December 5th, a Saturday, was a day of festivities for several GMA academies around the world. In Long Island, New York, Alexandre “Soca” Carneiro held his academy’s annual belt-promotion ceremony. The highlight was Mike Coscia’s brand new belt, which stirred the emotions of the latest black belt on the team. Our collaborator, Cristian Buitron, earned his blue belt, too, and sent these beautiful photos in to GRACIEMAG.com. Congratulations two-fold, Cristian!
“Mike is my sixth black belt in America, but in all I have 15. I’m old, with 4 stripes on my belt already,” joked Soca via cell phone to GRACIEMAG.com. A Jiu-Jitsu world champion and owner of a gold medal from the first Abu Dhabi, in 1998, Soca remains active in competition, and gives his reason: “Nowadays, to tell the truth, I fight mostly for my students, since I help them prepare for competition. And I’d also rather compete than watch from the sidelines; that’s agonizing.”
Soca has nearly all the Sport Jiu-Jitsu titles, and continues to collect medals in the Master & Senior division. “And it’s hard to fight for five minutes, you know? It’s a lot harder when your opponent stalls, if that’s his objective,” he concludes.