Marco “Gigante” Villela is a respected instructor in Australia. Originally from Brazil, he talks about his journey in Jiu-Jitsu, learning from Carlos Gracie Jr and Relson Gracie, refereeing and why he thinks the IBJJF’s rules should be the standard. Click “Read More” for show notes! 


  • Origins
  • His start with Judo, Luta Livre and Muay Thai
  • The biggest differences between Jiu-Jitsu and Luta Livre
  • Jiu-Jitsu’s history in Brazil as the “upper class” martial art
  • Being a big guy in Jiu-Jitsu
  • How Judo take downs have been more practical for his size
  • His Jiu-Jitsu game
  • Learning from Master Carlos Gracie Jr
  • Working with Grandmaster Relson Gracie
  • Moving to Australia
  • Adapting to life in Australia
  • How Jiu-Jitsu’s rapid growth in Australia has led to disorganization in his opinion
  • Why he thinks the IBJJF rules should remain the standard
  • His advice to new academy owners
  • Self defense and tradition
  • Refereeing: The good and the bad
  • Working with Mark Hunt on his grappling
  • The modern Jiu-Jitsu scene
  • The struggles of living in Brazil
  • How Jiu-Jitsu built a bridge between people of different social status
  • His acting career
  • Future plans