Changing the lives of many, both physically and mentally, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art, combat sport and self-defense system that promotes physical fitness and character building with an emphasis on grappling and ground fighting.
UT's Clube da Língua Portuguesa is sponsoring a Brazilian jiu-jitsu presentation with Samuel Braga, a black belt and six-time world champion in the sport, for International Education Week at UT.
The purpose of CLIP is to promote within the community in both its local and international aspects, the Portuguese language and the cultural aspects expressed through it. The organization has the goal of sponsoring, organizing and recommending cultural activities to benefit the community.
"The objective of the club is to promote Portuguese culture, with an emphasis on Brazil because it is the closest with this culture to us geographically," Desarae Goldsby, president of CLIP, said. "That is why this presentation with Samuel Braga is so important to us."
Not only is Braga an intense competitor, he is also an instructor at the Gracie Barra School in Knoxville, where he is able to teach others the skills he has gained through Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
"He is extremely talented," Goldsby said, "I take jiu-jitsu with him as my instructor, and he exudes this confidence that is 100 percent solid. When he demonstrates techniques, there is a very clear amount of skill."
As Braga continues the martial art after 13 years of training and competing, he believes the sport has affected his life in numerous ways.
"Jiu-jitsu, for me, goes beyond just being a sport," Braga said, "Since I started, it has changed my whole life in every aspect."
As an instructor, Braga is able to work with young children that are 4 years old, up to 62-year-old adults, teaching them the proper techniques for self-defense.
"It has been amazing," Braga said. "I have a chance to change people's lives by improving their lifestyles, physically and mentally. I am able to improve their bodies while boosting their self-confidence."
CLIP is excited and thankful Braga will be joining them for this presentation, as they feel it is an important aspect of Portuguese culture to promote to UT students and the Knoxville community.
"Expect to be given information on the art of self-defense itself and every aspect of what jiu-jitsu can do for you," Braga said. "It is a great opportunity to learn about the sport and the ideas beyond the art of self-defense in general. It is a way to demonstrate the most efficient martial art out there."
CLIP's Brazilian jiu-jitsu presentation will be held Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the HPER building, along with other numerous presentations throughout International Education Week.