When Marcelo Garcia runs his promotion nights at Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City, he makes sure to leave some level of surprise. It may be seen as a tease or even a prank like when he promoted Gianni Grippo one year ago by making him think he was being promoted to a four-stripe brown belt before whipping out the black belt from his gi.
This year there were three additions to the MGA black belt team: Dominyka Obelenyte, Marcos Tinoco and Jonathan Satava. All active competitors on the team with multiple accomplishments for each, Marcelo decided it was their time. But not without inviting Marcos and Jon up for more stripes on their brown belts, letting them believe they would have to wait a little longer for their final rank.
Before the ceremony was over, Marcelo gave his speech and called up the three one by one to have their black belts tied around their waist. A microphone placed in their hand, they each told a speech that they may or may not have been prepared for. Dominyka talked of her ten years in the art and wanting to quit while her parents encouraged her throughout her journey. Marcos talked of his struggles in Brazil and the opportunities that both his wife and Marcelo
gave to him that led him to this day. And Jon spoke of how he still had photos of Marcelo choking people in his bedroom at his family home that proved how much of a hero Marcelo was for him prior to even training with him.
Thanks to MGinaction, the speeches are available to see online. You can watch them below:
Watch out for Dominyka and Marcos, both entering the 2015 IBJJF European Championship to test their new belts on Jan. 22-25 in Lisbon, Portugal!