London Navarro, a three-time Brazilian jiu jitsu world champion, shows how it’s possible to be successful in whatever you commit yourself to—and simultaneously inspire others—even before you get to high school.
Turning a Fear Into Triumph
Growing up, 13-year-old London Navarro of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and her brother endured relentless physical bullying at school. Their parents tried every solution they could consider until they found the one that worked: enrolling their kids in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Now a three-time jiu jitsu Youth Pan-American world champion, London has gained more than a way to defend herself against bullying. Jiu jitsu has also helped London become more patient, confident and disciplined.
“I know that I am stronger now and I’m more capable of doing things independently,” she says. “I don’t allow people to get to me mentally.”
London has made many sacrifices in her life to commit herself to jiu jitsu. She practices six times a week, waking up early on Saturdays and turning down invitations to hang out with friends.
But she says it’s all worth it to one day achieve her goals of becoming an Olympic athlete and jiu jitsu teacher.
“I want to teach kids how to defend themselves if they’re being bullied or picked on,” London says.
London has a wall of medals hanging in her room from all of the championships that she has won. But Kim, her mom, says that it’s the mental growth she has witnessed in London that she finds most admirable.
“She was traumatized as a child being physically bullied,” Kim says. “She turned a fear into triumph.”