“Everything Came From One Roof” – Leo Vieira Receives his 5th Degree from Jacare /// By: Lea Young
In a heartwarming scene this past weekend at Masters Worlds, Master Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti of Alliance tied the belt of Checkmat co-founder, Leo Vieira to solidify the 5th stripe on his black belt. Jacare originally awarded Vieira with his black belt almost twenty years ago.
Despite the fourteen years of separation and with two of the most prestigious teams in jiu-jitsu competing against each other, Jacare says that “everything came from one roof…” and that between he and Leo, “nothing has changed and nothing will ever change.”
Leandro Vieira, the youngest brother of the Vieira brothers, reflected on memories of Jacare when he was a child in Brazil. Although he was young at the time, Leandro still remembers Jacare’s voice at the end of class like it is fresh in his memory. He recalls Jacare calling him to return to class when he stopped training at age 14 and the last time he shared to mats with him – the day he received his blue belt and the same day Leo received his black belt. Today, Leandro knows how much Jacare impacted his and his family’s life and how blessed they were to have a coach that gave them the time, opportunity, and raised them like his own children.
Although life may have separated them, nothing has changed. It is moments like these that truly reflect the beauty of jiu-jitsu and how much it has evolved beyond teams and affiliations. As Rico Vieira, younger brother of Leo, said: “Unfortunately, the students of this new generation don’t value that philosophy. You can’t imagine what it means at this moment.”
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