August 20, 2010

Quite Simply... The Prodigy

BJ Penn, quite possibly one of MMA's most talented stars got his start in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in an effort by his parents to keep him out of trouble in Hilo, Hawaii.  In 1997 BJ began his training under Ralph Gracie who awarded BJ his purple belt.  After a falling out with Ralph in 2000 BJ moved onto Nova Unaio, and earned his black belt under Andre Pederneiras just weeks prior to the World Championships in Brazil.  At 21 years of age, with just 3 years of BJJ under his belt, BJ went to the most prestigious grappling tournament in the world and dominated!  This is the genesis of the nickname "Prodigy," as it can typically take the average human anywhere between 10-12 years to earn a black belt in BJJ!

I have no clue who his opponent is here, but this is the footage of BJ's Mundial (World) Championship match.  Impressive to see even at that young age the pressure, smoothness, and fluidity of movement.  I am usually pretty opposed to making statements like "He was born with it." but BJ certainly makes one wonder, as his skill and dominance in BJJ and in MMA seems to only be nullified by his own sloth and ego.  So far very few people on earth have beat him, let alone stood toe to toe with BJ.  I remember reading a while back in a Gracie magazine that BJ said he considered his Gold at the Mundial's to be his most prized victory, even more so than UFC belts!

Enjoy, and thanks to Graciemag.com for the link!
JAB

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