Last Saturday, November 17, 2012, I was promoted to a Jiu Jitsu Purple belt. I’m pretty thrilled about it and would like to share some bits of information surrounding the event.
First, let me give you some background: I belong to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school run by Jeff Giroux of Giroux Bros Martial Arts in Glastonbury, CT. I’ve been practicing for almost four years.
Now, the way Jiu Jitsu schools like to operate these days is like this – they enjoy affiliating themselves with a school run by someone of higher rank. This way, the affiliate school has more of a focus and much more opportunity for growth, and as some might say, nourishment. We used to be affiliated with a school out in Seattle, but decided to go with someone closer to home.
A few weeks ago, Jeff approached me and suggested very strongly that I attend a class being hosted by his instructor down in Hamden, CT. His (and our) instructor is Brad Wolfson of SoulCraft BJJ. Brad is Master Marcio Stambowsky‘s first American black belt promotion. To learn more about Marcio Stambowsky, who he is and why this is important, please read about him.
“Marcio Stambowsy is the highest ranking instructor in the Northeast, having reached the level of 7th degree red and black belt and one of only a handful of students to receive a black belt from the legendary Rolls Gracie.”
I questioned why it was so imperative that I attend this class, but Jeff wouldn’t budge. He just said, “You’re going.” I think I knew what was up. Through the years, I have become quite attuned to the scent of promotion. Ever since I earned the first stripe on my white belt, I’ve been noticing the change in behavior and the moments of silence of those who are in the know. This time, although my friends did well, I knew something was up.
That Saturday around 4:30, my good buddies, Seth and Mersh, jumped in my car and headed for Hamden. I had with me my best white Koral Gi and my nicely broken in four stripe blue belt. Many posts have been written regarding that blue belt, but they aren’t important now. What is important is that within the hour, I was wearing a new belt – a purple one.
Brad promoted about five blue belts and four purple belts that evening. It was quite the occasion because these were the first of Brad’s purple belt promotions since he earned his black belt from Marcio. I can only assume he watched us through the months with a much more critical eye than someone who may have been wearing the same belt much longer.
I am honored to have been promoted to purple belt by such a group of talented instructors and students. In the coming months and years, I hope to share with you some of what I’ve learned in the way of posts and video. I’m sure you’ll find it every bit of entertaining as you will informative, as I’ve never been accused of being boring.