arts and immersing himself in the BJJ community.

2.2. Begining

Master Cavalcanti’s first BJJ coach in all respects was Grand Master Alvaro Baretto, the most prominent name in the field of sports. Master Cavalcanti remained with Barreto until 1978. In those years Ricardo Cavalcanti scaled the stepping stool of progress, He was interested in Joining another famous BJJ figure Master Carlson Gracie Sr and he got his black belt under Gracie’s lineage. Alvaro Baretto was undoubtedly the best instructor in BJJ. He was also the very first instructor of  “Corpo Quatro” Foundation in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana. Alvaro Baretto became a certified teacher at the Gracie Institute after which he established his own BJJ academy where he taught and promoted several black belts. Cavalcanti remained consistent with Baretto throughout this period until the time of his passing.

2.3. Training Excursion

Master Cavalcanti isn’t simply an expert in jiu-jitsu but an expert communicator and educator as well. He is the only double cross title holder in both Gi and Non-Gi BJJ, he is one of the 109 people ever to receive a black belt from the legendary Carlson Gracie Sr. Master Cavalcanti is one of those fortunate people among those 109 individuals who got that black belt in both. Cavalcanti has achieved an elevated degree of capability and mastery in BJJ, and he is well-respected for his contributions to the martial arts. He is a coral belt, which is the seventh-degree black and red coral belt in the BJJ.

2.4. Training the UFC Heavyweight Champion

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a mixed martial arts promotional event. In June 2001, the former heavyweight champion, Frank Mir, traveled to Rio de Janeiro to hone his jiu-jitsu. Eventually, Cavalcanti came to know that he trained Frank Mir’s instructor. When the  MMA professional fighter returned to the US, he invited Cavalcanti to visit America and help him train. This collaboration played a crucial role in the field of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Ricardo Cavalcanti’s life, helping him expand his influence and impact on the world of BJJ.

2.5. Friendship Of Twenty Years

Ricardo Cavalcanti and Coach Adam Brooks, a renowned MMA trainer, have shared a deep friendship for over 20 years. Adam Brooks has dedicated a webpage of the Kombat Klub MMA academy’s official website to Master Ricardo Cavalcanti and their two-decade-long friendship.  In 2002, Coach Adam Brooks first met Master Cavalcanti while he was serving as a police officer in Henderson, Nevada. Earlier, Brooks had trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Walt Bayless while working as a police officer in New York. While walking around the parking area, he saw someone wearing a rash guard with the Carlson Gracie logo on it. He went up to the individual, presented himself, and inquired whether he trained in Jiu-Jitsu. The man responded in broken English and said, ‘“Obviously!’ I am Master Ricardo Cavalcanti.”

Master Cavalcanti told Adam Brooks that he had just arrived in Henderson, about 5 or 6 months ago. The latter offered him an opportunity to teach at his academy for a few days or a week until he found a better option for himself.

After this encounter, Master Cavalcanti began teaching BJJ at the Kombat Klub MMA Academy three days a week. The academy eventually relocated to a larger place, where Master Cavalcanti continued teaching. Over the years, Brooks and Master Cavalcanti have developed a strong bond and have also shared some great memories. Master Ricardo awarded a black belt to Brooks in September 2022. Adam Brooks takes pride in two things: his promotion to the black belt level by a BJJ legend and bringing Master Ricardo Cavalcanti to the Philippines, where more students could meet him.

3. Cavancanti Academy

After serving at Kombat Klub MMA Academy, Master Cavalcanti, in 2001 in Las Vegas, opened his first academy with the name of Ricardo Cavalcanti BJJ Academy in association with Carlson Gracie Academy, and it was a great success. He served there for more than 18 years, teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the students.

Cavalcanti’s Academy is considered to be a premier Jiu-Jitsu training institute, offering the best training to atheltes. The academy is an internationally-certified foundation with IBJJF-certified instructors. The Ricardo Cavalcanti BJJ Academy is the true epitome of how a school should teach crucial self-defense techniques to its students.

4. Ricardo Cavalcanti’s BJJ Lineage

Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo Cavalcanti

Ricardo Cavalcanti's lineage falls within the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu lineage as he was promoted to the Black Belt level by Carlson Gracie Sr. 

4.1. Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Affiliation with Gracie Barra School

Ricardo Cavalcanti’s BJJ Academy is also a  part of the Gracie Barra School of BJJ, a globally recognized Jiu-Jitsu organization with affiliated schools and branches all over the world. Being part of this world-class BJJ teaching network, Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Academy provides a very humbling and supportive environment to the students, helping them learn and develop their skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

5. Ricardo Cavalcanti’s Accomplishments

Year Event Position/Medal
1998 Pan American Champion Absolute-Master
2002 California Games Champion N/A
2010 World Nogi Champion Senior 3
2010 Pan American Bronze Medalist Senior 3

6. Affirmations

Ricardo Cavalcanti is known for his inspiring and motivational affirmations towards BJJ. His most famous affirmations are:

  • “Look in the mirror, that's your competition, not anybody else.”
  • “In Jiu-Jitsu, there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn and grow.”

Photo Credit: @ricardocavalcantibjj

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