So I just got back home a few weeks ago after spending some time training at Cristiano Marcello's CM System MMA academy in Curitiba, Brazil and have decided to write up a review of my positive experiences there. I also spent several months training at UFC fighter Thiago Tavares' academy Ataque Duplo while I was in Florianopolis in 2008/2009 and will take advantage to review that gym as well and compare it to my experiences at CM System. CM System For those who have never heard of CM System, it is a relatively new MMA academy founded about a year ago by Cristiano Marcello, who was the head jiu-jitsu coach at the Chute Boxe Academy for 8 years and who gave Wanderlei, Shogun, Ninja, and Rafael Cordeiro their black belts. I always knew about Cristiano because of his relationship with all those superstars from Chute Boxe, and when I heard that he'd left Chute Boxe to start his own team, I became interested in finding out how I could train with him. Then I read Dynasty's "Trip to Brazil" blog (which is a sticky thread in the Gear & Discussion here on Sherdog forums) and found out that he'd already trained at CM System. So I contacted Dynasty and asked him how I could train there...one thing led to another and pretty soon I found myself in Curitiba, Brazil training at CM System. The People Pretty soon, I was able to see why Dynasty said all the positive things that he said about the gym. First of all, as soon as I arrived there, all the guys there welcomed me with open arms and immediately treated me like a member of the team. The guys at Thiago Tavares' Ataque Duplo gym were all cool and friendly guys as well, but I think that to them I was more like just some dude who was spending a few months training with them. Some of the guys would actually "invite" me to hang out sometime, but I soon realized that none were really serious about their offers. As long as you don't mind getting teased a little bit (nothing malicious haha), the CM guys are all freakin hilarious as hell and are really fun to be around. Besides the time I spent training with them, I hung out with them all the time, went on several roadtrips with them, went sightseeing with them (pretty much all the CM pro fighters are from outside of Curitiba), pretty much did everything with them. I can say that I liked every single one of the CM guys and I really think that my relationship with them was what made my trip so enjoyable. I was planning on doing some training at Shogun's gym, UDL, after some time at CM System since it was located in the same city, but I liked the CM guys so much that I just decided to stay put. One guy I met who used to train at UDL told me that Shogun doesn't teach anyway and only trains in closed sessions. The Training The bread and butter at CM System is the MMA training, where everything is trained equally--BJJ, boxing, muay Thai, wrestling, MMA. I think what separates CM System from a lot of other gyms in Brazil is that they have their own wrestling coach (Marcelo Zulu, who's a 12-time national Brazilian Greco-Roman wrestling champion). I haven't seen too many gyms in Brazil that have separate wrestling training sessions with a legit instructor, as the country doesn't really have a strong wrestling tradition like in the U.S. Most places I've seen in Brazil just do muay thai and jiu-jitsu, and some have boxing. The BJJ that Cristiano teaches is more geared towards MMA--less focus on winning points and more emphasis on submissions. The BJJ at Thiago Tavares' gym Ataque Duplo, is very good as well. Both CM System and Ataque Duplo put a lot of focus on rolling (as opposed to drilling)-from what I've heard most Brazilian academies are like that. Ataque Duplo, at least when I was there, didn't have separate MMA or wrestling classes like CM System. The pro MMA guys at Ataque Duplo must have had separate training sessions for MMA and wrestling, but it probably was a closed session just for Thiago and his fighters, because they didn't have it on the schedule when I was there--just BJJ, muay thai, and boxing. The Accommodation This doesn't apply to Ataque Duplo as they don't have housing at the academy, but CM System has their own apartment which is located literally a few steps away from the academy--which means there's no excuse not to train! It was so convenient to just wake up and walk a few steps and you're already ready to train. You also get 2 meals a day (lunch and dinner) included in the training camp package, which the academy picks up from a local restaurant. The food is usually very good, but to be honest I kind of got sick of it sometimes. The weekends were a chance for me to get away and explore different foods in the city. The only thing that sucked for me was that there was no washing machine there so I had to wash my clothes and gi's by hand. Major pain in the ass! But that won't be the case for anyone else coming from now on though as Cristiano has bought a washing machine (as well as stove and microwave), it just sucks that it had to happen after I left. Oh well, at least now I appreciate washing machines much more! Overall Overall, both gyms are very good but my experience at CM System was a lot more fun and more rewarding. Any issues I had, Cristiano made sure got resolved and I just got to say that he's a stand up guy. What I liked about him was that he always treated me like a friend and not just some client. Thiago was always a nice guy to me in person and we always chatted, but for some reason he never responded to my messages that I sent him asking how he was doing after I'd left. I don't know if he thought he was too good to return my messages because he was a UFC fighter and all...I don't know, it may seem insignificant but I take that stuff to heart man. Cristiano, on the other hand, as busy as he is, has returned every single Facebook message that I've ever sent him, and he still even sends me and my buddy (who also spent a few months at CM System) messages just to ask how we're doing. If I ever happen to be in Florianopolis again, I'll still probably stop by Ataque Duplo just to visit and maybe do a little bit of training...but I'll probably never go to Florianopolis just so I can train there. If you guys have any questions about either gyms, you can send me a PM and I'll try to answer as best as I can. If you're interested in CM System, you can find everything you need to know about training there on the academy's Facebook page (CM System | Facebook). The academy website is The CM system is a martial arts form that utilizes highly developed jiu-jitsu techniques specifically for the application into the sport of MMA., but is currently under construction and an English version of the site is in the works. Have no idea when everything will be completed, but everything you need to know is on the Facebook page...instructor/fighter profiles, testimonials, info about training there (look under the discussion tab), there's also a highlight video of the training there. If you guys are interested in training there, you can leave a message on the Facebook page or you could just send me a PM and I'll get you in contact with Cristiano. You could ask Dynasty as well, you should definitely check out his thread--it is really inspiring. As for Ataque Duplo, the website I think is www.ataqueduplo.com.br, but for some reason it's down right now. Alright guys, hope this review has been useful to you all considering training MMA in Brazil.