Skip to main content

Otavio Sousa

Otavio was born July 23rd, 1986 in Recife, Brazil.

He started training at Gracie Barra Recife when he was 13 years old and has been with Gracie Barra since. He’s a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr.

Currently, Otavio resides in Huntington Beach, CA  where he owns his academy Gracie Barra Huntington Beach. He teaches all the classes and trains full time for the major tournaments.

Otavio’s main accomplishments include; 6x World Champion – All Belts, 3X Black Belt World Champion, ADCC Silver Medalist and NO-Gi World Champion.

He’s known among his students for his incredible technique, his careful breakdown of every move, for his individual attention to each and every student, his eagerness to help everyone and for teaching everything he knows–never holding anything back from students.

Otavio is married to the lovely Marina and they have two kids, Yasmin and Pepe, who you've probably seen around the major tournaments! If he could choose one food to eat for the rest of his life, Otavio would choose Açai. There’s nothing he loves more to eat. :)

When Otavio is not doing Jiu Jitsu, he’s either sleeping (his other hobby, according to him) or enjoying time with his family!

In his own words: “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the most important thing in my life. I’ve learned that there is no better thing to do, or work, with what you like and I love BJJ. It was through BJJ that I met a lot of people, made good friends, and had the chance to visit some very nice places and visited other cultures. Not to mention that Jiu jitsu changes lives. It gave me a lot of confidence and discipline.”


Name: Otavio Sousa
What is your current state of mind?
Right now, I have just been focusing on my academy and working hard for my 4th World title, so I guess you could say I am focused.
My addictions are:
Jiu-Jitsu ; Travel ; spending time with family and friends
Biggest Accomplishment in life:
My biggest accomplishment so far would probably be finally opening my dream BJJ school here in Huntington Beach or being a 3x Black Belt World Champion in one of the toughest divisions out there.
Words that most describe you:
Mind of steel
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
If I could have one superpower it would be teleportation, so I would never have to deal with the Cali traffic and get to practice much faster!
What do you want to do when you grow up?
To be honest, I already feel like I have fulfilled my life and career goals. All I hope for is to continue to teach, influence my community, and change people’s lives for the better with what I love doing most.
Tell us one thing we don’t know about, but should:
I play soccer better than I do Jiu-Jitsu!
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?
If I could change one thing, it would probably be to end violence, so we all could live in a world where we can have unity amongst each other, and feel safe.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is to be happy with myself, the way that I am, and the things that I have.
What is your greatest fear?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Marcus Aurelius
Which living person do you most admire?
Roger Gracie
What do you like most about yourself?

What is the trait you most DISLIKE about yourself?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Ice cream
What is your greatest regret?
Eating an entire bag of Cheeto Puffs and finishing a pint of Haagen Daz by myself after winning a tournament.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
If you were to die and come back as another person or thing, what would it be?
A lion.
What is your most treasured possessions?
My health and my will to fight for my dreams.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I believe that I already live in my dream city, but if I had to choose somewhere else it would probably be Australia.
What is your ideal occupation?
Professional BJJ athlete, being a school owner, and professor.
Who are you heroes in real life?
My mom and dad for making me the man I am today.
What is your life motto?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
List 3 things you cannot live without:
Jiu-Jitsu, Family, and Friends.
What is your legacy?
To never be afraid of taking risks and seeing what life has to offer.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?
To never underestimate anyone.
Many thanks to:
My sponsors; Kekoa Collective, ATH Organics, and Dacik Fit Foods, my family for always being by my side no matter what.
Last word:
Much Mahalos!