The Jiu-Jitsu Pan-American is set to go down in Irvine, California, from April 8 to 11 and sign-ups are open. However, on February27 the inaugural Pan Kids was held with athletes between 4 and 15 years of age.
Fernando “Fepa” Lopes teaches underprivileged children in charity projects in Sao Paulo. The black belt approved of the event and returned home brimming with pride for the Jiu-Jitsu show his students put on in Carson, California.
“They got the finish in all their matches, each had two. They’re part of my charity project (Pedra 90) and their battle began well before the competition. It was hard to get passports, visas and a way to make the trip,” he says.
“To me, not meaning to sound arrogant, the three gold medals were no surprise. Like I told them in the preparation phase, nobody is going to the United States on holiday. We left here with the goal of winning and we trained really hard for this to happen,” said the coach, who promises much more to come:
“Over at Pedra 90 we have lots of kids like these. We have at least another 10 all ready, and in preparation another 60. Training is really tough, demanding discipline and, of course, the outcome is a consequence of that,” concludes the black belt, who leads the project without any government or private backing.