Janaina Lebre has just announced that she will be leaving the Gracie Humaita team and from now on will be training under the Mendes brothers at Art of Jiu-Jitsu instead. It’s a huge move for both her own personal career and the development of the team at AOJ, as they continue to grow in size. Although the team originally started out with just one academy and a young team of talented prospects, they’ve since started working on a second location and have attracted a number of elite competitors to their ranks. It’s these kinds of improvements along with their performances on the mat that led to AOJ winning ‘Gym of the Year’ at the JitsMagazine BJJ Awards last year.
With Janaina Lebre joining Art of Jiu-Jitsu, this now means that their women’s team has grown to even higher level than it was before. Jessa Khan was a product of their youth academy and led the way for their team for quite a while, but the recent additions they made last year turned them into a real force to be reckoned with. Margot Ciccarelli joined the team first in 2023 and it wasn’t long before Mayssa Bastos was added to the roster as well. AOJ had already become one of the strongest female teams around last year but now that Lebre has joined too, they should find an even higher level of success.
Lebre was a fantastic competitor during her journey through the colored belt ranks and even won an IBJJF World Championship at brown belt back in 2019. It didn’t take long for her to find her feet at black belt either, as she managed to stand in second place on the podium at the IBJJF World Championship in 2022 with her only loss at the event coming to Ffion Davies. She had already proved that she belonged at the highest level of the sport but she made a huge statement when she won the IBJJF Grand Prix in the lightweight division later that year despite stepping in as a late replacement.
Janaina Lebre originally announced that she was going to be leaving Gracie Humaita with the following statement (translated from the original Portuguese):
“It is with mixed feelings that I share an important decision. After careful reflection, we have taken the decision to disconnect from the GRACIE HUMAITÁ team. This was not an easy choice, but I believe it’s the right step for our personal and professional growth. I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for the incredible journey we share. Experiences, friendships and lessons learned have shaped who I am today. I will always cherish these memories. Will announce the team I will be representing soon”
The Mendes brothers then announced the news that Janaina Lebre was going to join Art of Jiu-Jitsu after leaving Gracie Humaita in a recent post to their official Instagram account: