Ricardo Liborio has dedicated his life to three goals: competing in martial arts, teaching, and enriching other people’s lives through the culture of martial arts. Through which, he has become a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) icon, world-renowned coach/teacher, and successful business owner. His accomplishments in martial arts have impacted the world over, and his love for teaching and helping others sets him apart. Liborio has faced many adversities throughout his journey but never lost his love of martial arts and desire to help people. Lifting people up through the values of martial arts is what truly drives him to succeed.
He was born on July 13th of 1967, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His Martial Arts journey begins as early as age 4 in a variety of traditional and modern martial arts, including Judo, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Western boxing. His first competition was as early as age 5. As a high school student, Liborio was a state wrestling champion in Brazil. At age 15, he began learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the Carlson Gracie Academy, under the tutelage of Carlson Gracie himself. He flourished under the Carlson academy in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, winning several competitions for the team and becoming one of Gracie’s best students. Under Master Carlson, he was awarded a black belt in 1993. His talent, drive, and sheer love for the art empowered him to excel in competition and overcome adversity. He would wake up at 5:00 a.m. every day to train, work 40 hours a week, and train again after college and work.
Liborio often enjoyed competing against opponents who were multiple weight classes above himself. Weighing only 176Ibs (80kg), he showcased his skill and pure desire to win in the inaugural 1996 World Championships when he won against the super heavyweight Leo Castello Branco taking gold. He was awarded the title of “Most Technical Black Belt” in the tournament. To date, he has 11 professional grappling wins to his name, including taking the 2015 ADCC Super-fight championship. His accomplishments are many and his iconic status so well deserved, yet you would never know in speaking with him as he is so humble and loving of people.
Business Career and Coaching
Although Liborio could have made a career from competition alone, he felt compelled to do more. At the age of 13, Master Liborio worked at the Bank of Brazil through a middle school trainee program and continued to work at the bank through college and afterward. After graduating from the Universidade of Gama Filho with a bachelor’s in business administration, Liborio worked his way up to manage multiple VIP accounts with such companies as IBM and Xerox, to name a few.
In 1999 he co-founded Brazilian Top Team (BTT) with several of Gracie’s students, which grew to be the best MMA team in the world. Following this feat, he had ambitions to move to the U.S. His desire was brought to fruition through co-founding American Top Team (ATT), which took the MMA world by storm and is still considered one of the best MMA producing academies. Master Liborio coached many world-class fighters with some including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira “Minotauro,” Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal, Yoel Romero, Rodolfo Vieira, Jessica Aguilar, Ricardo Arona, and Bruno Malfacine.
Liborio later established USA grappling, through which he created several world-champion wrestlers and grapplers, reaching such accomplishments as World Team champions at the 2009 FILA Grappling World Championships in both No-Gi and Gi competitions. Liborio moved on from ATT in 2015 and founded Martial Arts Nation and the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Institute soon after in 2018. Currently, he is the head of the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) BJJ program and an expansion ambassador for the Saudi Arabian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
Family and Personal
Liborio loves spending time with his wife and daughters. He is so proud of whom his children have grown up to be and their many accomplishments. He views his students as part of his family and loves throwing holiday parties, Brazilian BBQ’s, and watching them develop through martial arts into better, more caring men and women. Also, he is a certified Judo instructor for the visually imparted and aided the Wounded Warrior Project in helping soldiers with PTSD through BJJ. He can fluently speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish, and with google, 100 more. He is a very passionate man, teacher, and mentor who believes in his Martial Arts Cultural Movement (MACM) and genuinely loves seeing people succeed in their life pursuits.
- 1996 Brazilian ji-Jitsu World (Mundial) Champion
- Voted most technical Brazilian jiu-Jitsu competitor in 1996
- 3X Brazilian National Champion
- 3rd Abu Dhabi Submission Tournament 1999
- 2nd Abu Dhabi Submissions Tournament 2000
- World Champion Masters Division 2000
- National Coach for USA Grappling
- Inducted into the NAGA Grappling Hall of Fame 2005
- USA Grappling Honors Award recipient 2009
- Inducted into the official World Grappling Hall of Fame 2010
- Inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame 2010
- 2016 Rio de Janeiro wrestling coach for Team USA
- Palm Sports Abu Dhabi Honors award recipient 2018
- Martial Arts Industry Association Honors award recipient 2019