Black belt world champion and GRACIEMAG BJJ Premium Club member, Vitor Shaolin had a nice surprise earlier this week.
Nova União’s leader and founder André Pederneiras stopped by Shaolin’s midtown Manhattan academy for a very special occasion.
Dedé, who was in town to attend UFC promotion events with José Aldo, took the opportunity to graduate Shaolin to the ranking of 5th degree black belt.
The ceremony took place in front of many of Shaolin’s students.
Shaolin talked exclusively with GRACIEMAG.com about what the occasion meant to him: “My life as Dede’s student flashed before my eyes. I remembered our beginnings, when we simply didn’t now what to expect from Jiu-Jitsu. Even so, we listened to what he had to teach and believed in what he had to tell us. This degree means friendship without asking anything in return. I have all the respect in the world for the man who gave all I have in life.”