Saturday, December 12th was the date for the GB Encinitas “Annual group picture”, some student promotions and Prof. Rafael’s 2nd-Degree Promotion.
The students were truly excited to see Prof. Rafael getting his stripe and to train with the different GB
Black belts who attended the ceremony, like Master Nelson Monteiro, Prof. Flavio Almeida, Prof. Dominic Parker, Prof. Magid Hage .
The ceremony began at 11:00 a.m. Each Black Belt demonstrated a technique to the students and at around 12:00 p.m the Belt Ceremony started.
Master Nelson and Prof. Rafael promoted 2 students to Black Belt, 1 to Brown Belt, 2 to Purple and 1 to Blue Belt.
It was a very emotional moment for all in attendance, as every student gave a speech after receiving their belt.
A lot of personal experiences, on and off the mats, were shared, with a lot of tears, but tears of joy, of mission accomplished, of hard work, of happiness, dedication.
The climax of the day was when Master Nelson fastened a brand new Black Belt around Prof. Rafael’s waist and, after a few kind words from Nelson, Rafael began his speech, talking about his first day at GB in Brazil as a child, when he decided to dedicate his life full time to BJJ, the first class he taught in Encinitas, the first student he promoted and, finally, what GB and Jiu-Jitsu mean to him.
“Pretty much everything that I have in life I owe to GB (Jiu-Jitsu) and my family. All my best friends I made on the mats, I support my family using what I learned on the GB mats in Brazil and I’m not just talking about BJJ techniques…..”
After his speech and a few tears from Prof. Rafael, all the Black Belts shared their knowledge with the students in a great training session.