Justin Bieber's Brazilian antics: Where's the respieto?

Justin Bieber's antics in Brazil during his Latin American concert tour have provided great tabloid fodder, but left at least one 18-year-old enamored with Brazil fuming that Justin Bieber is squandering his Brazil trip.

Jorge Saenz/AP
Justin Bieber performs during his 'Believe' concert tour in Asuncion, Paraguay, Nov. 6. Fans have been transfixed by rumors of Justin Bieber's wild exploits during his down time in Latin America.

While Justin Bieber is in Brazil ignoring its many wonders – opting to spray paint graffiti on its walls and getting videotaped by girls while he’s sleeping – perhaps he should enroll in Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes where he can learn to live the phrase, “Respeito (Respect): Hard to earn. Easy to lose.”

My son Ian, 18, introduced me to the “Respeito” saying which he wears on a T-shirt and mumbles every time Justin Bieber’s Brazilian antics make the news.

Mr. Beiber, 19, is in Brazil as part of his ongoing South American tour and he’s making a typical teen spiral hash out of it.

“Police in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday said they were investigating whether Canadian teen singer Justin Bieber had illegally spray painted graffiti on an exterior wall of a beachside hotel,” according to the latest Reuters report today.

First video of a sleeping Bieber, appearing unclothed but for a thin blanket, shot by a young woman who turns the camera on herself and blows him a kiss appeared on YouTube, according to CNN.

Then, early Tuesday, the singer and members of his entourage, were caught painting the wall outside an upscale hotel in Rio's São Conrado neighborhood, Reuters reports.

As a dedicated student of Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Ian works, hopes, and dreams of the day he will make it to Brazil to witness the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Even though Brazilian jiu-jitsu isn’t an official competition sport in the games it will be a demonstration sport.

Brazil is Ian’s version of a sacred place, and here’s a guy, around his age, who is defiling and disrespecting it.

However, while Ian growls, I realize that he could have been a “bad boy” too if I hadn’t realized several years ago that parents of teens need to accept outside help in instilling respect and work ethic.

When my boys reached high school, I realized my parenting needed backup in many ways – from coping with bullies to instilling order in chaotic minds.

I enrolled all four of my sons (then ages 15, 14, 11, and six) in Gracie Bullyproof Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes at a local dojo here in Norfolk, Va.

For Ian in particular, his teacher Bill Odom and later Rener Gracie became just the backup parenting he needed.

When I lost my full-time job, Ian realized we couldn’t afford Ian’s classes in BJJ anymore. He solved that problem for me by taking a cleaning job at the dojo and instructing the PeeWees and other groups there.

Bieber’s bank account is loaded. He can go anywhere and apparently do anything, but he completely lacks the discipline, training, and understanding of respect that my son has had thanks to his martial arts mentors.

It’s not too late for Bieber to call on someone like Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt MMA star turned instructor Renzo Gracie, who divides his time between Brooklyn, NY and teaching in his hometown of Rio.

This teen has the unique opportunity to learn directly from the source.

He’s in Brazil, the perfect place to find some tough love from one of the BJJ dojos. 

Who knows, if Justin learns to become proficient in BJJ he won’t need the bodyguards and if he applies himself his next trip to Brazil he could be welcomed with open arms.

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