In farewell, the black belt

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Jiu-Jitsu, pai e filhos. Foto: Arquivo pessoal.

One of the articles to make the most waves on this week was the one about the Souza brothers, Marcos and Roberto Satoshi, winner and runner-up in the black belt absolute division at the Rickson Gracie Cup in Japan.

After losing their father, Master Adilson de Souza (1958-2011), to pancreatic cancer last May, the two brothers returned to competition. Their mournful tears upon winning were caught on camera by our collaborator Kinya Hashimoto.

Having won two gold medals at the event, Marcos Souza contacted us to thank us for the tribute, and took the chance to have a chat with – and learn from – him.

“Look, after I lost my father, I didn’t feel like training or competing at all,” he revealed, “I even thought about quitting Jiu-Jitsu and doing something else…

“When we won in Tokyo, closing out the second championship we’ve been in together as black belts, Toshi [his brother Roberto] told me, just as the ref raised our arms, ‘I wish dad could have been here to see us win…’

“I hugged him and replied, “He may not be here, but for sure he’s watching it all!”

The emotion didn’t end there. After all, Roberto got his black belt while at the hospital in São Paulo, five hours before Master Adilson departed, leaving his sons as his legacy in the sport.

“My father gave my brother our black belts while in the hospital. He gave his own belt, and said sorry that he couldn’t promote us on the mat.

“He also said that he was certain Toshi would do honor to it,” said Marcos in closing. No way to quit, bros. You have plenty of applause to receive yet, from here and from up there.

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