From white belt to black belt
He was born in Rio de Janeiro, the birthplace of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), lived and trained there until 2008 when he moved to the UK.
In 1994, Leo seeked the best possible training team and found Murilo Bustamante’s club - later became Brazilian Top Team (BTT). Initially, his idea was to acquire some skills so he could defend himself, but as it usually happens with BJJ practitioners, he fell in love with the sport and the “arte suave” (smooth art) and never left.
During his BJJ development, he had the opportunity to train and learn from famous BJJ masters - Vitor Belfort (UFC former champion), Ricardo Libório (former founder of American Top Team - ATT), Zé Mário Sperry, Sérgio Gasparelli (Babú), Sérgio “Bolão” Souza, Pedro Duarte, Alvaro Ramos (Vavá) and of course, Murilo Bustamante.
He has always been a martial arts enthusiast, having practiced karate and aikido under the guidance of his great master and father Paulo Gamarra, who is an experienced black belt and expert in martial arts for over 40 years. Leo has also background in boxing and judo.
Leo is loyal to his master Murilo Bustamante and whenever he is in Rio de Janeiro he goes back to his BJJ home.
His life style is driven by the principles of martial arts – respect, discipline and humility: “I always make sure I pass it on to my students, and try to persuade them to have similar way of thinking and attitude.”
Aside from getting used to the cold weather, Leo taught BJJ in Wimbledon for 6 months before moving to Cambridge with his wife.
Leo is grateful for his time at Tsunami, as he was able to lead an excellent team of extremely capable and respectful athletes. He graded his first black belt Fabio Ferrari, three brown belts and many purple and blue belts.
In March, Murilo Bustamante graded Leo third degree black belt due to his long term commitment and dedication to the sport.
In August, a new beginning starts for Leo as he founds Gama Force BJJ, his own team