Howard University student Shane Jamil Hill-Taylor made history this month when he was crowned the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation world champion, making him the very first African American to hold the title.
Hill-Taylor took the crown on June 4 at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championship by defeating former champion Leonardo Saggioro, Howard University reported.
“To be the 2018 Brazil Jiu-Jitsu champion at the black belt level and to be the first African American to achieve that title is pretty crazy honestly,” said the senior sports management major. “I have been working for this for 14 years — it’s the reflection of a lot of hard work and a lot of struggles.”
Hill-Taylor, 20, who is scheduled to graduate in December, plans to travel more to compete and to use his degree to increase the presence of jiu-jitsu in his community.
“When I’m in school I still train the same amount of days, but I can’t always do two-a-days if I have a lot of homework or studying to do,” he told the Jiu-Jitsu Times.
For now, he’ll focus on competing next month in the SPYDER Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships quarterfinals in Korea.