GMA Savarese BJJ Academy kids coach Sean Bermudez promoted to black belt

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Professor Chris Savarese promotes student Sean Bermudez to black belt. Photo: Personal archive

Professor Chris Savarese promotes student Sean Bermudez to black belt. Photo: Personal archive

At GMA Savarese BJJ in Lyndhurst, NJ, a special promotion happened on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Professor Chris Savarese promoted his long-time student and kids coach Sean Bermudez to black belt.

The planned event hosted 200 students, friends and family at the new location of the academy at 40 Park Ave. There were other promotions that night as well– plenty of blues, purples and browns alike. Professor Brian Longs earned his first degree from Professor Savarese and Sean earned his black belt after eight and a half years of training under Chris.

In fact, Sean was his second student ever.

Of the promotion Sean writes: “For me, earning my black belt from Sav means I get to represent his philosophies and thoughts on BJJ forever. All of the hard work, sweat and blood added up to the proudest moment of my life. Even more than the day I earned the title of United States Marine. It shows that you do not have to be a world class athlete to reach your goals, as long as you never quit. I have had hard times through the years but I always knew that I could do it.”

The respect goes both ways as Sav himself notes the importance of this promotion. He writes: “It was my honor to put the belt around Sean’s waist last night. Sean came to me as kind of a lost kid 9 years ago and I have watched him grow tremendously on and off the mat. He literally became a man in our academy. He is an example for all my students to follow, proving that you can do anything you put your mind to through hard work. I couldn’t be happier and more proud of a student.”

Learn more about Savarese BJJ at

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