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Nino Schembri

A very early pioneer in Jiu-Jitsu, Nino invented and popularized many techniques that are in everyone’s game today. Most famously he is known for his use of the omoplata, which up until then was not seen as an effective technique. Nino used his flexibility and creativity to add greatly to the setups and sweep options off of the basic Omoplata submission. Besides the Omoplata, which Nino is often called the king of, he was also one of the first grapplers recorded using the Lasso Guard, the Rubber Guard, and the Gogoplata. Nino is truly one of the great innovators from the early days of the sport, his name may not be that well known anymore but his impact will forever be felt on the BJJ mats.


Nino is a true innovator of the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who helped popularize many of the positions still used today. Nino is often considered one of the best guard players of all time. He revolutionized the Omoplata turning it from a low percentage submission in to an entire system of attacks and sweeps. He was one of the first to use the Lasso Guard and was an early user of what would become the Rubber Guard. Along with his constant innovation, Nino was also a top competitor winning numerous titles and MMA fights throughout his career.

  • 1998 World Champion
  • 1997 World Champion
  • 1996 Brazilian National Champion – Absolute Division

Nino Schembri Omoplata Terror


Nino has been teaching Jiu-Jitsu full time since 2004 when he became a BJJ instructor at the Chute Box academy in Brazil. During his time at Chute Box he would train some of the top names in the sport including; Wanderlei Silva, Ninja Rua and his brother Shogun, and even awarded Shogun his black belt after his 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix win. After a few years with Chute Box Nino decided to leave to open his own academy in Lawndale California where he continues to teach today.


The always innovative Nino Schembri returns with a 3 DVD set covering submissions from the crucifix and butterfly sweeps.


Nino “Elvis” Schembri

Nino Schembri was born June 1st 1974 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He grew up in a traditional Italian family, his father was born in Italy, and would often work in the family street market helping his father selling duvets.  He began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at age five under Marcelo and Silvio Behring in the New Ipanema neighborhood of Rio de Janiero, and at 13 he began his elite training under Jorge Pereira who helped develop his early game. As an 18 year old blue belt, he moved to the Gracie Barra Academy to study under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and Renzo Gracie. After two years training with the Gracie Barra Academy, he was promoted to black belt and began his quest to conquer almost every Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu title.

Nino had an image that was the complete opposite of the traditional Jiu-Jitsu playboy troublemaker of the 1990s. An image unfavorable with Jiu-Jitsu sponsors for years due to the wrong doing of many Rio de Janeiro gangs who used their fighting knowledge to cause trouble on the streets. Antonio Schembri was one of the many good names in the sport who fought against the bad image of some Jiu-Jitsu fighters. Nino was a phenomenal competitor who was well known for his amazing flexibility and even more amazing creativity being one of the first to truly make the guard offensive, attacking with the previously unheralded Omoplata and Gogoplatas. Before Nino the Omoplata was just seen as a lower percentage submission. It was there and was taught in most curriculums, but no one was even attempting them in competitions. Carlson Gracie’s top student Otavio ‘Peixotinho’ even said in an interview for BJJHeros that; “The omoplata existed, but it lacked effectiveness. It was something you would try in training but not in comps. I saw Rickson and Rolls competing plenty of times, even they wouldn’t put it to use.” It wasn’t until 1994 when a rule change allowed an omoplata sweep to actually be scored as a sweep that things for this once unloved submission began to change. This very important rule change just happened to happen when Nino was revolutionizing the guard game and many began to see the power of the Omoplata. Nino opened the eyes of many fighters to the efficiency of the position, not only using it as a submission, but also as a set up for sweeps, armbars, chokes and other positions. Besides the innovations made by Nino, many more have added their input, making the Omoplata one of the most used attacks in modern day Jiu-Jitsu.

In 2001 Nino decided to give Mixed Martial Arts a try. He made his debut on the biggest stage in the world, Pride 14, against Luta Livre fighter Johil de Oliveira winning by armbar in the first round. In his 3rd Pro fight, Nino would score a TKO victory over MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba. Unfortunately in 2004, Nino’s father took his own life. This absolutely devastated Nino, and he admits his focus was totally gone and he would hardly train consistently. But he was still taking fights to pay his bills. During this time period his record suffered, leaving him with a 5-5 MMA record. But in 2010 he returned to the Jiu-Jitsu mats and to his winning ways. He has said that he was finally healed mentally from the tragic loss of his father.

 Nino "Elvis" Schembri Highlight

Kazushi Sakuraba vs Antonio "Elvis" Schembri: PRIDE 25

Bill Cooper vs. Nino Schembri

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