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Reviews of a couple BJJ/MMA academies in Brazil

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by jujipsu, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. jujipsu

    jujipsu White Belt

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  2. jujipsu

    jujipsu White Belt

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    ttt
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  3. Fenix

    Fenix Tino Rangatiratanga

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    I'd just like to add that I've also trained at CM system and received the same generous hospitality, friendship and atmosphere as Andrew. Unfortunately I only got to meet and train with Andrew for about 2 weeks before I left.

    I first started a week after Cristiano had left Chute Boxe and was doing classes out of a regular gym which had a matted floor area. Right from the start he was super friendly and I was his first opponent. Needless to say two 7 minute rounds later I was exhausted and could not continue. I was only slightly out of shape but that was soon turned around. I was only in Brasil at that time for another month and a half, and he didn't mind that I just train no-gi as I'd left my gi in New Zealand.

    When I came back to Brasil for the second time I hit up his new academy straight away and was really impressed. I did the MMA classes with the pro's in the morning and BJJ at night, in a class with more black belts than white.

    I came to Brasil at 86kgs and got down to 78kgs walking around (not just straight after training) in just over 2 months. The training is intense and the food is good, so many great options besides the usual fast-foods, Mcdonalds etc, which are quite expensive in Brasil which a good incentive not to eat it!

    Cristiano always treated me well and when there were spares gave me free meals from the restaurant even though I was not paying to live in house with the fighters. Speaking of which, the rates really are value for money and I consider it some of the best money I've ever spent.

    I made good friends there and I can't wait to go back! The team really is a family and you'll never go wrong by choosing to train there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  4. junkyarddogg24

    junkyarddogg24 White Belt

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    I am so glad I read this. This was a really good read! Jiujipsu Ill be PMing you!
     
  5. jujipsu

    jujipsu White Belt

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    Junkyard, look in your inbox, I just responded to your message.
     
  6. junkyarddogg24

    junkyarddogg24 White Belt

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    Thanks. Ill be emailing you from my gmail acct
     
  7. codysweet02

    codysweet02 Brown Belt

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    Awesome guys! Thanks for the info.
     
  8. codysweet02

    codysweet02 Brown Belt

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    Just read teh blog, good stuff man. Seems like the guys at CM are awesome people.

    Any idea what ever happend to Diego? Anyone ever run into him or talk to him?
     
  9. codysweet02

    codysweet02 Brown Belt

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    heres some info on Cristiano Marcello. He got his black belt from Royler Gracie and started his training with Rickson and Royler. He even lived in the US for a few years after Rickson invited him to come train here.

    Cristiano Marcello Fighter Wiki - BJJ Heroes
     
  10. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    Interesting read. Curitiba really sounds like the place to train. Maybe someday?
     
  11. Connection Rio

    Connection Rio Blue Belt

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    Good post!
     
  12. Edmundus

    Edmundus White Belt

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    Sounds like a fantastic place to train! Very impressive how hospitable Cristiano was.
     
  13. RibCrusher**

    RibCrusher** Orange Belt

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    the CM website english version is working now.

    sounds like a cool place.
     
  14. DonkeyKong

    DonkeyKong Frazier > Ali

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    CM System is an excellent team and they have been winning everything in Brazil recently.
     
  15. jujipsu

    jujipsu White Belt

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    The English version is up but not yet complete. A lot of the links aren't working and there's still almost nothing on the page explaining how to train there. The Facebook page has everything you need to know though.
     
  16. codysweet02

    codysweet02 Brown Belt

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  17. EEFighter

    EEFighter White Belt

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    Hey all,

    I was Andrew's rommate for four months at CM System. You should def check out his blog (or mine as well) if you're thinking of going down to Brazil to train.
     
  18. Xicano

    Xicano White Belt

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    I had the privilege of training alongside the great fighters at CMSystem for a few weeks and the experience was incredible! Everyone there welcomed me with open arms and Cristiano himself was genuinely hospitable throughout my entire stay both inside and outside of the gym. Anybody interested in some serious training, regardless of your current level, will greatly benefit from training at CMSystem. This place will literally offer you all the training you could ever want!...Looking forward to returning one day!
     
  19. jujipsu

    jujipsu White Belt

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    damnnn xicano, it's been a while dude! what have you been up to? PM me your email/MSN, we gotta catch up sometime bro!
     
  20. codysweet02

    codysweet02 Brown Belt

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    CM Systems has some badass looking shirts.
     

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