The day Jiu-Jitsu saved the paparazzo

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Pedro in action / Photo: Carlos Ozório

My plane touched ground in Los Angeles and I was met there by Pedro Marocco, a brown belt who has won a number of medals in Brazil and now trains with Kron Gracie in LA. I didn’t know him yet, but the Jiu-Jitsu crew tends tobe quite helpful, so we soon became friends.

Marocco and friend Adrian Rodriguez / Photo: personal archive

The day began and Pedro invited me to see what he does for work and make a living while not training. He’s a well-established paparazzo, a profession that pays well but is frowned upon by some. While cruising through Beverly Hills and Hollywood, checking out the bell in front of Christina Aguilera’s house, waiting on Cameron Diaz in the parking lot of a restaurant, and snapping shots of Jennifer Lopez, the fighter recounted some of the ordeals he’s been through where Jiu-Jitsu has saved his skin:

“In most cases actors like us taking pictures of them because it helps get their image out there, puts them in the media, and they need that. But some folks – non-artists – get upset and try to intervene. One time I was with some colleagues in front of a restaurant and some guy got out of his car carrying a crowbar and tried to assault us. I had to take him down and hold him there until the police arrived. One of the paparazzi filmed what happened and showed the police, who agreed we were in the right. But we didn’t lodge a complaint, since he got a good enough lesson as it was.”

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