Paul Walker Honored By "Fast and Furious" Jiu-Jitsu Teacher
A host of actors, friends and fans have all offered their condolences in honor of Paul Walker, and now the late actor's Jiu-Jitsu teacher Ricardo "Franjinha" Miller, who trained him for the "Fast and Furious" movies, has come forward with a heart felt message.
The actor and trainer met in 2004, and their training led to a longtime friendship. Miller created a Paul Walker Paragon Black Belt in Memoriam, through Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing academy, writing, "A mutual friend had sent Paul my way, but I did not recognize him when he first walked in the door. In part, it was because he did not carry himself like a movie star, or a Hollywood big shot. Without the burden of a heavy ego, he was easy going with a ready smile."
Miller continued, saying, "Like the Spartan setting of the gym, he was simple and unpretentious. Although he came looking for lessons in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, our bond went beyond the student and teacher dynamic. We became fast friends...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," Miller continued. "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."
"Paul was like many white belts; he wanted to know about becoming a black belt. I told him that at Paragon we don’t give away black belts. I said that I didn’t care who he was, I was not giving him a 'celebrity black belt.' He loved that!"
The martial artist concluded with, "But he was determined to become a black belt. He said, 'I will get my black belt, even if I need to get it in my coffin.' Now in the wake of his death, I would like to reward Paul Walker the black belt that he wanted so much during his life."