Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 11, following in his brother and friend’s footsteps, with instructor Pitoco until the orange belt, as he developed into the sport and competitions he moved to the Barra Gracie school, a bigger Academy conducted by Jean Jaques Machado and Carlos Gracie Jr. at the time, until Jean Jaques moved to the US, and he started training full time under Master Carlos Gracie Jr., son of the patriarch of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Carlos Gracie, under who Professor “Tinguinha” trained from the Blue to the Black belt. Throughout his many years training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu “Tinguinha” achieved competitive success, winning many titles in all major Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in Brazil and the US. He had the privilege of training with some very skilled BJJ Athletes such as Renzo Gracie,Ralph Gracie, Ryan Gracie, Roberto “Gordo”, Helio “Soneca”, Alexandre “Soca”, Nino Schembri, Ricardo “Cachorrao”, among many others which helped shape and refine his own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and technical approach to this art, culminating with the award of his Black Belt in 1996 at the age of 21, a privilege few had back at that time. His dedication into learning, perfecting and teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu evolved into his career path. He started teaching at an early age, in the purple belt and fully committed to following this path after being promoted the black belt, Mauricio is one of the pioneers in the expansion of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial art worldwide, having taught in his native Brazil, Japan and the US, contributing to the growth of this art around the world. He arrived in the United States in 2000 to continue his lifelong dream of spreading the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu art and sharing the benefits he was able to experience himself. Tinguinha has been one of my heroes since the late 90s when I moved to Brazil as a young man. I was able to visit his gym in the early 2000s in Orange County, California to train with him and it’s been a big pleasure to see his success over the years.