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About GFT

Grappling Fight Team (GFT) was born from sports teams established in 1996 out of the Universidade Gama Filho (UGF), coached by Pedro Gama Filho and Paulo Jardim. Our masters Julio Cesar Pereira, Marcos Vinicius de Souza Bello, and Alexandre Baraúna da Conceição continued the dream of the humble gym from Méier in Rio de Janeiro into a deeply respected worldwide success. 


Today GFTeam is known for producing remarkably talented competitors such as Rodolfo Vierira, Vitor Henrique, Bebeto Oliveira, Denilson Pimenta, Washington Luís, Max Gimenes, Ítalo Lins, Maysa Bastos, Gutemberg Pereira, Dante Leon, Jaime Canuto, and countless others. After an extraordinary black belt career, our figurehead, Julio Cesar Pereira, was granted his coral belt in 2016 - a rare and inspiring accomplishment. 


There are now over 250 GFTeam academies and in 2020 a new GF Team academy was born in San Antonio, TX. GFT San Antonio was established by Mike and Emma Martinez under the mentorship of Bruno Alves, a 4th degree black belt. 


The Martinez team began their Jiu Jitsu journey in 2012 after watching their son, Miguel, gain a passion for the sport while training under Bruno Alves. Miguel's passion first inspired Mike to become an example to his son - he made a promise to Miguel that he would become a champion. For Emma, her own passion as Miguel's mother made her determined to understand the sport and share the journey with her son. Though they started later in life (Mike - 41 yrs old, Emma - 33 yrs old) they quickly rose to the challenge and succeeded in many tournaments. Emma's intensity as a mother off the mat was found on the mat as she grew a love for the sport as well as competing. 


Mike's journey gained significant ground when he made the podium placing 3rd in the 2016 IBJJF Master World Championship. Then, in 2017, Mike accomplished his goal, fulfilling his promise to Miguel - he placed 3rd in his division and 1st in absolute division in the 2017 IBJJF Master World Championship. In 2019 Emma followed suit and broke ground in her jiu jitsu journey by winning 1st (Gi), 3rd (No-gi) in her division in the 2019 IBJJF Master World Championship. 


Now, under the guidance and mentorship of Bruno Alves, the Martinez team has set out to continue the GFTeam dream by providing high level training under the GFTeam philosophy: train hard, fight hard. When you go up against a GFTeam athlete, you know you have a fight on your hands.

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