“I have been on so many different mats all over the world. That amazes me sometimes looking back.” – Mauricio Gomes
Mauricio began training in Jiu-Jitsu at just four years of age. His father, who was a brown belt, started his journey and took him to classes at João Alberto Barreto’s academy.
As a teenager, Mauricio began training with the legendary Rolls Gracie. Under Rolls' guidance, he became a highly successful competitor and won the absolute division of the Rio de Janeiro State Championships in 1981. Shortly after this victory Rolls would award Mauricio his black belt. Mauricio continued training with Rolls until his tragic death in 1982.
Through his close ties with the Gracie family, Mauricio met Reila Gracie, the daughter of Carlos Gracie Sr. The two married and, although their relationship didn't last, they had a son, Roger Gracie. Roger would go on to become a ten-time World Champion and is widely recognised as being the greatest Jiu-Jitsu competitor of all time.
In the late 1990s, Mauricio came to the UK and established the very first Gracie Barra gym there. Through his teaching, many new gyms would open and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is now the fastest growing martial art in the UK. Mauricio is affectionately known as the ‘Godfather of British Jiu-Jitsu’ because of his efforts to grow the sport in the country.