August 14, 2006
Albany -- The Brazilian Jujitsu World Championships take place in a run-down building in a bad part of Rio de Janeiro, where beating the local favorite may not always be the best idea.
Albany native Jimmy Lee knows that feeling well.
He's the defending world champ.
Brazilian Jujitsu is take-down and ground fighting, and Lee brought back the Masters and Seniors division championship as a blue belt last year.
Since that time he has been promoted to a purple belt.
Lee picking up the sport 3 1/2 years ago, and this is his third trip to the world championships.
The fighters earn points in the single-elimination tournament, and Lee says winning the championship last year was very exciting.
"It was really cool," says Lee. "One of the coolest things I've ever done, and I've been here a long time. It's basically ground-fighting. It's an artful. It's Brazilian street-fighting, is what it amounts to."
Fighters like Lee who hold a blue belt or higher also help teach the sport.
The world championships take place the 26th and 27th.