Ninja Pinto explains innovative project that develops Jiu-Jitsu athletes

Black belt is the leader of Ninja Stars International and transforms lives through Jiu-Jitsu

Ninja Pinto foi campeão do Internacional Master Americano nesse ano. Foto: Reprodução/Instagram
Ninja Pinto became champion of the International Masters North America this year. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram

Felipe “Ninja” Pinto is a renowned Jiu-Jitsu professor in the United States whose mission is to train ready athletes on and off the mats. He has lived in the United States for almost two decades and leads Ninja Stars International. The project is a non-profit organization that selects talented athletes from social projects and offers them the opportunity to develop abroad.

In addition to Ninja Stars International, Felipe Ninja is responsible for the Brazil Academy. He has almost 350 students in two academies. He has been a black belt for nine years and aims to train athletes so that they can manage their own careers.

Business management in Jiu-Jitsu

Ninja Pinto spoke to VF Comunica and highlighted the importance of teaching business management in the world of Jiu-Jitsu.

“I see countless situations in which many high-level athletes end their career in Jiu-Jitsu once their time as a competitor is over. What happens a lot is that athletes don’t learn anything related to business or business management to learn how to manage their own careers or even know different ways to monetize Jiu-Jitsu in their lives. Here at Ninja Stars International, they take a course in academy management. I believe that business management is crucial to thriving. It’s often not the most talented athlete who thrives, but the one who understands business best,” said Ninja.

Knowledge unlocks doors in Jiu-Jitsu

Ninja pointed out that being a Jiu-Jitsu champion is important in the process of valuing the school, but guaranteed that a winning record as a fighter is no guarantee of success as a professor or gym owner.

“Winning medals is a personal achievement for athletes and I agree that it can help develop a gym’s branding. However, I can cite countless cases of prosperous gyms, with extraordinary economic potential and with incomparable results in terms of the personal transformation of their students under the command of a leader who doesn’t have a considerable CV of titles,” defended the black belt.

Students are already reaping the rewards of the project

Felipe explained how many students Ninja Stars International helps and mentioned the athlete who has developed the most off the mats.

“Today, I can say that it has contributed to the personal transformation of around 15 athletes who came to the United States with the dream of developing themselves. Some were from Jiu-Jitsu and others from capoeira. I already have a capoeira athlete with his own academy and he has demonstrated excellent business management. The athlete Fabio Cunha has a capoeira academy in Michigan, he’s the fruit of our project. The others from Jiu-Jitsu already work in academies in the United States as professors,” said Ninja Pinto.

The professor landed in the United States permanently in his late teens and has transformed several lives through Jiu-Jitsu. Ninja recalled what he has learned most since landing in the USA.

“I arrived here in the United States when I was 17. My biggest lesson was to understand that I, as a teacher, have to help my students follow their dreams and not make them live my dream,” assured Ninja.

Ninja Pinto and the challenges ahead of the project

The black belt talked about the time needed for the athletes to adapt to the program’s methodology and listed the main difficulty faced by the members of Ninja Stars International during the exchange.

“That’s relative, because everything is training. I like to think in terms of hours of experience rather than years. For example, an average of a thousand hours a year invested on the mats and in business will be the minimum necessary to be able to achieve goals. The biggest obstacle is changing the paradigm of how things work in Brazil and how they work here. Another point is to understand that you have to earn your merits because nothing comes without effort. Often athletes think they deserve everything just because they represent the team at championships,” Ninja concluded.

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Written by Gabriel Almada

Jornalista aficionado por luta e faixa-roxa de Jiu-Jitsu

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