Today, on the 20th Anniversary of Roots BJJ Australia, I received my black belt along with my students/4.1 crew from Hurstville. It is an honour, a privilege and a new responsibility which has been bestowed upon me.
As I reflect upon what had happened today, the first thing that came into my mind was the promotion of my students : Nick, Nathan, Mary, James, David Garcia, Ali and Steve ( though from Rockdale but we love him too much to not include him). I am proud to say they are from our school in Hurstville as they consistently show a high level of jiujitsu in open mats and competition. More importantly, we have a good time together and try our best to make each hour of training as enjoyable as possible.
These 6 people and Huss are the founding students of Hurstville and no, I wont do a Mount Rushmore of them 7 on Forest Road but they will be the seeds of what I hope Hurstville will bring to the community in the years/decades to come – commitment/passion and most importantly joy to the art that I love.
Congratulations to you all!
I would also like to say Thank You to my instructor Robert Naumoski in trusting me and supporting me all these years. I have encountered many speed bumps ( outside of BJJ) and your encouragement had helped me reach this milestone as a martial artist. I dont believe the greatest gift a teacher or an instructor can give you is technique or gold medals or a new belt but their influence and commitment to change your life and help you in becoming a better person. In this sense, I have been gifted with one of the best. Thank you Professor! Thank you Rob!
Also a special Thank you to Steffen. Our Hurstville crew has benefited immensely with your knowledge and commitment – training 2 to 3 times daily 7 days a week and giving everyone every opportunity to train and improve. You have opened my eyes to what a truly committed martial artist is and how dedication can reach any goal that you dare to dream. You are an inspiration to us, and an inspiration to me. I am so glad that you are with us in Hurstville as you keep reminding us no matter how good we think we are – we still cant pass your guard/defend your subs/stop your sweeps or stop screaming when you take us down. Thank you Steff!!
Lastly Thank you Paulo in the early years of my BJJ journey. The push ups, kendo smacks on the head for not being able to count in Portuguese and the famous post training lectures -these moments I will not forget ( I wish I could but I can't – they are too traumatic). I am so happy to have been part of this 20th Anniversary, ( of which I was part of for 11 years). To be presented with such a recognition on this special day is an honour. Thank you Paulo and congratulations on the 20th year!
Also my biggest Thank you is to my lovely wife – Vicki. She has been my stone and giving me the opportunity to bring my dreams to life. Looking after the boys after work and giving me the support to teach/train/grow the gym. She sacrificed alot to make each day possible for me.I don't think I could have achieved any of this without you. Thank you and please keep doing this for another decade or two 😛