Birth Name: Jay Dee Penn III
Place of Birth: Kailua, Hawaii, U.S.
Date of Birth: December 13, 1978
*Irish, English (father)
*Korean, Hawaiian (mother)
B.J. Penn is an American professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is the first American Gold medalist of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. B.J. has competed in UFC and K-1. He is known as The Prodigy.
B.J. was born in Kailua, Hawaii, and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. He is the son of Lorraine Pualani Shin and Jay Dee. His name B.J. comes from his nickname “Baby Jay,” the youngest of his brothers. B.J. has two children.
His trainer Rudy Valentino has stated that B.J. plays Hawaiian music during his entrances as a tribute to his Hawaiian heritage.
B.J. has also said that he identifies strongly with his Korean roots, and has traveled to Korea to hold seminars. He said that he gets his hot temper from his Korean side, and uses this energy in his fights.
B.J.’s maternal grandfather was named John Son Shin. John was of Korean heritage.
B.J.’s maternal grandmother was Hannah Kahanahaipule Moses (the daughter of James K. Moses and Bella Kapela). Hannah and her parents are listed as Hawaiian on U.S. Censuses.
Sources: The Honolulu Advertiser; Publication Date: 11/ Jan/ 1976; Publication Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Publication Date: 30/ Jan/ 1942; Publication Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Maui News, The; Publication Date: 5/ Feb/ 2005; Publication Place: Wailuku, Hawaii, USA