Marcelo Garcia lives in rarefied air in the grappling world. When speaking of tiers of competition grapplers in the world, the elite top of the pyramid is composed of a few names. Some are familiar to MMA fans like Roger Gracie and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, but also contains names like Xande Ribeiro and Marcelo Garcia.
Garica started training in Judo as a child and then transitioned to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training at several different gyms, but finally settling with Fabio Gurgel, the co-founder of Alliance Jiu Jitsu. Garcia took off under the tutelage of Gurgel and earned his black belt in 2000. At the black belt level Garica would go on to win five IBJJF World Championships and four ADCC titles. Not yet thirty years old, Garcia is one of the best grapplers on the planet and has a good deal of time to add to his fast growing legacy.
Garcia currently runs an Alliance school in New York City, which is known for producing very technical grapplers and having interesting warm ups. Black belt degrees in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are awarded based on involvement in the martial art and accomplishment as an instructor. Garcia is not just a great competitor but also an innovator, helping add new techniques to the art.
Fabio Gurgel was in the United States to help open the new Alliance Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia and made the trip to New York to visit his long time friend and student. And once there he awarded Garcia a third degree on his black belt, making Garcia one of the youngest to reach this rank in the history of the martial art.
Video after the jump...
Marcelo Garcia is given 3rd stripe by Fabio Gurgel (via MarceloGarciaAcademy)