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We pulled the data for the upcoming IBJJF European Championships to find out who’s bringing the biggest team to Lisbon, Portugal, next week.
To calculate the total number of entrants for each team we had to combine various subdivisions under the same banner — for example, Gracie Barra Academy and Gracie Barra BJJ were obviously put together, as were Alliance, Alliance International, and so on.
Here are the 15 biggest teams we will see in action at the 2018 IBJJF European Championship, which runs from Jan. 16-21.
1. Gracie Barra – 355
2. Checkmat – 272
3. Alliance – 159
4. ZR Team – 140
5. Icon Jiu-Jitsu – 117
6. Roger Gracie – 112
7. GF Team – 111
8. BRASA / CTA – 78
9. Carlson Gracie – 73
10. Kimura – 67
11. Atos – 65
12. Nova Uniao – 61
13. Hilti – 60
14. Cicero Costha – 51
14. Frontline – 51
15. Gracie Humaita – 35
It’s no surprise that Gracie Barra, Checkmat, and Alliance are bringing the most competitors. The teams all have huge international networks, with all three having particularly strong presences in Europe.
ZR Team broke off from Gracie Barra in 2016. The team is bringing athletes from all over Europe, particularly the UK and Eastern Europe.
It’s unusual to see Roger Gracie’s name so high in the rankings, but the megastar’s home base is in London, only a short flight from Lisbon, and he also has a network of affiliates in countries across Europe.
GF Team is a powerhouse in Brazil yet not so strong in North America. In Europe, however, it has a wide reach in countries such as France and Germany.
Kimura, which checks in at No. 10, is a Brazilian team that recently split from Nova Uniao (at 12th biggest). Kimura has a network of gyms with high-profile competitors in Norway, among other places.
Powerhouse teams Atos and Cicero Costha have some affiliates in Europe, such as Andre Galvao's brother in Barcelona, but they've only brought 65 and 51 athletes each, respectively, and that includes many of their top Brazilian and, in the case of Atos, American athletes. Yet it’d be a surprise not to see them on the podium when it's time to award the team trophy, in part thanks to their elite squadron of colored belt competitors.