Last Saturday, Gracie Barra and the Jiu-Jitsu Community took one of its hardest hits in recent history.
Professor Flavio Almeida, the main executive behind Gracie Barra’s development in North America, was viciously attacked by multiple individuals when coaching one of his teammates during the IBJJF NoGi World Championships.
A video has now surfaced showing what many eye witnesses have described as a cowardly and brutal act of unprovoked violence. An act that gave Flavio, a highly-trained martial arts world champion, no chance to protect himself.
The video shows the main aggressor approaching Flavio and initiating a conversation. One can clearly see Flavio’s cordial body language and respectful handshake. Flavio then returned his attention to coaching his teammate with both arms and upper body weight resting on the railing.
What happened next is disturbing and disgusting.
The main aggressor intentionally struck his elbow against Flavio’s face knocking him unconscious and dropping him immediately to the floor. His rage continued with several additional strikes while Flavio was on the ground, unconscious. At that same moment, a second aggressor joined in the assault by striking Flavio while he remained on the ground.
All of this happened in a matter of seconds, while many Gracie Barra team members attempted to intervene and protect Flavio.
Flavio eventually got back up onto his feet. Rather than retaliate for this unprovoked attack of violence, chose to walk away despite the main aggressor standing in close proximity trying to intimidate him, and instigate another physical altercation.
This coordinated, premeditated attack caused major injuries to Flavio’s head, neck, face, teeth, and neurological damage such as memory loss the extent of which is still being evaluated by doctors.
This disgraceful episode represents an attack not only against Professor Flavio Almeida, but against Gracie Barra and everything our team stands for.
It has become clear that the attack was motivated by a desire to intimidate, spread fear, and ultimately stop Gracie Barra’s expansion. The main aggressor has verbally threatened Flavio and other individuals in Gracie Barra’s chain of command, including our founder Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
The cowardice of these violent acts against Flavio and Gracie Barra represent the collision of two different ideologies: The old-fashioned thug mentality focused on personal gain through fear and intimidation, against a philosophy of respect and professionalism espoused by dedicated Jiu-Jitsu instructors who work hard every day to build better individuals, families, and communities through martial arts.
This assault is unjustifiable, unethical, and unlawful.
Gracie Barra unequivocally condemns any act of violence and declares to every single one of its team members around the world NOT to resort to violence in retaliation against the aggressors or anyone associated with them.We must remain vigilant and united in supporting the authorities, and trust the justice system will do what is right. Our attorney has confirmed the issuance of a restraining order that prevents the main aggressor from coming near Flavio, his family and Flavio’s places of work.
It is also our sincere hope that the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the media, and other key players in the Jiu-Jitsu and MMA communities take a strong stance on this matter standing united condemning these individuals and their actions.
During this moment of darkness, let’s be the light that continues to move us forward on our united mission of changing people’s lives for the better by bringing our Jiu-Jitsu for everyone.
Gracie Barra Team