The thrill of the new belt

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GMA member school Gracie Barra Springfield, in Illinois, experienced a very unique emotion last December 16th.

Professor Marcos Barros promoted one of his instructors to the black belt.

Here is how things went, by Jamie Barros.

On Thursday December 16th Gracie Barra Springfield hosted a second in a series of Winter Seminars in hopes a dedicated brown belt would attend and receive a big surprise.

You could feel the anticipation in the air as each student entered the doors of GBS and scanned the room. Everyone was in on it and even knew about it except of course the brown belt.

With the mat full of about 46 very wonderful students holding a very big secret, THE Brown belt Randy Peterson came in ready to train.  Professor Marcos opened the class in usual style without even cracking a smile.

Students bowed in with some smirking in wonder when our first ever Gracie Barra Springfield student would become the first ever Black Belt in America by Professor Marcos.

The seminar followed with various submission escapes and some competition stand up. Everyone including me became so involved in the seminar that we didnt even notice

Professor Marcos sneak away to get the surprise in order. We returned to the wall to wait for our next new technique when Professor Marcos called out Randy Peterson to assist.

A black belt appeared from his gi and applause rang out! Randy Peterson, had done it. After years of dedication on the mats and in the lives of the students that surrounded him, he had earned his Black Belt!

With a shocked look and continuous hand clapping he was asked to make his speech. Randy said he was almost without words and just in shock. He also encouraged the student to not give up and stay dedicated in the lifestyle and practice of BJJ.

He was honored to get his black belt especially under Professor Marcos. It was an incredible day and a moment all of us standing there will never forget. We closed the seminar with a bow to two incredible Black Belts .


On behalf of all of us at GBS, Congratulations Randy! We are so proud and blessed to have you at GBS and take on your example and knowledge as our first GBS Black Belt!

For more info, go to graciespringfield.com

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