It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who follows MMA or competitive BJJ but martial arts are constantly developing even centuries after they were first conceived and now we have another grappling art to add to the list, Gi Luta Livre. The new development comes from one of the pupils of Luta Livre Master Marcio “Cromado” Barbosa, Marcelo Brigadeiro who has encouraged the latest generation of Luta Livre competitors to embrace the very thing that the art has been against for so long, the Gi.
Luta Livre is Portuguese and literally translates as “Free Fight” but is more analogous to modern Submission Wrestling than anything else. Decades ago, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Luta Livre were arch-rivals for a long time and proponents of either one would often defend their art against the other in live competition. While both are forms of grappling, the philosophy of “position before submission” isn’t anywhere near as emphasized in Luta Livre and the end-result is a mindset more similar to Catch Wrestling than BJJ. Alongside this is the prevalence of leglocks in Luta Livre which has been the case since the beginning, whereas it’s only comparatively recently that leglocks are becoming a standard part of BJJ as well.
Marcelo Brigadeiro made the following comment to Brazilian website MMApremium.com:
“I have a hard time putting my students to compete in Luta Livre events for the simple fact that in Santa Catarina (where I live) they do not happen, so I decided to put the Gi on my students and enroll them in competitions, but what I taught was Luta Livre, and my students knew it. I always instructed them to say that they practiced Gi Luta Livre. It turns out that on numerous occasions, I saw that happen grappling championships which said that this was No Gi Jiu-jitsu championship. I understand that this is a purely commercial approach, which I have absolutely nothing against, so much that I copied the model and will use the reverse in my branches from October.”Marcelo Brigadeiro on the development of Gi Luta Livre.
Marcelo Brigadeiro is the coach at Astra Fight Team in Brazil and if you’re curious enough to take up a class of Gi Luta Livre, click here to find out more.