A long-running school from the Carlson Gracie lineage, Nova Geração is a well-known name in the world of jiu-jitsu and a popular destination for avid-competitors. They’ve produced guys like BJJ world chanpion Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu and MMA fighter Alexandre Pulga.
Unusual for a jiu-jitsu gym in Rio, Nova Geração is located in a center 100% dedicated to combat sports. Known as Centro de Lutas, the gym is modestly sized but well-equipped for BJJ, MMA, Muay Thai and more.
The head coach at the gym is Francisco ‘Toco’ Albuquerque, a fourth degree black belt and former student of the late Carlson Gracie. The strong style as emphasised by the Grand Master is very much in evidence here. Though Toco himself is small, he embodies the fighting spirit Carlson so valued, and this is reflected in his students and the training.
The mat is a good size and found at the back of the gym behind the boxing ring. The walls are matted also, giving added safety to the BJJ guys while allowing the MMA fighters to do their thing.
A Typical Class
Warm-ups are long and hard and are more like a conditioning class. They like to use an agility ladder for both standing and ground drills, mixing in jiu-jitsu moves with more traditional body weight exercises.
The technique portion of training is taught in both Portuguese and English: although Toco’s English is limited he can communicate the details of a technique well enough that everyone can understand. You will be given plenty of time to drill the move before rolling.
Rolling is tough. Most Carlson Gracie schools encourage rolling to be intense and competitive, and NG is no exception. Everyone on the mat, from white belt to black, will be a tough roll.
If you’re looking for a place to really test yourself, Nova Geração could be it. You’ll be taken to your limits both physically and technically but should you emerge intact, you’ll be able to take on anything.
Academy Fact File
Head instructor: Francisco Albuquerque
Price: R$340 / month (updated May 2015)
Facilities: Boxing ring, matted walls, changing rooms with showers
Average numbers of BB’s at training: 4-8
Av number of people per class: 15-20
Speak English?: Yes
Location: Ground level on a busy street, easy to spot
Suggested transport: Bus
MMA / no-gi: Yes
Other martial arts: Muay Thai / Boxing / Capoeira
Years open: 20
Titles / champions / championships: Multiple Brazilian team champions
Notable students: Roberto ‘Cyborg’ Abreu, Alexandre Pimental, Alexander Pulga
Avenida Bartolomeu Mitre, 808b
Rio de Janeiro
The gym is situated on a main street and has a store front-like appearance, making it easy Nova Geração is in the heart of the upmarket neighbourhood of Leblon, and so is great for tourists. Only a few minutes walk from one of the best beaches in Rio, it is easy to get to by public transport. Leblon is generally a wealthier place than other boroughs in Rio and so prices of hotels and hostels are higher than average.
Mon-Fri 7.00 / 10.30 / 16.00 / 19.30
Video by Hywel Teague / BJJHacks