Guilherme and Rafael Mendes must be overjoyed as years of hard work has finally started to come to fruition, when Jessa Khan became the first black belt to come from the Art of Jiu-Jitsu kid’s program. The Mendes brothers retired very early in their competitive careers and at the very peak of their performance, in 2015 and 2016 respectively. They won ten IBJJF World Championships between them and dominated the sport’s lighter divisions for years but both men cited a desire to focus on their own families and their coaching responsibilities at AOJ when they made the decision to retire.
Art of Jiu-Jitsu has always been known for it’s phenomenal kid’s program and after almost half a decade since either brother last competed, the first generation of this program have started to compete at the highest level. Jessa Khan has become the first of this generation of elite grapplers to be awarded her black belt and she will likely soon be joined by Tainan Dalpra too. The promotion was awarded just shortly after Khan’s fantastic performance at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Tour in Miami, where she made it all the way to the final and almost had the better of Mayssa Bastos before losing on points.
Khan took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2012 and has spent the last few years being at the very top of the colored belt divisions. Since 2018, at the age of 16, she’s won several IBJJF World Championships and just about everything that she’s entered. The news was announced on the official Instagram account for Art of Jiu-Jitsu, and the Mendes brothers put up another emotional post on their personal Instagram account as well.