I was extremely honoured to receive my black belt promotion by Nick Brooks and Mauricio Gomes at the Mill Hill BJJ end of year graduation seminar and event.
I originally began BJJ on a whim. In 2003 I was training traditional jujitsu and I was curious to learn more about this Gracie thing I kept hearing people talk about. After my very first sparring session, I was well and truly hooked. Fast forward 12 years and nothing much has really changed, I'm just a person who kept turning up to training every week. I'm the white belt that never gave up. And I look forward to continuing that journey for many more years to come.
Thank you to my coach, instructor and friend Nick Brooks who has taught me so much and pushed me to be a better version of myself each and every training session. And thank you to all the great friends I have met along the way. I enjoy sharing my passion with like-minded fellow enthusiasts who follow my work.
Here are some photos from the day...
|Mauricio 'Motta' Gomes is a 7th degree red and black belt in BJJ. One of only six people promoted to black belt by Rolls Gracie. Mauricio gave the UK BJJ scene a huge boost by teaching here in the early 2000's. Learn more about Mauricion here.|
|One of Mauricio's trademark techniques is the knee on sternum. It's incredibly painful and opens the opponent up to a variety of submissions (if they don't tap to the initial knee position, which they usually do lol)|
|One of Nick's earliest BJJ instructors was Mauricio when he first taught in the UK. Nick then took instruction under Roger Gracie, who is Mauricio's son.|
|Back row: me, Stephen De Aguiar, Sean Beatty, Rob Westney, Luciano Cristovam|
Front row: David Onuma, Mauricio Gomes, Nick Brooks, Chris Hearn, Andrew Modell
|Team mates Jack Burrell and Daniel Joyce standing with me in full Meerkatsu gear|
|Yusuf Goolam Hossen teaching kids class. He received his purple belt today.|
Promotion to black belt hasn't quite sunk in yet. In many respects, nothing much has changed, I'm still the same person with the same ability I was the day before. Jiu Jitsu is a life long learning process and I'm sure there will be many more ups and downs to come as I continue my personal development in this most fascinating and multi-faceted of martial arts.