This year our party was at Sugden Park in beautiful, sunny Naples, Florida! After the park, later on that evening, they invited everyone out to go bowling, so students who could not make it to the park, could come try to beat Prof. Paulo at bowling, which he swears he is the best at! Professor Paulo said, “The party was awesome! It was a great turn out, with tons of delicious plates! We here at GB Naples consider our students our friends and family. They are a large part of our lives, and without them we would not be here. We love the holidays because they give us a chance to relate that message to them and really fortify that family spirit that we are all about.”
This year GB America held their first annual potluck party for their students. They had a special class schedule for the students and a potluck party after the classes. The staff had a great time getting to know their students and families better. The students enjoyed socializing with each other, especially since they have been training together diligently throughout their BJJ journey. Erika Carrillo Program Director GBA USHQ said, “We had a great time at our holiday party this year! It was awesome being able to get to know our students off the mats. We have created such a strong bond on the mats with each and every one of them and this gave us an opportunity to get to know them on a personal level.”
Gracie Barra Long Island rented out a catering hall and held their 2nd Annual Holiday Party and Belt Ceremony. They had 12 promotions this year. Some of them were put off for a few months in order to make this a very memorable occasion. They promoted two students to brown belt, three to purple belt, and seven to blue belt. One instructor said, “To make this occasion special and to truly exemplify the slogan ‘Organized like a team, fighting like a family’ we flew in a special guest from the North Pole. This year Santa Claus was our host for our 2nd Annual Belt Ceremony. Having Santa Claus there was fun, but mostly it’s the camaraderie and family atmosphere that Gracie Barra instills in us that makes it special and all the GB Professors that make these occasions possible.
Professor Rodrigo Mendes runs Florida’s newest GB school, GB Delray Beach. They recently held their Holiday Graduation Ceremony. It was a celebration of not only the holiday season and the accomplishments of their students, but also their brand new location and their new affiliation with Gracie Barra. Professor Rodrigo praised his students, “Among the many students who graduated to higher levels in bjj were: Savio Bianchi, who was awarded his Orange Belt. He is a terrific example for all the kids in our program. Two others in our juvenile program, Lidio Meira and Marcelo Fonseca, were awarded their blue belts. Both Lidio and Marcelo won their respective juvenile blue belt divisions at the recent Miami International Open, even though they were white belts at the time of the competition. While several of our adults also increased their rank, I would like to mention that Paul Geller is a full time lawyer who makes time to train whenever he can and he also helps me teach the kids’ classes. Paul recently won his division in the Miami International Open (and took second in the absolute). Paul was awarded his Purple Belt at the ceremony. It was a great day!”
Gracie Barra Yorba Linda celebrated their 1st annual holiday potluck celebration with their students and staff. The event was especially fun because it gave the staff, as well as the students, a chance to get to know each other much better. Some of the students have been training together for almost two years and they hoped that all of their students could start to truly enjoy Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a lifestyle.