What You Need To Know About Alliance Jiu Jitsu

Last updated on 23.11.2021 by

The BJJ affiliation Alliance Jiu Jitsu has consistently been one of the top teams in the sport since the 1990s. They regularly produce numerous BJJ world champions and always rank as one of the best Jiu Jitsu teams every year.

Here is what you need to know about the Alliance Jiu Jitsu Team. Detailing the story of how the team started, their top competitors, and other facts about the team.

The History of Alliance Jiu Jitsu

The Alliance Jiu Jitsu team was founded by Romero “Jacaré” Cavalcanti, Fabio Gurgel, Fernando Gurgel, and Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva. The team was formed in 1993 and originally wanted to make their headquarters in Miami, Florida, but settled in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Fabio Gurgel, Romero Cavalcanti, and Alexandre Paiva (left to right) – @masterjacare

Why was the Alliance Team formed?

Alliance Jiu Jitsu was formed to compete against the larger Gracie and Carlson Gracie schools that dominated BJJ competitions. The sheer numbers of these affiliate schools made it impossible for smaller schools to win team championships.

So Romero Cavalcanti got the idea to unite some of the smaller schools against these large affiliates. This was how the Alliance Jiu Jitsu team was formed.

Alliance Jiu Jitsu explodes onto the Jiu Jitsu scene

Soon after the Alliance team was formed, they made their presence known on the Jiu Jitsu scene. In tournaments primarily dominated by Gracie schools, the up and comers from Alliance Jiu Jitsu began to take them out.

The Alliance Jiu Jitsu team was able to win the 2nd and 3rd Mundials team titles in 1998 and 1999. An amazing feat for an affiliation created only 5 years before their first team championship victory. 

The 2002 breakup

In 2002, the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu Olímpico(CBJJO) was formed to compete against the IBJJF. That year, both federations made their world championship events on the same weekend.

Fabio Gurgel pledged that Alliance would compete at the IBJJF Worlds. Demian Maia, then an Alliance black belt, chose to compete at the CBJJO event which led to Gurgel removing Maia from the IBJJF Championship.

Demian Maia Highlights 2017 BJJ IS MY LIFE
Demian Maia is best known for his legendary back attacks in the UFC, but he was a top BJJ competitor before transitioning to MMA.

This move upset many of the team’s top black belt competitors, which led to a mass exodus. Twelve world champions from Alliance would leave to start their own teams and affiliations. It would take years for the team to recover.

Alliance’s comeback

Fernando Terere, one of Alliance’s top students that left, created one of the top teams “TT” after the split. Unfortunately personal issues in Terere’s life led to him stepping down and the team disbanded.

Many top competitors from TT would move to Gurgel’s Alliance school in Sao Paulo. This influx of talent led to Alliance Jiu Jitsu making a comeback and once again becoming a top BJJ affiliation.

Alliance Jiu Jitsu’s top competitors

Marcelo Garcia

Marcelo Garcia is arguably one of the greatest BJJ athletes to ever live. He has won a total of 5 BJJ World Championships and 4 ADCC Championships and is also known for competing in the absolute division and beating world champions more than double his size.


Now retired from competition, Marcelo runs his highly reviewed Alliance affiliate school, Marcelo Garcia Jiu Jitsu Academy in New York City.

Cobrinha Charles

Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles is a 12x Jiu Jitsu world champion. Winning every major world championship multiple times from ADCC, the IBJJF Worlds, and the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds.

For over a decade, Charles dominated the featherweight division in Jiu Jitsu. Today, Charles runs his Alliance school in Los Angeles and coaches his son Kennedy Maciel, who is also a world champion.

Bruno Malfacine

Bruno Malfacine is the greatest roosterweight competitor in the history of BJJ. He is a 10x world champion and 9 of his black belt titles were with Alliance Jiu Jitsu.

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Bruno Malfacine and a small assortment of his medals.

After years of dominating BJJ, Malfacine has now transitioned to MMA, where he has a record of 3-0. Malfacine is also an International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Hall of Fame inductee and runs his affiliate school in Orlando, Florida.

Gabi Garcia

Gabi Garcia is the most successful female competitor in the history of Jiu Jitsu. An Alliance black belt under Fabio Gurgel and the owner of 6 IBJJF World Championships and 4 ADCC World Championships. Garcia is a future IBJJF hall of fame inductee and it is very well deserved.

Nicholas Meregali

The current top athlete to come out of the Alliance Jiu Jitsu team is Nicholas Meregali. Nicholas is a 2x IBJJF World Champion and currently trains at the Alliance academy in Porto Alegre, Brazil under Mario Reis. At 27, Meregali will look to add more big wins and world titles to his resume.

FAQS About Alliance Jiu Jitsu

Who founded Alliance Jiu Jitsu?

Alliance Jiu Jitsu was founded by 4 people. Ronaldo “Jacaré” Cavalcanti, Fabio “The General” Gurgel, Fernando Gurgel, and Alexandre “Gigi” Paiva. Jacaré ran the Alliance HQ in Atlanta, Georgia, Fabio Gurgel runs Alliance São Paulo, and Gigi runs Alliance Rio de Janeiro.

Where is Alliance Jiu Jitsu HQ?

Alliance Jiu Jitsu HQ is located in Dunwoody, Georgia just north of Atlanta.

When was Alliance Jiu Jitsu founded?

Alliance Jiu Jitsu was founded in 1993.

How many Alliance schools are there worldwide?

As of now, there are over 300 Alliance schools in 29 different countries.

How many years has an Alliance Jiu Jitsu athlete won a world title?

Since Alliance was founded 18 years ago, at least one athlete from the team has won a world title 12 times and 13 championships as a team since the IBJJF Worlds started in 1997.

Alliance Jiu Jitsu today

Today, Alliance Jiu Jitsu continues to be one of the top BJJ affiliations in the world. Since the team was founded in 1993, they have produced countless world champions and are consistently among the best every year,

If you’re looking for a BJJ academy to train at, there may be an Alliance affiliate school near you. They currently have over 300 academies worldwide that provide world class training to students of all ages.