Our Academy's very first Jiu-jitsu Black Belts

Our Academy's very first Jiu-jitsu Black Belts

We are very proud to announce Mr. John Champagne and Mr. Blaze Bourg as our Academy's first two Gracie Jiu-jitsu black belts. They were awarded the rank by their instructor and long time friend Mr. Steve Miller, under the watchful eye of Master Pedro Sauer and Mr. Mike Braswell in Bossier City, Louisiana. 

A BJJ black belt works great for keeping your jacket closed and also goes well with black shoes. As Royce Gracie says "the belt only covers two inches of your rear-end, you have to cover the rest." All jokes aside, in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu it takes a long time to earn the rank of black belt, longer than most martial arts. With the average time being around 10 years to achieve. It's not an easy task, that is one reason why it is highly respected. 

Jiu-jitsu training is effective because you can not fake it, the mats don't lie. You constantly are testing the effectiveness of your skill against resisting opponents during long hours spent live rolling. If a student is not 100% dedicated, then the long and tough process along with everyday life and injuries will inevitably make students quit. It is said that only 1% of students that train BJJ will earn their black belt. It's fair to say that it takes a high level of determination, perseverance and self discipline that some people lack.

So what does it mean to be a black belt? You could ask 100 different people that question and get 100 different answers, but you would also hear a few core ideas that most all black belts share like:

1. It's about the journey, not the destination. Meaning that it's not the actual belt itself that's important, but rather the lessons learning along the process. Even if the belt was a goal, once you reach it you can't view it as the end of your journey but instead, it's the beginning.

2. Showing good character on and off the mat

3. Respect and Responsibility

4. Train smarter not harder. Protect your joints and your training partners. Use your bones to frame instead of your muscles. 

5. Don't forget to breathe (funny but true)

All areas of a Black belts life require respect. The respect isn't only for their rank, accomplishments or academy, but for the art of jiu-jitsu itself. Also having respect for everyone whose life they affect regardless of their rank, martial arts style or even if they train or not. It shouldn't be about getting respect but instead it should be about giving respect.  

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