Paul Walker, the 40-year-old star of Fast and the Furious who passed away in a November car crash has been given a send off from his BJJ coach. Fox Sports has the deets:
When he passed away, Walker was already a brown belt studying under instructor and mentor Ricardo 'Franjinha' Miller at the Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy in California. Following the news of his tragic death, Miller decided to honor Walker's memory by giving the actor his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu posthumously at a memorial held by his family after his passing.
Miller has more on about Walker on his blog:
Although he came looking for lessons in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, our bond went beyond the student and teacher dynamic. We became fast friends. He brought me down to Ensenada for the filming of "The Life and Death of Bobby Z." We travelled to L.A to watch the UFC. More recently, Paul had me in Montreal to add a personal touch to the fight scenes in his movie, "Brick Mansions."
He always wanted to showcase Jiu-Jitsu in his movies. Rather than the punches and kicks so common to many action films, he wanted to use his movies as a stage for Jiu-Jitsu. Some of the Jiu-Jitsu techniques from our training sessions were utilized in the Fast and Furious series. Paul would always tell me that he did not just want to be known for fast cars. He wanted to be known for fast cars and Jiu-Jitsu. He wanted to be an ambassador for Jiu-Jitsu.
His dream fight sequence was to end with a bow and arrow choke. We even worked out a sick Hollywood-style set up for the choke. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
For those not familiar with Miller, he's legit:
World Champion (1996 brown belt);
5x Pan American Champion (2010 Senior 2weight & absolute, 2007 , 2006 Senior 1, 2003 Master);
2x World No Gi Champion (2008, 2007 Senior 1)
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Ricardo Miller > Paul Walker
It seems BJJ has lost a good friend in Hollywood. RIP
Those who wish to be cynical should be reminded that it was Rorion's tireless efforts to promote BJJ in Hollywood that led directly to the birth of the UFC and the incredible fight scenes in some Mel Gibson movies.
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