Andre Pederneiras also known as Dede is one of the best Jiu Jitsu and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) coaches in the World, the leader and co-founder of the Nova Uniao team was voted Best MMA coach in the World in October 2010 by the renowned PVT magazine (Portal do Vale Tudo) in a referendum made between fighters, coaches and journalists of the sport.
André Pederneiras in Detail
Nickname:, Dedé is a friendly way of saying André, in Portuguese.
Main Achievements (BJJ/MMA/Grappling) He won 6 National Championships in BJJ as an athlete, although he achieved fame through a teacher’s stand point. His team, Nova Uniao has won 2 world titles in BJJ and is one of the most prolific teams in MMA today. They were considered the best lightweight team in the world for the most part of the 1990’s and early 2000´s
Favorite Technique: there is a reason why Nova Uniao is famous for their lapel techniques (chokes and sweeps) Dede’s creative lapel work, from half and butterfly guard is the driving force behind this
Weight Class: Lightweight (76kg-167lbs)
Famous Fight was against the Japanese MMA star Rumina Sato (check the fight on the video at the bottom of this page)
Andre Pederneiras Biography
Not much is known about Andre Pederneiras’s childhood. He started his training under Carlson Gracie, whom later gave him his Black Belt. In the early 1990’s he split Carlson’s academy to start his own. Although his team reached success relatively fast, he found it hard to compete against the bigger teams, teams like Gracie Barra, Carlson Gracie Team who won most of the tournaments due to the sheer number of their athletes. He met Wendel Alexander at one of those championships in Rio de Janeiro, he (Wendel) was in the same situation.
They arranged to organize training sessions between both teams and competed as one team in the following tournament with great success. To this strong new team they decided to call “Nova União” – which in Portuguese means “New Union”, a team who holds strong to this day.
André Pederneiras also made the headlines in the 1990’s for being one of the first Brazilians to open the doors of his dojo to foreigners, namely Joe Charles and BJ Penn. The gesture was frowned upon by the Brazilian media and most of the coaches and fighters at the time. His old master, Carlson called him a “Creonte” a less then amicable way of calling someone you believe is a traitor. The fact that Joe Charles fought Carlson Gracie’s son Junior did not help Pederneiras’s cause. Fortunately with time, this animosity towards the foreign fighters faded away and today it is totally accepted.
In the late 90’s early 2000’s Dede ventured into the early stages of MMA winning his first fight against heavy favorite Rumina Sato, losing later against the MMA legend Pat Miletich in America, drawing his other two fights in Japan, finishing his career in MMA and dedicating himself fully on his coaching.
In 2003 Andre Pederneiras decided to pull his team out off the CBJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Confederation) tournaments because he believed (and believes still) that if BJJ wants to a
chieve a professional level, fighters should be paid when fighting in major tournaments. For this he organized his own federation CBJJO “Olympic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation”, this was built with the help of “KF” Kimono’s president (and Nova Uniao sponcer) Luis Herminio – Luizinho. The arm wrestling contest between Nova Uniao and CBJJ (presided by arch rival team leader “Carlinhos” Gracie – Gracie Barra) lasted for four years until finally Nova Uniao fighters returned to the Mundial and CBJJO was dissolved with several internal problems.
Andre Pederneiras has also opened Upper Sports Club a very successful health club in Rio de Janeiro. Which he uses to help the local community in the Favela’s (Brazilian slums), in fact Mr Pederneiras is an activist in improving the life style of the people in the poorer areas of Rio de Janeiro.
Besides his BJJ team he is also in charge of their MMA team with fighters like Jose Aldo, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thales Leite, Robson Moura, Marlon Sandro, Wagney Fabianno among many others. He also presides Shooto Brazil, an MMA organization with the intent of finding new starts in the sport of MMA in Brazil.
Andre Pederneiras vs Rumina Sato
History of Jiu Jitsu: Oswaldo Fadda, Luis Franca, Wendel Alexander, Nova União and Non Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Nova Uniao is the product of the combination of two of the most storied lineages in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is one of the top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools in the world. It has been home to multiple World Champions in both grappling and Mixed Martial Arts. From Vitor “Shaolin” Riberio, B.J. Penn, Robson Moura, Leonardo Santos, to Jose Aldo the gym has played host to generations of talent and success.
- Andre Pederneiras was one of the founders and was a black belt under the great Carlson Gracie, the first Gracie to teach the full range of Jiu-Jitsu techniques to students outside the Gracie family. The co-founder of Nova Uniao was Wendell Alexander, who is a key member of one of the most unique lineages in all of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Alexander is one of the few men who can claim a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lineage that is clear of any Gracie. Unlike the vast majority of BJJ players who trace their instructors back through Carlos Gracie, Alexander’s black belt traces directly back to Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda taught his Kodokan Judo, blended with some catch wrestling he had learned while traveling Europe, to several students in Brazil, most famously Carlos Gracie. One of Maeda’s first students was Luis Franca, a man who sadly little is written.
- In 1937, Franca took a student of his own, and while Helio Gracie was learning Jiu-Jitsu for the first time so was young Oswaldo Fadda. Fadda would earn his black belt in 1942 and began to given lessons on the outskirts of Rio. By this time the Gracie family had the made the martial art of Jiu-Jitsu well known but many of their prices for instruction were steep and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was a martial art of the middle and upper class. Fadda taught his lessons in public areas, opening techniques to lower classes for no charge. In 1950, Fadda and his students finally were able to open their own academy just outside of Rio. The school specialized on footlocks before the rise of Luta Livre made the techniques commonplace in Brazilian grappling.
In 1951, Fadda challenged the Gracie Academy in Rio through the Globo Journal famously stating “We wish to challenge the Gracies, we respect them like the formidable adversaries they are but we do not fear them. We have 20 pupils ready for the dispute.” Helio invited Fadda and his students to a competition at the Gracie Academy. Fadda’s students defeated Helio’s, many of them using foot locks though one Fadda student did choke a Gracie student unconscious. While the Gracie’s scoffed at the use of footlocks, referring to it as a “suburban technique”, they declared Fadda’s victory as a sign that Jiu-Jitsu belonged to everyone.
The Globo covered the event and gave Fadda excellent press and new students flocked to his academy, as well as tough man challengers. Over the years Fadda and his students defeated all comers. Fadda would earn the fabled 9th degree rank of red belt, the highest honor bestowed to a non-Gracie. One of Fadda’s students, Sebastiao Ricardo would become instructor to Wendell Alexander. Alexander began training at the age of 4 in 1970 under Geraldo Flores. Alexander went from toddler to purple belt under Flores, but when Flores moved away Alexander turned to Sebastiao Ricardo. Alexander worked hard under Ricardo, and earned his black belt in 1986. Sebastiao asked Alexander to take over his academy. And when Alexander accepted Sebastiao disappeared, and has not been seen since. Alexander proved an able teacher, if a tentative competitor.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s there was not much in the way of competition and Alexander by his own admission did not have to the energy to seek out the elite competition. That said he did win gold at the first IBJJF Pan Ams in 1996 in the Masters (30-35 years old) Black Belt division. Despite not having a competitive fire himself, Alexander’s academy in the late 1990s had many successful students in the younger age groups and lower belt divisions. It was during his time coaching that he met Andre Pederneiras, who also had a very young and talented group of students, but neither of their schools could compete with the sheer weight of numbers of the major teams like Gracie Barra and Alliance. In 1995 they decided to merge their academies in order to compete in the quickly evolving world of sport jiu-jitsu. Together they opened the Nova Uniao Jiu-Jitsu Academy, which combined the very decorated lineages of Carlson Gracie and Oswaldo Fadda to great effect. Some of the school’s first successes were Robson Moura who would become regarded as one of the best BJJ players ever and guiding the young B.J. Penn to become the first American to win a World Championship in 2000.
Santos would grow up under the tutelage of Alexander and become one of the most technical, dynamic and greatest BJJ Lightweights of all time. Santos would medal at IBJJF Worlds in 2000 and 2001, but he became discontented with the IBJFF and declared he would only compete for cash prizes. Santos would then join a rival organization that would become the Confederation of Sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJE) that tried to attract top talent by offering cash prizes.
Santos would go undefeated for five years on the World Cup circuit and won the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 CBJJO World Cups.
Santos also became involved in the ADCC Submission Grappling Championships in 2005 and entered into a very competitive field that included Renzo Grace, Georges St. Pierre, Jake Shields, Shinya Aoki, Pablo Popovitch and Marcelo Gracia.
Santos defeated future UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre in the quarterfinals…
After ADCCs Santos took a break from competitive grappling to help his brother Wagnney Fabiano open an academy and then Santos shifted his focus to MMA.
Fighters like Leo Santos, Wendell Alexander, Oswaldo Fadda and others like Marcelo Pereira who trace their lineages back to Mitsuyo Maeda with no Gracie present keep Luis Franca’s lineage alive today. It remains an important and under valued aspect of a martial art that is so dominated by one family and this lineage is proof that Jiu-Jitsu indeed belongs to everyone.
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“Wendell Alexander | BJJ Heroes.” BJJ Heroes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Leonardo Santos | BJJ Heroes.” BJJ Heroes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Robson Moura | BJJ Heroes.” BJJ Heroes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“Jiu-jitsu History.” JIU-JITSU.NET — Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Jujitsu, BJJ, Grappling, Mixed Martial Arts, Ultimate Fighting, Self Defense.
“About Marcelo Pereira.” Naples Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.
“RESULTADO DO II CAMPEONATO PANAMERICANO (17 E 18 DE AGOSTO).” International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.
“ADCC Results | adcombat.com.” ADCC News | adcombat.com.