There are now eight more days until the 18th annual Jiu-Jitsu World Championships begin in Long Beach, Calif., and all of the training camps around the world are now coming into the final phases of their training.

For most, the hard training for the Worlds began way back in January. But now the final full week is upon us. At Cobrinha’s Academy in Los Angeles, almost all of Alliance’s top black belts from around the country and world have come for the final week of training. You can find names such as Mario Reis, Michael Langhi, Lucas Lepri, Laercio Fernandes, Bruno Malfacine, Rafael Rosendo, Fabio Passos and “Cobrinha” himself all training on the same mat and training with each other in each round.

Also in California, the Atos BJJ team’s camp is in full swing out in Costa Mesa and San Diego. Andre Galvao is leading the classes in San Diego, while the Mendes Brothers are running their own camp in their Art Of Jiu-Jitsu Academy. At each camp, there are many World champions at all belt levels (and also from schools outside of Atos). World-class competitors such as Keenan Cornelius, the Miyao brothers, Gustavo Campos, Ary Farias, Bruno Frazzatto, Ricardo “Demente” Abreu, Roberto Satoshi and Jonathan “JT” Torres are all part of the camp that is in pursuit of ending Alliance’s reign as the team champions at the Worlds.

Throughout the rest of California, there are teams scattered about, running their own camps and opening their doors to affiliate athletes around the world. Gracie Barra camps in Irvine and Northridge are going strong as the Gracie Barra team is looking to end a five-year drought of not being at the top of the team podium. But with the team they have this year, this may be one of their best chances. Furthermore, the Gracie Barra organization is now putting more emphasis on competition than they have in past years.

CheckMat is another team contending for the overall team title. They have always fallen just short in past years. The overall team has always had success winning team tournaments in Brazil, but hasn’t been able to reach that same success in the United States. In 2013, if CheckMat wants to win the team title, they will need to rely heavily on their big guns, such as reigning absolute champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Rodrigo Cavaca, Yuri Simoes, Lucas Leite, Diego Borges, Joao Assis and Carlos Holanda Vieira, to bring home some hardware. The team is deep with lower belt ranks, but the black belts will be the determining factor in the success or the failure of the team.

But not all of the action is going on in California. The East Coast of the United States has plenty of teams prepping hard for the biggest tournament of the year. Marcelo Garcia’s academy in New York City is in their final preparations and the big names coming out for them will be two-time World champion Bernardo Faria, brown belt champion Thomas Lisboa and top brown belt contender Matheus Diniz. Also on the East Coast, there is the Alliance Headquarters, run by Romero “Jacare” and Lucas Lepri, and they are sure to bring out plenty of top contenders.

So, all around the country there are thousands of athletes preparing for something that is only won by a select few. Who will win the big titles at black belt in 2013? Next week, we have our Worlds preview and a breakdown of each weight class in the black belt categories for both male and female divisions, so stay tuned! Osss!

Photo: Andre Galvao (GracieMag)

About The Author

Gianni Grippo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Contributor

Gianni Grippo is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcelo Garcia and trains at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City. Besides being a big fan of the sport, Gianni is also an avid competitor and has ranked among the best in the World from blue to brown belt winning 6 IBJJF World titles and 7 Pan Championships. Still at 21, Gianni looks to continue to compete for many years to come as his main goals are to win the World championships at black belt and win the ADCC title.