If you asked me face to face what time of the year sees the most promotions in adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) I’d have to say “No Clue”. Well I would say that for most years that is.
However, based on this year, I’d have to say the month of June is king no doubt.
We saw a bunch of great and dedicated Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) students move up in rank. This included some very rare purple and one brown belt promotions.
Anyone who knows anything at all about BJJ will tell you it’s the hardest martial art on this planet to get a black belt in.
And unlike many other martial arts systems where you can buy your way to black belt, BJJ isn’t that way and thankfully is one of the few to remain pure and honest.
So when and if you ever get promoted, it’s really something special. Not a handout. That’s how it should be IMO.
Okay cool, so who got promoted to what???
Listed below are those who got the “bump” in level from me (Danny Ives):
Cody Truett – Blue Belt
Mark Saunders – Blue Belt
Tony Peranio – Blue Belt
Kyle Rocke – Blue Belt
Adam Noseworthy – Blue Belt
Chris Rahmani – Blue Belt
Bill Hughes – Purple Belt
Nick Concepcion – Purple Belt
Ross Luciano – Purple Belt
Neil “Duke of Baltimore” Duke – Brown Belt
I could write stories for days about all of the above mentioned students. That’s because in the end not only are these guys great students and martial artists, but they’re also great people who do so much for so many.
These are folks with super cool stories related to who they are, where they come from and how they came to find a little ‘ol mix martial arts academy in Arnold Maryland named Ivey League MMA. Oh and of course how they’ve made IL their home away from home.
What’s that you say? A new brown belt? Do tell….
The highest rank handed out this year goes to long time students and friend, Neil Duke. Neil or “Coach Neil” as the students know him has been with Ivy League since the very beginning. And when I say beginning I mean before we even opened our doors Neil was “all in”.
For me to promote him to brown belt after all these years of hard work and training, well it’s an experience that I’ll never forget and certainly one that no amount of money could buy!
And some purples now in the mix too?!
We also ended up with some new purple belts in town. Moving up the ladder from blue to purple were Bill Hughes, Ross Luciano and Nick Concepcion.
Just like with Neil, these promotions really hit home for me. I consider purple belt to be the biggest jump you can make in BJJ. What that means is that it’s a very hard belt to get awarded to you. Very few make it to purple.
These three did. And they did so because they never gave up and always showed up to class with the right attitude and no matter what their mood at the time, they trained hard.
Last but not least…6 new Blue Belts @ Ivey League MMA!
I can’t post this blog without giving a shout out to my new blue belts. Cody, Adam, Kyle, Chris, Tony and Mark were all awarded brand speaking new blue belts during the month of June.
I’m not joking when I say I’m pretty sure longtime student Adam Noseworthy was about to cry. And you know what, I wouldn’t blame him if he did. BJJ belts don’t just get tossed out to anyone (at least here at IL) and for Adam to finally make that jump, well it meant the world to him and to us.
So big congrats to our new colored belts! You guys make us so very proud! Now get back to work and never stop climbing the ladder. It won’t be long before your next belt is BLACK….
And for all my white belts out there. Keep training and keep on trucking and sooner or later, your promotions will come. Be patient and be positive.
Time to study the subject of what it takes to make that next level.
I highly recommend reading one of my older blog post about what most instructors look for when it comes time to consider promoting a student to a new belt color.
Below are some great pics from all the promotions during the month of June 2014. Feel free to check them out.