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Marcelo grew up in Rio de Janeiro and started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1991 at the original Gracie Barra Gym with Master Carlos Gracie Junior. Carlos is the son of Carlos Gracie Sr, the original founder of the fighting style now known worldwide as Gracie “Brazilian” Jiu Jitsu. Marcelo began his path to the black belt among the best, studying at the multi world champion Gracie Barra Gym; home to Brazil’s greatest BJJ fighters.
Click here to read a 2014 Interview from Professor Marcelo about his path to making Jiu Jitsu his career.
After completing his University degree in Business Administration in Brazil, Marcelo went on a three-month trip to Australia in 2001 to improve his fluency in English. During his stay, he met experts in other martial arts and was invited to teach in the Blue Mountains which sparked his idea to devote his life to spreading Jiu Jitsu throughout Australia. With the support of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. he opened the first Gracie Barra school in Australia. His original school has grown to become Gracie Barra Sydney located in Brookvale, NSW which is the headquarters for the Gracie Barra in the Oceania region.
Marcelo is recognized as one of the best grappling coaches in the Oceania and Asia/Pacific region and he has taught Jiu Jitsu techniques to top rugby teams like the Sydney Roosters and ACT Brumbies as well as Wallabies players. In 2007 he established a local partnership with one of the leading teams in the NRL, the Manly Sea Eagles. Specifically Marcelo and his Gracie Barra team train the Manly Sea Eagles on improving mental and physical conditioning and teach them to adapt Jiu Jitsu techniques to the game of rugby. Since 2007 the Manly Sea Eagles have secured two Premierships (2008 & 2011), one Runners-up (2013) and one World Club Challenge (2009).
Click here to read an article from the Daily Telegraph “Sea Eagles hire Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Marcelo Rezende”
Marcelo has a personal interest in MMA and helped developed the first MMA curriculum for Fitness approved by Fitness Australia. This curriculum was developed for the company ‘MMA Fitness’ for which he is also a co-Founder and Director.
Marcelo has coached many champions in Jiu Jitsu, Submission Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts at International standard. He trained Mark Hunt who is recognised as one of the most successful MMA fighters in the Oceania region and was also a K1 Kickboxing Grand Prix Champion. Marcelo coached Mark when he fought for the World Title in Pride which was the largest MMA organisation at the time, now Mark continues to have a successful career as a prominent fighter in the UFC. Marcelo has trained other UFC fighters as well, including James Te Huna and Brad Morris.
He has made it his life’s work to improve people’s lives through Jiu Jitsu. Marcelo estimates Gracie Barra has roughly 2000 students in Australia. He is Gracie Barra’s Regional Director for the Oceania region, laying the foundation for Gracie Barra instructors to teach Jiu Jitsu across Australia and New Zealand. His passion for entrepreneurialism led him to develop the first Overseas Visa Training Course for Jiu Jitsu in Australia. This was a student visa program that gave overseas students an opportunity to learn Jiu Jitsu while living in Australia.
Marcelo is proud to have fought in the first black belt match held in Australia as well as the first in New Zealand as these events represented the beginning of high level Jiu Jitsu competitions in the Oceania region. To this day, Marcelo enjoys pushing his training regime to prepare for high level competitions. In 2014 he placed third in the Masters division at the World Masters Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship (IBJJF) held in California. His competition history also includes: Pan American Champion (IBJJF) and International Master & Seniors Champion (IBJJF).
Click here for an Interview from Professor Marcelo with Blitz Magazine about the development of Jiu Jitsu in Australia
In 2002 Marcelo became one of the founding members and directors of the NSW Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, today he is also the Australian liaison for the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu Jitsu Championships, facilitating their competitions in the region. He also took part in organising the first Sydney Open in 2015, which was the first IBJJF competition in Sydney, Australia.
Many people do not know that Marcelo developed the first application for mobile devices for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (in the Gi) called BJJ Master released in 2008. It is no longer available for download, but look out for new projects ahead!
Those that know Marcelo agree that he continuously dedicates his life to the Jiu Jitsu for Everyone Project, and lives a Jiu Jitsu lifestyle. Through his passion, professionalism and dedication to Jiu Jitsu he hopes to have Gracie Barra schools in every community in the Oceania Region helping improve people’s lives. He is very proud to lead a strong team of Professors and Coaches in the Oceania region who all play a large part in spreading the benefits of Jiu Jitsu to our communities.
- GB Compnet North America Open Weight Champion
- 3x GB Compnet Oceania Champion
- 3x NSWBJJF Champion
To me, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life. After so many years, it is not simply something that I do, it is something that I live for.
"Be as just and enthusiastic about others victories as you are with yours."
- Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, surfing, skateboarding and spending time with my son.
I started training when I was 13 years old, however I stopped after a year due to school commitments. However, I always had the desire to come back to Jiu-Jitsu.
After a few years of living in Australia, a friend of mine brought me to Gracie Barra Sydney. That was in 2011, and I have been here ever since!
I am a black belt under Professor Marcelo Rezende. Ever since I started training at Gracie Barra Sydney, I feel like this is my family away from home, and I hope to make sure that everyone who walks through the doors feels the same way I do.
BJJ definitely was a sport that changed my life. It’s not just about improving techniques or strengthening your body. You also improve your confidence and your mind. Plus, you have opportunity to meet people, make friends and share the brotherhood spirit. When I started BJJ I was 130Kg. After 5 years of training and doing a diet, I dropped off to 93 Kg. So Jiu-Jitsu means a lot for me. Much more than a sport just, but a lifestyle.
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!”
- Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa)
- Going to the gym
- Read books
- Going out with friends
- Watching the UFC
I was born in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. I always loved practicing sports. I started Karate when I was 6 years old, and did lots of different sports: soccer, swimming, volleyball and basketball.
Before I arrive in Australia I was studying Physical Education at a university in Brazil. I started to practice BJJ in 2010, when I was 20 years old.