The Biggest Teams at The 2020 IBJJF European Championships

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We ran the numbers to find out who were the most powerful squads heading into the 2020 IBJJF European Championships. We looked at the entire list of entrants, from white belt to black belt and from juvenile to masters 7 (the oldest age category). 

It's no surprise that the largest teams represented at Euros are those with big international associations, drawing competitors from not only from the 44 recognized countries in Europe but from countries as far afield as Japan and Australia.. 

Here are the 10 biggest teams.

10. Icon Jiu-Jitsu Team – 91

Found by Ze Marcello, Icon Jiu-Jitsu boasts over 140 affiliates with the majority in Europe but also in the USA and Brazil. Icon has a strong presence in the UK, Switzerland and Portugal. The majority of competitors are found in the colored belt and black belt masters divisions. 

9. Atos – 101

Winners of the team trophy at major events such as the Worlds and Pans, Atos usually bring a scaled-down squad to Euros but they still have 10 competitors in the adult black belt divisions.

Notable black belts:

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster      Cleber Sousa   
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster      Kristian Woodmansee  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Jonnatas Gracie 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Ronaldo Pereira Júnior  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Alexandre Joaquim de Jesus  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Dominique Bell  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Rafael Vasconcelos 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Super-Heavy      Helton Junior  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Feather      Bianca Basilio  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Light      Nicole Sullivan  

8. Cicero Costha – 119

Cicero Costha won the team trophy at Euros in 2018 and 2019, thanks in large part to their high-profile black belts but also their legions of colored belt competitors. Though most people think of them as a Brazilian team with their HQ in Sao Paulo, they have a number of their athletes working as coaches in European countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Italy and more. 

Notable black belts:

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster      Thalison Soares  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Jonas Andrade  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Italo Moura 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Diego Batista  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Hiago George 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather      Rodrigo Gortari Barbosa  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Natan Chueng 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Pedro Veras  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Hygor Brito 
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Middle      Thamara Silva  

7. Brasa CTA – 143

The Brasa CTA network spreads across Europe, with clubs in Belgium, Poland and into countries such as Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and others. Headed up by high-profile competitors Caio Terra, Rodrigo Comprido and Felipe Costa, Brasa CTA can count on previous European champs Mikey Musumeci and Rudson Mateus to carry the flag this year in the black belt divisions. 

Notable black belts: 

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster      Tomoyuki Hashimoto  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Rene Lopez  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Michael Musumeci Jr.  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather      Gabriel Marangoni 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Jeremy Jackson  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy      Rudson Mateus 

6. Carlson Gracie – 147

The Carlson legacy lives on across the world, and especially in Europe where many of the legendary grand master's students relocated to spread the message of jiu-jitsu. There are CG gyms across the continent, with concentrations of talent in the UK, Holland, Portugal and Hungary, but also in Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria. 

Notable black belts:

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather  Pedro Dias 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather  Lee Renaut  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light  Alexandre Molinaro  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light  Guthierry Barbosa

5. Alliance – 155

With 13 high level black belts, some of the best colored belts in the world and a worldwide network that spans from the western most point of Europe to deepest Russia, the Alliance team consistently places top 3 in the team standings at Euros. In 2016 they won both the Adult Male and Female trophies, and the women's trophies in 2017 and 2018. With the squad they have this year there is a strong chance they could win it all. 

Notable black belts

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster      Bruno Malfacine  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather      Isaac Doederlein  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather      Gianni Grippo  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Igor Veríssimo Chaves  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy      Alec Baulding  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy      Rafael Paganini  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Fábio Alano  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Dimitrius Souza  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Light-Feather      Talita Alencar  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Light-Feather      Ana Rodrigues  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Middle      Renata Marinho 

4. GF Team – 158

Known for their hardcore competitors hailing from Brazil, GF Team have long had strongholds in countries such as France and Germany, too. They're bringing a decent sized squad of their best talent, but an interesting note is that 28 of the 158 representatives will compete in the black belt masters divisions, from master 1 to 7, including team founder Julio Cesar Pereira himself in the black belt master 6 medium-heavyweight division. 

Notable black belts: 

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light-Feather      Carlos Alberto Oliveira 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather      Israel Almeida  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Light      Vitor Oliveira  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Super-Heavy      Patrick Gaudio  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Ultra-Heavy      Seif-Eddine Houmine  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Rooster      Mayssa Bastos

3. ZR Team Association – 196

No Euros experience would be complete without the site of charismatic ZR Team leader "Ze Radiola" coaching from the sidelines in the team's distinctive green T-shirt. When ZR Team broke off from Gracie Barra in 2016, many of the network's clubs in places such as Eastern Europe went with Ze Radiola and they enjoy a stronger presence at Euros than they do any other major tournament. 

Notable black belts

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather     Guilherme Rocha  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Feather     Gabriel Sousa

2. Checkmat – 331

Few people realize the strength and depth of Checkmat in Europe. There are a number of powerhouse Checkmat clubs based in Sweden, Poland and the United Kingdom that are best known, but their influence spreads wide. Alan Finfou Nascimento is the driving force behind the team's excellent Swedish contingent, Jackson Sousa and Marco Canha are two of the many Checkmat instructors working in London, Adam Wardzinski is their best Polish athlete, and even Checkmat co-founder Ricardo Vieira is based in Europe, having relocated to Portugal. 

Notable black belts

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Jose Mathias Luna  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Bradley Hill  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle      Max Lindblad  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy      Gabriel Almeida  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Jackson Sousa 
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Adam Wardzinski  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Heavy      Philippe Pomaski
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Light-Feather      Rose-Marie El Sharouni  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Feather      Gabriela Fechter  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Light      Nathalie Ribeiro  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Middle      Vedha Toscano  

1. Gracie Barra – 380

Nobody is quite clear how many Gracie Barra gyms there are in the world– we've heard estimates of 1000 or more, giving the Red Shield army a sizable advantage when it comes to human resources. 

A staggering 82% of the GB reps are white and blue belts, ranging from juvenile (15-16 years of age) to master 6, which is over the age of 55. They really are serious about this "jiu-jitsu for everyone" thing. 

Notable black belts

  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Rooster       Lucas Ramos Gonçalves  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Middle       Oliver Lovell  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy       Sean Coates  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Medium-Heavy       Santeri Lilius  
  • BLACK / Adult / Male / Super-Heavy       Fellipe Trovo  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Super-Heavy       Kendall Reusing  
  • BLACK / Adult / Female / Super-Heavy       Jessica Flowers  

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