This August the most prestigious no-gi submission grappling tournament will take place, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Submission Wrestling World Championships. Known in shorthand has the “ADCCs”, it is a professional grappling tournament held every two years that attracts the top grappling talent from all across the world. The rule set is extremely open in terms of submissions and positions allowed, the scoring system designed to increase aggressive takedowns and an attacking style on the ground. The event features a tournament and then one-off super fights between major ADCC champions.
Some of the athletes – specifically former ADCC champions, other major grappling champions, and well known MMA fighters, are invited to come compete at the ADCCs, while others go through regional qualifiers. This series will seek to profile some of the major players at the 2015 ADCCs.
Joao is also set to take part in the FIVE Super League tournament on this Sunday against another ADCC participant Garry Tonon. It is a rematch of a meeting the two had at brown belt and should be a crackling match.
Who is this guy?
He is one half of the dynamic pair jiu jitsu pair that is the Miyao brothers. Joao and his brother Paulo were sensations in the lower belts as they were lower weight foils to Keenan Cornelius. Training under Cicero Costha at PSLPB for a long stretch, but recently have opened Unity Jiu Jitsu in New York City with Murilo Santana, Ana Lowry, Yago de Souza and Leandro Lo.
On his way to black belt, Joao collected two purple belt world championships and a brown belt world championship, in addition to eight other major titles. Joao and Paulo got their black belts in 2013 together, and since then Joao has won the 2014 European Open and Brazilian Nationals, in addition to two Pan Ams golds.
Joao is set to take on Garry Tonon at FIVE Grappling on August 2nd and then compete in the ADCCs. It appears Paulo will be sitting the ADCCs out, likely due to their lack of the much lighter weight classes he normally competes in. Together the Miyao brothers are two of the hottest up-and-coming black belts in the sport.
What is his game like?
Both the Miyaos are guard players to an extreme – they have amazing flexibility and dexterity that has translated in some of the best guard work in all of submission grappling. Joao’s game is very much tailored to the scoring system of jiu jitsu competitions. There is no time spent seeking a takedown, Joao looks to establish his guard and then his goal to get to his opponent’s back, bypassing all their offensive tools. Once on the back Joao seeks any number of submissions. The depth of Joao’s guard game is amazing, he has mastered nearly everything relating to the berimbolo, has a peerless inversion game, is a savant of back takes, and his retention of guard is already among the best in all of grappling.
While most of Joao’s submission game comes from the back position, he does have array of guard attacks that normally follow up sweep attempts and from mount. Joao is very difficult to submit, and is particularly hard to footlock. Both the Miyaos are known for being tenacious and are more than willing to let joints pop a bit, especially their ankles, if it means taking position. In no gi Joao is much more willing to use footlocks to open up chances to take the back.
How is he likely to do?
Both the Miyao’s have struggled a bit in no gi, and by that I mean that they have still had excellent results but have not medaled as often as they do in the gi. Last time around in ADCCs Joao won the Brazilian qualifier to compete in ADCCs and then reached the medal rounds bu then lost first to Rafa Mendes and then to Justin Rader. The rules of ADCC and the lack of gi makes Joao’s game a bit more challenging to implement, but not impossible. He is in a very tough division, and the draw will matter. If Miyao is on the same side of the bracket at Cobrinha his medal chances will be reduced, but expect Miyao to be in the semi-finals and contending for a medal regardless.
About the author