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Video: Native Warriors Meet Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brandon Barlow is on the verge of becoming the first Navajo black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, while bringing the sport of BJJ to the Navajo Nation.

Growing up on the Navajo Reservation, Brandon Barlow often turned to the television for entertainment, and he usually ended up watching UFC fights. One day, he saw Royce Gracie, a small but strong Brazililan fighter, and he was inspired to learn Jiu Jitsu. That was more than 10 years ago, and now he’s on the verge of becoming the first Navajo black belt in Jiu Jitsu. He’s also taken the martial art back to the reservation, where he says Jiu Jitsu’s values of protecting yourself and family fit well with Navajo culture. His school teaches children and adults the art of self-defense. His sister, Rina Barlow, also practices Jiu Jitsu and says she likes the feeling of empowerment it gives her and others.