Photo Information

Christain Uflacker demonstrates a choke hold during a recent demonstration of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Camp Johnson April 27.

Photo by Cpl. Patrick Fleischman


27 Apr 2009 | Cpl. C.K. Muhlenberg

The Marines of Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course on Camp Geiger, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, welcomed Christian Uflacker, world-renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, for a little rough and tumble training, April 24.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is the Corps’ defensive close quarters combat system, combining traditional and new hand-to-hand combat techniques from many fighting styles, with morale and team-building concepts. The Marine Corps MAIC is dedicated to developing the Marine “warrior ethos” and advancing Marines in the MCMAP belt system.

“These Marines are being trained as green belt instructors, so they can get back out there and train their Marines,” said Jason J. Maratti, the company’s executive officer. “We really enjoy the chance to get a fighter like Christian out here who has years of experience behind his instruction, plus, MCMAP employs many Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques throughout the belts. Although his fighting and our training have different end goals, he brings the pure experience of fighting and wide base of skill sets to Camp Lejeune.”

Uflacker was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, where much of the foundation for modern day Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was laid, said Uflacker. He trained under the legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, Carlos Gracie Jr. at the Gracie Barra Academy, where he earned his black belt. The academy was a second home for him throughout his formative years and helped develop his ambition to become a champion.

From 1994 to 2002 he won seven Brazilian state titles and five national titles. He has also taken home first place finishes at the 2002 World Tournament, 2003 South American Tournament, 2004 Challenge Champion Tournament and 2006 European Champion Tournament.

He now trains in Chicago, where he met Marcus Estrada, the staff noncommisioned officer in charge of Recruiting Station Chicago, who requested Uflacker travel to North Carolina to help train the Marines.

“I came to explain and impart my knowledge of combat and maybe hear a little bit about their kind of combat,” said Uflacker, while he demonstrated a choke hold. “I think Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, even in the defense, when a fight gets tough and goes to the ground, is really effective. The MCMAP techniques they are learning are great and important for them as fighters. You can tell Marines naturally have a lot of potential to be good in my form, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.”

Dustin S. Allen, a MCMAP instructor at the school, agreed that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fits Marines training in MCMAP well.

“Foundational techniques that allow a Marine to keep his opponent on the ground while still attacking, using the attacker’s weight and size against him and using various chokes are essential to close quarters combat, especially for Marines,” said Allen. “That’s why it is such a great opportunity to have Christian here, because he has been drilling us all day in these techniques that apply so well. To have somebody of his caliber come here and teach is an amazing thing. Hopefully, the Marines here take the skills they learn back to their units to better prepare them.”

This notion of preparation and constant training, a staple of Marine life, was the greatest lesson Uflacker wanted to impart on the Marines, he said.

“I think if you can be the best all around fighter, that’s good,” said Uflacker. “But, I want the Marines here to know that to be effective, it takes training every day, hard training for hours and hours and a lot of hard, bloody work to win, but, then again, I know Marines love that kind of stuff.”