On Saturday, May 29, we had the pleasure of hosting our coach, Felipe Grez, for our first seminar in 2021.
The subject for the seminar was float passing and over two and a half hours, Felipe covered very detailed principles and techniques used in this style of guard passing. Everyone was able to understand and apply these techniques very quickly due to Felipe’s amazing ability to teach, explain and troubleshoot in a way that everybody can understand.
After the warm up we got straight into the details of float passing. Felipe covered five passing variations from the same set up and these principles and techniques basically ‘bolted together’ into a versatile passing system. All of our members put these pieces together almost immediately, for which I am very proud.
After the technique portion of the seminar we set up a team photo as a couple of members had to leave early and then everyone rolled (sparred) for a few rounds while Felipe assessed our students. (For those who do not know already, I own and coach at Black Knight Jiu Jitsu as a purple belt at the time of this seminar and Felipe is my coach and mentor. Felipe is a black belt under world champion Michelle Nicolini and he oversees gradings at our gym).
After our students finished rolling we lined them up and handed out some promotions! Congratulations to Elizabeth on earning her first stripe on her white belt. Since joining our gym, she has been very regular and consistent with training. Elizabeth has also shown great improvement in her movement within that time.
Our next promotion went to Ash. Ashley has been a member of our gym since it opened almost five years ago! He is one of our ‘mature’ members and has had consistent times as well as some breaks with training but has never given up. Ash is also an awesome bloke I am very proud to be the person to tie a blue belt around him!
Our next level up went to Patrick. Pat is one of our members from Young and has shown plenty of commitment to his training! He’s only a little guy but he has a lot of heart and never gives up. His movement and knowledge has come a long way since he began his Jiu Jitsu journey and it was a pleasure to present him with his blue belt. Well done, Pat!
The last promotion I had to give for the day was to Katrina. Over the past twelve months in particular, she has trained five days a week on average and has come a long, long way. Katrina has overcome so much in her life and I am extremely proud to see her grow to the level she has. It is due to her regular daily training that she has developed her fundamental knowledge so well. I was honored to be able to present Katrina with her blue belt!
Just when I thought the seminar was over and about to enjoy a nice bbq lunch, Felipe had one more surprise. I was humbled and honored to be presented with my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt! It was totally unexpected and although it may have looked like tears, it was sweat running out of my eyes, I swear! I have been training BJJ for over eight years now and one gets to the stage where it’s not about the belt colour, it’s more about the training and seeing one improve in the art. That said, it is an honor to accept my promotion from my coach and someone I respect not only as a high level BJJ instructor and practitioner, but also a genuine, caring person who I am privileged to call a friend.
There were other members on the day who I desperately wanted to promote (you know who you are!) but they just hadn’t quite nailed our white to blue curriculum. I am 100 percent positive these members will put that effort in over the next few months and with that dedication will earn their next promotion. The key to success is, don’t give up!
After the days event, most members stayed back and enjoyed a bbq lunch and had a chance to chat with Felipe (and each other) about various subjects. I think everyone can agree the day was not only fun, but a huge learning experience! We look forward to having Felipe out again later in the year.