On the 29th of May this year, exactly one month ago, Pedro “Pedrinho” Brandão died unexpectedly. Everyone who knew him or had come in contact with him knew of his vitality, attitude, ruggedness, courage… Indeed, one would need an infinite list of adjectives to describe the teammate and friend.
His courage extended well beyond the gentle art, a style in which he won numerous major tournaments like the Brazilian National Championship and Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American, having overcome opponents of the caliber of Fredson Paixão, BJ Penn, Baret Yoshida, Daniel Moraes, Rodrigo Damm and Ramon Lemos, among others.
Pedrinho was a member of the American Army’s elite Rangers. He was the first to introduce Jiu-Jitsu to the troops, teaching the style to more than 150 children and approximately 50 soldiers, who represented the Rangers for the first time in competition, at the Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American.
For all that – and much more – it was hard to understand how a brain aneurism could end his life so unexpectedly. To speak of this true warrior from Gracie Barra and pay tribute to him, there is nothing more fitting than to leave the final word to those who spent the most time with the fighter.
Master Carlos Gracie Jr
Pedro, despite not living a long life, always lived very intensely. I always admired him for his loyalty, character and principles. He was someone who represented Gracie Barra wherever he went.
There’s no such thing as death. One day we shall meet again” Carlos Gracie Jr.
He embraced our philosophy and carried it with him in life. As a member of the American army, he managed to achieve everything he wanted to, became an Army Ranger, a special operations soldier. In everything he was involved with, he achieved results. That was because of his determination when he wanted something.
It is a tremendous loss, but, as there’s no such thing as death, we shall meet again for sure!
Marco Joca “Piu Piu”
He had Gracie Barra in his heart and the philosophy of a warrior in his mind” Piu Piu
All I can say is that only a select few people in this world can be blessed with having a friend like Pedrinho, with his iron cast personality, his unwavering character and his eternal loyalty.
Pedrinho always was a leader, ever since childhood, and taught his friends a lot through his actions. On the occasions when I’d spend time with him, what always impressed me was his will to face challenges and the surety he would overcome them. He truly had a relentless spirit that could overcome any battle life threw his way!
We lost a brother who had Gracie Barra in his heart and a warrior’s philosophy in his mind. It is with great honor and respect that I now recognize that Pedrinho’s achievements shall remain in the hearts and memories of all of us for eternity.
Pedrinho and I, along with Flavio Almeida, met as children and trained together at GB. We participated in tournaments together ever since 1994; we studied together in school, lived in the same neighborhood, would go to parties and the beach together… We were friends of about 16 years.
“Pedro was a great friend who I consider to be a brother. As a fighter, a great competitor, he always fought with disposition and grit. He won numerous important competitions and in nearly all of them I was there in his corner. I encouraged him to train more and more and, over many years, we trained together. Every week, besides training together at Gracie Barra, he would train at my old academy in Rio de Janeiro.
“When he told me he wanted to join the US Army, I tried to dissuade him. But when I saw that was truly what he wanted, I encouraged him, because, knowing him as well as I did, I was sure he would make it.
The Rangers are known as Superheroes” Crispim
I feel honored to be able to write about Pedrinho, but it is hard to describe what Pedrinho represented to me and all of us who knew him and who didn’t know him.
To me Pedro was a best friend, brother and counselor who was always there for me.
I haven’t lived in Brazil since 2003 and I didn’t just see, but participated in his evolution in becoming the great and fearless man he was. Ever since we left our neighborhood in Barra da Tijuca he inspired me to try and improve my life, as he was always his friends’ greatest motivator; he always made us believe the sky is the limit and we should never let ourselves feel down, because life never stops!
He was a model father, husband, brother and many other things; there aren’t enough words to describe his many qualities! He was very enlightened and is with God, watching over his family, his daughter Yasmim and son Pepe.
For those who knew him, he was a best friend who was always there for you! For those who didn’t know him, he became a superhero! That’s how he was known by a lot of Americans after he enlisted in the Army Rangers, and bravely took part in three wars representing the USA.
It was funny when I’d ask him why he enlisted. He’d say he needed a different kind of adrenaline! Should I continue I think I’d end up writing entire books on Pedrinho with all the words of praise that represent what a great man needs to be like him.
Pedrinho, myself and our Barra Brothers feel honored to be able say we were his friends and we will be forever and continue to teach all the values he taught us! Go with God. We will pray for you and your family every day for the rest of our lives!
Alexander Crispim, Barra Brothers Forever!!!!