On November 19th one of the world’s most talented and respected Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners and competitors, Marcelo Garcia, visited South Tampa to conduct a very well attended grappling seminar at UFC veteran Matt Arroyo’s Gracie South Tampa academy located at 936 South Howard Avenue in Hyde Park. And while Florida is home to many talented BJJ grapplers, Marcelo is surely among the very best to grace suncoast martial artists with his time and talent.
Ask any grappler or mixed martial arts practitioner if they’ve heard of Marcelo Garcia and they’ll likely laugh at you. It’s like asking a football player if they’ve heard of Joe Namath or Mike Ditka. What Marcelo has achieved in the world of competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is nothing short of legendary. In fact, here’s a list of his Championships as found on Wikipedia:
- ADCC 2003 66–76 kg Division Champion
- ADCC 2005 66–76 kg Division Champion
- ADCC 2007 66–76 kg Division Champion
- ADCC 2011 66–76 kg Division Champion
- 2003 Campos Open Weight Division & Submission Wrestling Champion
- 2004 Arnold Gracie Pro Division Champion
- 2005 Arnold Gracie Pro Division Champion
- 2011 Mundial 82 kg Black Belt Division Champion
- 2010 Mundial 82 kg Black Belt Division Champion
- 2009 Mundial 82 kg Black Belt Division Champion
- 2006 Mundial 82 kg Black Belt Division Champion
- 2004 Mundial 82 kg Black Belt Division Champion
- Campos Submission Wrestling 3 Champion
Marcelo has literally competed against and beat the best the world has to offer, which is why he is considered by most to be one of the best grapplers in the world. For attendees of his November 19th seminar this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the very best and they took full advantage.
When asked why he came all the way from his New York City home to conduct this seminar in South Tampa the answer was quite simple. Marcelo used to live in Coconut Creek, Florida and train at American Top Team and his wife’s family lives in Florida so this state holds a soft spot in his heart. When his friend, Matt Arroyo, offered to host a seminar for Marcelo the opportunity was too good to pass up. But for Marcelo, his appreciation for Florida goes beyond sentimentality and family ties….
Marcelo considers Florida to be a hotbed for martial arts because he knows how strongly this state embraces combat sports and its athletes. The opportunity to be immersed in that culture once again, if even just for a few days, was too good to refuse and he thoroughly enjoyed his time spent training with Matt and his students, as evidenced by his trademarked ear-to-ear smile he wore during the entire seminar.
Matt Arroyo, his students, and Gracie South Tampa surely look forward to the next opportunity to play host to Marcelo Garcia… A class act and brilliant practitioner, teacher, and ambassador for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
For more information about Matt Arroyo’s Gracie South Tampa academy:
936 South Howard Ave
Tampa, FL 33606