Legendary jiu jitsu artist Cobrinha in Manila for one-day training among top Pinoy fighters
He's here in the country, legendary jiu jitsu artist Cobrinha. Rhoel Fernandez

COBRINHA, one of the world’s best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu artists is in the Philippines to teach.

Ruben Charles Maciel aka “Cobrinha (Little Snake)” shared his knowledge and experience to a selected group of jiu jitsu practitioners belonging to some of the top teams at the University of Asia and the Pacific on Saturday.

In an interview with SPIN.ph at the Shangri La Edsa Hotel, the six-time world black belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion and grappling coach of former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, said he looked forward in sharing more than just techniques.

“I want to speak out more about the jiu jitsu lifestyle. Of course there are some techniques as well. My goal is to come here and show them the way I’ve been training my whole life - the way it can change my life, and the way it can change anybody else’s life - this is the mission I have,” Cobrinha said.

Aside from the techniques, Cobrinha is intent on delivering a positive message.

“People always ask me what it takes to be a champion - you can train hard and do the conditioning and a person can be a champion. But I want to see if this person will be a champion in life. Being a champion in athletics is easy. Physical skills are easy, but I what I want to see is a better person off the mats.”   

 The group responsible for bringing the legendary Brazilian is Team Valores (Portuguese for “values”), whose head instructor Mark Entrata, feels the Brazilian legend brings valuable insights to what is one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

“Recently, the Philippines has been getting good results internationally in the world stage (indicating the gold medal performances of Annie Ramirez and Margarita Ochoa in the Asian Beach Games in Vietnam),” Entrata said. “(Jiu jitsu) is really becoming a mainstream sport and we need to become competitive.

Entrata said the Philippines has one of the top teams in Southeast Asia but to overcome Japan and South Korea, the top Asian teams, the country needs to become more competitive. Enter Cobrinha who can share training methods as well as the mindset to go along with it.   

Still an active competitor at the age of 37, Cobrinha, who trains everyday even during the offseason, is looking to compete for another title in the world championships and defend his ADCC title next year against a field of far younger competitors.


“For me it’s a challenge. The kids I’m competing these days they have been looking up to me. When I was a champion as a black belt they were purple belts and just starting in jiu jitsu. I’ll continue competing as long as I feel my body can handle it. For me, my body and my mind is 25 years old.”      

The first time visitor said Filipinos have a passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, adding he has a lot of Pinoy students in his Wilshire Blvd. studio in Los Angeles.

“They have been telling me rumors that jiu jitsu is growing here so (here I am),” noting that seeing the drills and techniques he have seen so far indicates it is on the right track.

Cobrinha conducted the three-hour seminar for 50 selected coaches and athletes of the major teams who would then share the drills, techniques and training concepts to their teams.

“They can see how he does things and made him the legend that he is and what makes his students some of the top students in the world,” Entrata said.

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