Pembroke Pines BJJ: Roots of a World Champion

Pembroke Pines BJJ: Roots of a World Champion, Professor Rafael “Gordinho” Correa
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Permbroke Pines, Florida’s recently opened BJJ academy Start Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has it’s roots deeply embedded in the motherland of BJJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city of Rio de Janeiro is where World champion, Professor Rafael was raised and trained in BJJ and still the home older brother Roberto “Gordo” who currently resides and maintains his own academy “Gordo Jiu-jitsu” at the base of Pedra da Gavea.

One of the most pronounced landmarks of Rio is the famous mountain, Pedra da Gavea (the largest monolith seaside in the World, standing 842 meters in height with a solid granite top). Pedra da Gavea is and has been a point of reference for outdoor conditioning between the atheltes of many modalities who reside in Rio. Not only does the mountain strengthen your body, it also strengthens one’s mind and brings insight while gazing upon the marvelous city from above. Here is what Rafael “Gordinho”has to say about Pedra da Gavea and what it has done for him:

It’s funny that you ask about this mountain, because PDG has really impact not only my life but my family as i will explain:After 10 years leaving overseas,( program director at Renzo Gracie School HQ in NY, and a few years in Singapore Evolve-MMA) i was fortunately able to go back home (Rio de Janeiro BR) for two years this time with my wife and son Tiago… The reason I am explaining is that now we have been back in the United the States, FL, Pembroke Pines, for 8 months already, and i don`t remember one week that my son Tiago hash’t ask about PDG.

My first trek up Pedra da Gavea was with a group of friend from school, we just decide to skip school and go exercise, the school was right around the corner.

From that point, I remember being 13 years old, maybe 14 and going up there with Carlinho (Master Carlos Gracie Jr.) listening to the memorable stories on the way down. One thing that i remember really clearly is that he use to tell us students that if your legs were strong, for sure you would be in a good shape.

One other thing that I really love about PDG is that is not just a work out, I compare it with a BJJ training session,
there’s so much involved, physically, mentally and even spiritually. The energy you feel after going there is very close to the energy after a great BJJ session. PDG is defenetly a life lesson. I’m not a fast learner, but I’m a very determinate person, and I really believe a big part of that good habit was developed going up PDG some times 3 or 4 times a week. I’ll tell you one think, it doesn’t matter how much you go, it is never easy!!!!!

Every time i`m in Rio, Brasil, even if it is for the weekend, I will go there. Maybe just for the water to feel the waterfall and to smell nature, the Jaca fruit, fresh air, but I’ll go. * A quick note: When I first took my wife at the time girl friend) to Brasil, we went from NY to Rio, from the airport to PDG, I think that says it all!!!!

I definitly recommend hiking PDG at any age, any time, it’s a must, if you go to the water fall good, if you go to the ship is great, and if you go all the way to the top I guarantee you will NEVER forget!!!!

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