BJ Penn visits the Tijuca Tennis Club in Brazil, scene of his historic Jiu-Jitsu world title

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BJ Penn competing at the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds Championship in Rio de Janeiro. Photographer: Gustavo Aragao / GRACIEMAG

BJ Penn competing at the Jiu-Jitsu Worlds Championship in Rio de Janeiro. Photographer: Gustavo Aragao / GRACIEMAG

” The First gringo Black Belt World Champion.” That’s how the Brazilians call, in Portuguese of course, the Jiu-Jitsu world champion and the UFC champion in two different categories, BJ Penn.

In a trip to Brazil, more precisely to train at Nova Uniao team, with André Pederneiras, Jose Aldo, Renan Baron and the other members of the team, BJ made ​​a nostalgic visit to the Tijuca Tennis Club, the gymnasium where he was consecrated as the first non-Brazilian to be world Jiu-Jitsu black belt champion in 2000.

The memories are many, as the battle chanting  “ah ah ih, BJ Hawaii.” But what BJ also takes from his golden days at the Kimono championships is gratitude he owes to the gentle art:

“I owe much of my life to Jiu-Jitsu. I do not know what I ‘d be doing today if it were not for Jiu-Jitsu and the Worlds, ” BJ said.

After the conquests of kimono, BJ Penn was successful in MMA, and became a UFC champion in the lightweight and welterweight division, winning illustrious fans, just like former Brazilian UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

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