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Siblings golden in Gracie jiu-jitsu

BY SHANNA McCUE

Intern

Siblings 13-year-old Talia Rosen and 8-year-old Isaac Rosen made La Jolla history when they won gold medals at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships 2009.

The Brazilian form of martial arts used during the championships is referred to as Gracie jiu-jitsu, and focuses more on technique than other forms. This way, a more petite individual has as good of a chance to win a spar as a large, muscular man does. This style was adapted more for street fighting, explained Stefano De Aquiar, who opened the Pacific Beach Fight Center in 2000, where the Rosens train.

“It’s the most efficient martial art in the world,” he added. “It gives you the chance to win or lose without harm.”

The siblings are coached by Rodrigo Medeiros, the owner of the Pacific Beach gym. Medeiros is a fourth-degree black belt, the highest in Southern California. When he is out of town, Isaac and Talia are coached by Clark Gracie, the grandson of Carlos Gracie, the creator of the style Gracie jiu-jitsu. He teaches and coaches at the La Jolla Sports Club.

Talia, who has been in martial arts for seven years, said, “I love jiu-jitsu, especially when I win a hard fight.”

Her brother likes it, too.

“I take my training very seriously,” Isaac said. “I love the feeling of having my arm raised after a tough fight.”

The two are preparing for the Pan American games in Los Angeles in February.

The two children are also green belts in judo, which Medeiros also teaches in Pacific Beach. Green belts are extraordinarily high for their age, since the rank is currently the highest of all judo students in the academy. Surprisingly, their proficiency in martial arts goes even further than this, said their father, Leonard Rosen.

“Both Isaac and Talia are also brown belts in karate and have won national championships in the sport,” he added. “However, their true passion is jiu-jitsu.”

Currently, Talia attends San Diego Jewish Academy as an eighth-grader. Isaac is a third-grader at Bird Rock Elementary School. Talia enjoys other sports, such as softball and volleyball, while Isaac is completely dedicated to his martial arts training.

Clark Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

  • At La Jolla Sports Club
  • 7825 Fay Ave.
  • (858) 456 2595, www.gracielajolla.com

PB Fight Center

  • 4878 Cass St.
  • San Diego, CA 92109

Shanna McCue is a junior at High Tech High Media Arts.