Special invitee of Carlson Gracie black belt Anselmo Montenegro, Luiz Fernando “Pimpolho” packed his bags and split for Morocco. His mission: to spread Jiu-Jitsu in the African nation.
“I’ve been here for three months and I’ve learned a lot about Arab culture. I’ve been studying a lot of Arabic and French, the languages spoken around these parts,” recounts the Nova União black belt living in the capital Rabat.
“I only teach the royal guard, but I’ve also found time to lecture to others. I teach ground fighting to the judo guys; there are six or seven black belts who are wholly devoted to judo and others who work and study like the majority in Brazil does. Everyone here’s a true fan of Flavio Canto; he’s an icon even here in Morocco,” he says.
Pimpolho says Moroccans have a knack for Jiu-Jitsu, it’s a good place to live, but that one must get used to the cultural differences.
“They are very centered around Islam. You can’t avoid hearing the call to prayers. It’s a very rigid and disciplined culture, both where religion and security is concerned. There are cameras everywhere around here and the guards on the street don’t carry weapons, just the royal guards. Alcohol is only permitted in closed areas (bars and homes). If you get caught on the street with drinks, it’s ten years in the slammer. But they love Brazilians and soccer!” he says in finishing.