Brazilian Nationals 2011: the pastor can fight

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Vitor Rocha, a former professional goal keeper now a Jiu-Jitsu teacher and paster, at the top of the podium / Photo: personal archive

An evangelical pastor living in Vassouras, Rio de Janeiro, Vitor Rocha (Arte Livre) shone again on the mats of the Tijuca Tennis Club, at the Brazilian Nationals 2011.

Yesterday, Vitor – who was once a goalkeeper for Fluminense and São Paulo professional soccer clubs – had much to celebrate, capturing the weight and open weight divisions of the senior 2 category, beating, with faith a-plenty, José Andrade (Gracie Barra) at weight and Maurileno Fortes (Heleno Maia JJ) and Marcos Diniz (Brazilian Top Team) in the absolute.

The pastor – who didn’t let the chance to take pictures with his black belt idols, like Bruno Malfacine and Michael Langhi – had recovered from a fractured rib, and now his sights are set on the International Masters and Seniors tournament, which he last won in 2009.

“When I won in 2009, the mayor of our town along with Master Neury Gomes (Art Livre) set up a charity project for youths. Now there are over 260 athletes partaking in the project. I’m fighting for those young people who see in the gentle art an opportunity to better their lives. And two of those youths are my sons, Estêvan and João Victor,” Vitor told

Check out the show about the project that aired on Brazilian network Bandeirantes.

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