People have been asking me how I feel about getting the Coral Belt.
And trying to answer that question will be objective of this text.
First as in all the stripes I gained as a Black Belt the realization that I am getting older is present. Since the stripes at this stage are based on time and not exactly on merit.
Although I am getting here at the earliest possible age it does not really matter much…
I’m actually so proud to have gotten this far, I knew all I needed to do was stay alive and that one day it would definitely come because “exiting” Jiu Jitsu has never been an option since I was 15 years old, when I decided that this would be what I would do with my life..
The coral band is a symbol, represents the entry into the universe of the masters of sport, people who came before us, to whom we must always respect and express gratitude for the path that was taught…
Today I am honorably in this group with the awareness that new learning journey opens in front of me, I will do as always, my best to deserve it and honor it.
Nowadays martial arts traditions are commonly put aside, we often look at Jiu Jitsu as just a sport and where the medal is the main goal, this takes us to a dangerous path where we can see in a short time Jiu Jitsu being totally disfigured as martial art..
I am and always will be a supporter technical evolution and I am convinced that the Jiu Jitsu that is practiced today is the best that has ever existed, however, honor, ethics and moral values should never go out of style because they are the pillars of a martial artist and we cannot allow this to be in anyway put at risk, whatever is the price to be paid for it…
Going back to the beginning…
When I started in Jiu Jitsu at the age of 13 my dream was to one day become a black belt, the journey seemed extremely long and so there was no certainty if I could make it.
But when I was 19 I got there…
I felt like the most amazing guy in the world and for sure that was the greatest achievement of my life so far..
The black belt came to teach me so many things, in 31 years I’m sure I’ve lived pretty much everything that was possible to live as a black belt…
From the competitions defending Jacaré’s academy to the world championships in tijuca, to the anything-goes rings having the honor of representing jiu jitsu, dedicating myself to the maximum as an athlete, but in parallel , taking care of my students, doing what today some believe not to be possible , founding Alliance in 1993 and helping my master and all of our family to become the winningest team in the history of the sport.
Having lived so many joys and victories made this long journey undoubtedly my best choice, but it was the defeats, disagreements, frustrations and tears that really made me a successful guy..
yes, that is the fight!
I was very lucky, first to having found Jacaré ,an extremely present teacher who allowed me to be part of his dream, showed me Jiu Jitsu in its essence taught me without limits, vibrated with every victory and was there in every defeat, taught me the art of teaching and putting students above all else.
He gave me the opportunity to put my ideas into practice, so many times and continue receiving the trust and support. Becoming partners when I was only 21 years old, we follow partners to this day…
I was very lucky..
To have had the honor of being the first black belt graduated by him on 23/10/1989, exactly 31 years ago, I am fortunate to have him present in my life without interruptions to this day and have with him the greatest bond of friendship I can imagine.
Then I was fortunate enough to have wonderful students, I often say that my students were my greatest teachers in life, as I learned and learn from them every day…
How many battles together, fighting for each other, it would be impossible to name each and every moment I lived with each of you, although I feel like saying each name and honoring each one for choosing me, for joining my dream, for trusting and especially for carrying the message far beyond where my arms could reach.
You my beloved students know who you are, you are the ones who disagreed and stood by me to show me the way, who disagreed and often even failing to get arguments to convince me and still trusted me.
You turned my story into a breathtaking highlight.
Lastly, my reverence for my opponents, everyone I faced when I won and when I lost but who taught me the beauty of the fight, forced me to discipline myself, to seek utopian perfection, to respect and not to give up.
I was very lucky.