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Look who showed up to train

Oleg Taktarov, Pedro Valente and Pavel Bure in Florida / Publicity photo

This month’s issue of GRACIEMAG, in bookstores across the US, shows Jiu-Jitsu from a somewhat different angle: the gentle art as an agent for change, whether in the USA, Western Europe or even the mysterious land of Russia.

In a special report, Luca Atalla mixes with the Russian people and attests to how Jiu-Jitsu captures the hearts and minds of people of cultures that are different but not so unlike our own, when it comes to food, music and leisure.

It’s something that’s been going on with Russians in all corners of the planet, as the magazine reveals.

A recent example unfolded at the Valente brothers’ Miami academy. Sporting a white gi and belt, a Russian heavyweight taught a lesson in humility. Anyone who didn’t link the countenance to the person wouldn’t be able to tell that they had the champion of UFC 6 in their midst – or the actor who starred alongside Robert DeNiro in the movies, at that.

The fighter was Oleg Taktarov (17w, 5l), who was taken to the academy by Pavel Bure, an ice hockey star and Jiu-Jitsu purple belt.

Want to find out more about the people of Russia and how Jiu-Jitsu knows no border? Then get your copy of GRACIEMAG, subscribe here.

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