Each team in Jiu jitsu has a strong sense of identity and it is only since the turn of 21st century that cooperation between teams has been seen as acceptable.

The main players in the sport are shown below:

Team Alliance

Began as an initiative by the top black belt students of the great Jacare Cavalcanti. They brought together the best from their own academies (hence the name), enabling several academies fight members of the bigger and more established teams. The team split and lost the cream of its talent, despite this their gi patches are today associated with greatness in the world of BJJ.

Gracie Barra

This team had its golden age in the last decade of the 20the century but is still a real powerhouse of the sport. They have been damaged by infighting and the consequent reorganization that it necessitates, but are still producing talent of the highest quality.

Gracie Humaita

Recognized as one of the most important Gracie Jiu Jitsu houses in the sport and therefore around the world. Very traditional in their approach Gracie Humaita is based in Rio de Janero and has been producing some of the best for several decades.


Created towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century and so are one of the youngest academies on the international circuit. The checkmat gi patches are well recognized as the team have reaped regular respectable scores in every major global tournament.


Before you can even think about joining this team you need to be devoutly Catholic. Like Checkmat they are making a real name for themselves and have focused on developing new grappling and guarding techniques.

Nova Uniano

Arguably the most formidable team in lightweight Jiu Jitsu, although not as powerful as their golden age, the team regularly produces excellent Jiu Jitsu fighters.

Carlson Gracie Team

This team boasts pedigree and lineage from the proverbial rafters, however since a damaging acrimonious split in the early 21st century. At time of writing the team has yet to reassert itself on the sport.


A fundamental reason for the growth in the sport since the 1990’s is that international competition is tightly regulated by the IBJJF. This body brings together different tournaments rules and academies under one regulatory framework.

Contact for information on the most influential teams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and find out what your team or association can learn.