This December, Gracie Miami academy had its routine altered by two big-name visitors.
A purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu, Mayor George Vallejo made the most of the Dec. 10 occasion of the year’s-end promotion ceremony at the Valente brothers’ school to award them with the key to the city of North Miami Beach.
The other guest is an old acquaintance of theirs. A resident of California, the legendary UFC champion Royce Gracie was in Florida too. And his deference was perhaps even more striking.
“For the first time, Royce brought his students from every corner of the planet for evaluation at our academy. It was a striking event, with Jiu-Jitsu practitioners coming from as far as Mexico and even Kenya,” remarked black belt Guilherme Valente.
“Most of the students did well in their evaluations and were promoted. Here the student is judged by a commission, and if approved after taking the test, they get a new belt,” he explained.