He’s Got Your Back! – Felipe “Preguiça” Pena
The Portuguese term “Preguiça” roughly translates into “lazy” or “sloth” and just happens to be the nickname of one of, if not the hottest rising star in jiu-jitsu. If you’ve watched Gracie Barra’s Felipe Pena compete, you’d know that his nickname is far different from his character, as he’s a very lean, technical sensation on the mat who uses a ton of movement to get the better of his opposition. However, as many great stories told of men rising up from meager beginnings, so is the tale of Felipe. The man responsible for giving him his nickname is legendary jiu-jitsu professor Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhães and he did so because upon his initial encounters with Felipe he felt he was lazy and slow from being overweight. Consequently, this motivated Felipe to train much harder. While that may sound harsh, it was also Draculino who saw the potential in him and eventually, along with Marcelo Azevedo, awarded the young Brazilian his black belt.
Before receiving that honor this native son of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was tearing up the scene by winning and putting on tremendous performances in the World Championships and Copa Podio as a brown belt. Beyond those triumphs he shocked the jiu-jitsu community at the 2014 IBJJF World Championships, not just by winning it within his first year at black belt, but also by defeating multi-time champion, Andre Galvao in the final to do so.
Felipe spreads his training time between Gracie Barra in his hometown and with another product of Belo Horizonte, Romulo Barral, at his academy in Northridge, CA. While visiting there we were able to get to know him better with the help of flying triangle sensation, Edwin Najmi. We were treated to a back take clinic (he showed us more moves than we could get in this issue) from a variety of positions. For more information and happenings going on with Felipe, check out his Facebook at www.facebook.com/felipecarsaladepena and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @felipepenabjj.
• World Champion (2014 black, 2012 brown, 2011 purple – weight & absolute)
• Copa Podio Champion (2013 brown)
• South American Champion (2012 brown – weight & absolute, 2011 brown – weight & absolute)
• Pan American Champion (2012 brown, 2011 purple)
• European Open Champion (2012 brown)
• Brazilian National Champion (2014 black, weight & absolute; 2012 brown)
• World Silver Medalist (2012 brown absolute)
• Brazilian National Silver Medalist (2010 purple)
• Favorite Technique/Position: Open guard & taking the back.
• Weight Division: Meio Pesado (Medium Heavy) (88kg/194lbs)
• Team/Association: Gracie Barra
Leg Drag To Back Take
This technique begins with Felipe standing in front of Edwin’s open guard. Felipe slyly sets Edwin up so he gets to a leg drag position. He does this by bringing his right leg forward between Edwin’s legs, stepping outside with his left leg, pushing Edwin’s left leg down at the knee, and lifts Edwin’s right leg over his right leg on top of his thigh simultaneously. Keeping his right elbow next to his right knee prevents Edwin’s leg from escaping, being able to scoot away or going inverted. Next, Felipe pushes Edwin’s right knee with his left hand through that gap, grips Edwin’s collar and places his left knee on the mat. This brings a strong reaction from Edwin to escape; he can’t go to his right, so he begins to turtle. Pivoting on his left knee, Felipe rotates his foot inward, slides it through the gap between the mat and Edwin, and places his hook inside. Holding Edwin tightly, Felipe pushes off on his posted right foot (like a hip escape) to scoot backward and pull Edwin closer to him. Now he gets seatbelt control, pushes his hips forward to stretch Edwin out and brings his right hook in.