The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community is blessed with the presence of siblings who have impeccable expertise. BJJ siblings are one of the major reasons for the phenomenal global spread of Jiu-Jitsu. There are various names in the list of BJJ siblings who supported and encouraged each other to reach the highest levels in the field of Jiu-Jitsu. All the BJJ siblings are just like the celebrities who have not only gained fame but also revolutionized jiu-jitsu. This article will reveal some of the biggest sibling names in jiu-jitsu.
Table of Contents
1. The Machado Brothers
Photo Credit: @carlosmachadojiujitsumidcities
The Machado brothers are the relatives of the Gracie family. There are five brothers: Rigan, Jean Jacques, Roger, Carlos, and John. The Machado brothers are related to Carlos Gracie Sr. and his siblings as their aunt was married to Carlos Gracie. The Machado brothers have achieved major victories in various BJJ competitions. Among them, Jean Jacques, Rigan, and Carlos are considered the most successful BJJ fighters. They have also won the supreme 7th-degree coral belt. Rigan is the founder of Machado Jiu-Jitsu, the top grapplers academy in America. Rigan Machado is also considered the strongest BJJ figure as he received the first black belt from Carlos Gracie Jr.
Jean Jacques Machado and Carlos Machado are Jiu-Jitsu black belts. Jacques is a legendary BJJ fighter who defeated various top BJJ fighters of his time. He is the training coach of Machado Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
Recently, Carlos Machado and Rigan were elevated to the 8th-degree coral belt level. Machado brothers have made their prominent mark in BJJ as they have not only secured the rewards but have also played a role in spreading the art of Jiu-Jitsu. They have opened various BJJ coaching classes around the world where they trained various celebrities including Ashton Kutcher and Chuck Norris. Their main goal was to spread the art of BJJ by using their fame and achievements.
2. The Mendes Brothers
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Guilherme and Rafael are one of those names who have brought new revolutions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They are also successful fighters as they won ten IBJJF World Championships and secured various top medals. They are also famous for their epic guard passing technique. Between the two brothers, Rafael has greater achievements in his career. One of his famous and historical fights was against Rubens Charles “Cobrinha,” which he won based on the referee's decision. In 2012, the Mendes brothers laid the foundation of a Jiu-jitsu academy “Art of Jiu-jitsu”. This academy offers various top programs, including innovative programs for children in the BJJ.
3. The Ribeiro Brothers
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The Ribeiro Brothers, Xande and Saulo Ribeiro have an extensive list of victories in BJJ. Both are the top and strongest fighters of Jiu-Jitsu, leaving people stunned with their splendid performances. Their academy, Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Association, is also famous as the top BJJ academy in the world. A large number of people are getting training under their supervision and their perception regarding BJJ has also changed a lot. Saulo has achieved the black belt rank in both BJJ and Judo. Saulo Ribeiro is a World Champion as he won the IBJJF World Championships in five different weight class divisions. He is the one who secured multiple titles in super heavyweight, medium-heavy, heavy, and middleweight class divisions. He has also won the ADCC Fighting Championship twice. He also wrote the book “What is Still the Best Book on BJJ Techniques.’’
Xande Ribeiro is the younger brother of Saulo. He is stronger as compared to his brother and has also won a greater number of championship titles. He is ranked first in BJJ Heroes’ list of the Top 10 BJJ Fighters of All Time. During his entire BJJ career, his guard has been passed only twice, which clearly distinguishes his career in terms of most notable achievements in Jiu-Jitsu. He trained under Vini Aieta and Royler Gracie. He also got some initial training under the supervision of his brother, Saulo Ribeiro. Xande has won the IBJJF Gi World Championship seven times. He has also won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Championship twice. In 2008, Xande Ribeiro joined mixed martial arts and made his premiere in one of Japan’s top organizations, Sengoku.
After holding various success records in their career, the Mendes brothers are now conducting various seminars to spread global awareness regarding the significance of BJJ.
4. The Gracie Family
Photo Credit: @lowkickmma
The Gracies are known as the first family of Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie's family is highly famous in the history of martial arts. The Gracie family tree is quite extensive, including brothers, sisters, half-brothers, uncles, and cousins. The most interesting point is that 99 percent of the members of the Gracie family have done a lot for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They are the founders of BJJ and retain the strengthened dynasty in martial arts history.
Mitsuyo Maeda was the first instructor of BJJ art in Brazil. He taught the first generation of the Gracie family, which included Carlos, Gastao Jr, George, Oswaldo, and Helio. Carlos Gracie is the one who founded the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy. The legacy of this family tree is still present in the form of several groups of BJJ siblings. Among them, nine children of Helio are more famous, including Relson, Royler, Royce, Rorion, and Rickson Gracie.
The members of the Gracie family competed on various top levels of BJJ competitions. They have also opened various BJJ training centers, which are producing the top jiu-jitsu athletes globally.
5. The Miyao Twins
Photo Credit: @evolve-mma
The Miyao Twins, Paulo, and Joao Miyao have a promising approach to Jiu-Jitsu, demonstrated by their historical achievements in BJJ competitions. The major fame of these two twins is due to their specialty in their berimbolo technique, where after pulling guard and executing amazing spinning movements, they directly move toward the opponent’s back position. They are also skilled in their flamboyant guards. Both Joao and Paulo Miyao continue to display their finest performances at the highest levels of BJJ competitions. Paulo was rewarded with a bronze medal in ADCC. In the same year, Joao secured the silver medal in the IBJJF World Championship. They won all the top-ranked BJJ competitions from blue to brown belts, and also hold the record of over 200 winning titles at the black belt levels.
6. The Diaz Brothers
Photo Credit: @diazbrothers209
The Diaz brothers, Nate and Nick Diaz have made a name for themselves in BJJ. They are one of those athletes who imparted a strong positive influence on BJJ. Due to their efforts, BJJ is in the limelight for its benefit inside the octagon. Both Nick and Nate Diaz are known for their exceptional cardio and martial arts skills. People name them as the modern-day fighters in jiu-jitsu. Both trained under Cesar Gracie and have a friendly relationship with Kron Gracie. Nick Diaz is a highly thoughtful person, carefully selecting his words in public; however, he is skittish in front of the media and dislikes all the questions related to fights. But apart from this, his approach to life shows great resemblance to his fight approach.
7. The Behring Brothers
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Marcelo and Sylvio are the renowned Behring brothers. They are the sons of Flávio Behring, a top Helio Gracie black belt. Flavio was also known as one of the most intelligent students of Gracie. Sylvio has the 8th-degree coral belt position. He is also the instructor of the famous X gym located in Rio de Janeiro. A large number of top BJJ champions have trained under Sylvio including famous athletes like Marcio Corleta and Mario Reis. Anderson Silva and Fabricio Werdum, UFC champions also got trained in Jiu-Jitsu under Sylvio’s guidance.
In 1980, Marcelo Behring was categorized under the top jiu-jitsu figures. Marcelo is a black belt under Rickson Gracie. Based on his extraordinary fighting capabilities, he was considered the number two fighter in the world. In São Paulo, Marcelo Behring had a competitive history where he put all his efforts into raising awareness for BJJ. However, his success was disrupted when he got addicted to drugs. Then in 1995, he died due to the devastating effects of drugs on his body.
Marcelo Behring had a deep love for his family and surfing. The following few lines are written on his surfing board:
“God bless and protect my sons and best friends. I love you guys so much. All my energy, my waves, my fights. My best feelings and energy. Jesus Christ, please take care of them.”
Sylvio also contributed to various breathtaking developments in BJJ in different regions of Brazil including Porto Alegre and São Paulo. In 1984, Sylvio was rewarded with a BJJ black belt. In 2008, Flavio Behring, João Alberto Barreto, and Alvaro Barreto promoted him to 7th-degree red and black belts.
8. The Musumeci Siblings
Photo Credit: @mikeymusumeci
The Musumeci Siblings are the best brother-sister duo in the history of BJJ siblings. They are also known as the most feared black belts. Mikey and Tammi Musumeci have supported each other throughout their jiu-jitsu careers. Both are always there for each other for teaching as well as giving beneficial advice for BJJ. They have also truly represented the martial arts as they won various world championships. Tammi won four IBJJF World Championship titles. One of her historical fights of all time was against Michelle Nicolini. Tammi had to face the injury as Nicolini attacked Tammi and broke her arm. But Tammi never tapped and continued the fight even though she lost on points.
Initially, the Musumeci Siblings had an association with the Atos team but later they left the Atos and joined the Caio Terra’s Association.
Mikey is also the superfighter of BJJ. He is also a four-time World Champion. His major specialty in BJJ fights is his innovative guard play strategies.
Tammi always admires Mikey Musumeci for his lifetime support in BJJ. At Fight Night 12, where Tammi faced off the Amanda Alequin, she highlighted the importance of Mikey for her in these words:
“When it comes down to it, I always do better and always feel way better when he's with me. Cause we've been doing it for so long together, that it is kind of part of me, our relationship as training partners.”
9. The Estima Brothers
Photo Credit: @estimabrothers
The Estima brothers, Victor and Braulio, are the most successful fighters of the Gracie Barra team. They were born in Recife, Brazil. After spending their early childhood days in Recide, they moved to England and laid the foundation of Gracie Academy affiliates.
Victor is a BJJ black belt and has won a large number of medals in famous BJJ competitions, including the World Jiu-Jitsu No-Gi Championship, “Mundial”, and the European Open Championship. His famous foot lock is renowned as “The Estima Lock”. In 2011, he used his footlock strategy and won the No-Gi World Championship title.
Braulio, brother of Victo, had multiple wins at the annual IBJJF European Championships. He is a gold medalist at the 2009 ADCC Open Weight Championship. At the Pan American Championship, Braulio holds the record of submitting seven people in just 5 minutes.
10. The Ryan Brothers
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Just like other top BJJ siblings, the Ryan brothers have also gained sufficient fame as BJJ celebrities. Gordon Ryan is a top grappler and submission-oriented fighter. Danaher Death Squad is one of the major reasons that led to the prominence of Gordon Ryan. Gordon is also the winner of the ADCC absolute division and three different regular weight classes.
In 2022, he defeated Andre Glvao and became a super-fight champion.
Nicky Ryan is the younger brother of Gordon Ryan. He is 22 years old but still at this age, he has already won a couple of championships. Nicky is also famous as an elite grappler.
Recently Nicky Ryan appeared on the The Simple Man podcast and was asked a question regarding his experience of growing up with Gordon Ryan. Nicky said:
“We were pretty close growing up. Like, I would hang out with him and his friends and stuff… But yeah, I mean he just got super into Jiu-Jitsu at like 16. He would be doing 3 to 4 classes per day. Yeah, we were close growing up.”
Nicky Ryan also stayed a few lines about when he started his career:
“I started when I was 13, so when he was 19. I mean, we were always involved in it as kids. Because we had the daycare teacher, who would make us just do no-time limit matches on a concrete floor. Yeah, that’s what got him into it… And then, I was 13 and he kept trying to convince me to go. I eventually, one day, just decided to do it as a way to lose weight. Because I was fat as f*ck as a kid… And then I just got addicted to it.”
11. Last Thoughts
When it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu history, there is a broad range of sibling combinations, including duos, trios, or an entire clan of jiu-jitsu practitioners. Some of the top BJJ siblings who have had a strong and advantageous impact on BJJ include the Machado brothers, Mendes brothers, the Gracie family, and many others. This article presented the top 10 BJJ siblings who are in the limelight. It is also expected that various new BJJ siblings will come forward in the future and will be responsible for some more incredible accomplishments in the history of BJJ.