Fepa Lopes, the visionary behind the renowned Jiu-Jitsu event BJJ Stars, recently appeared on the the podcast “Pure Connection.”
In this interview, he shared remarkable moments from his journey and the inspiring stories he has experienced in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as per tatame.
One such tale recounts his involvement in social initiatives and teaching classes at a shelter in São Paulo’s notorious cracolândia.
Fepa candidly discussed the challenges he faced in that environment, emphasizing his deep connection with the individuals he encountered.
Throughout his illustrious career, Fepa Lopes demonstrated a commitment to social initiatives. For a period, he dedicated himself to teaching classes at a shelter in cracolândia, despite facing skepticism from others who labeled him as eccentric.
Fepa passionately explained that his purpose was to provide an opportunity for the individuals in that community to momentarily escape their circumstances. “It was incredibly difficult for me. I establish a personal connection with each student; they’re not just another person to me. I genuinely care about them,” expressed the creator of BJJ Stars.
Fepa reminisced about an unforgettable incident during one of his classes. A formidable transgender individual, with battered ears, walked in, exuding a fierce aura. Fepa approached the person, inquiring about her name, which turned out to be Rebeca.
Amongst a group of novice white belts, Rebeca astoundingly dominated the training session, thanks to her prior experience in Brasília.
Fepa recalled thinking, “I hope she takes this seriously because she had the potential to become a Jiu-Jitsu champion. She possessed incredible discipline.”
However, when Fepa returned to the shelter at a later date, he learned that Rebeca had been expelled due to her involvement in a physical altercation where she single-handedly defeated three individuals.
Fepa Lopes’ story exemplifies the transformative power of Jiu-Jitsu in individuals’ lives, especially those facing adversity.
Through his involvement in social initiatives and his dedication to teaching, Fepa has witnessed the positive impact this martial art can have on people’s physical and mental well-being.
Despite the challenges faced in cracolândia, Fepa’s commitment to building relationships and empowering individuals remains unwavering.