My BJJ Black Belt Journey: 30 Plus Years and Still Learning
One of the cool things about life is that you are often on a journey before you are even aware of it. And at times, you do get second or even third chances. The main idea is to never give up, keep your eye on the prize and maintain an open mind. The last is often the hardest.
I enjoy sharing my stories of trials and tribulations with others showing my failures before my eventual triumphs. Many people have been inspired, just like I was (and still am) inspired by others that overcome adversity with perseverance. It’s all part of the human experience and what provides us with the fuel to forge onward.
Here are my current Ranks and important certifications. I achieved my Sho Dan (1st Degree Black Belt) in 1986. 30 years later, I was awarded my Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here’s the breakdown:
8th Degree Black Belt Combative Arts, East-West Martial Alliance: Professor Jon Collins
3rd Degree Black Belt, Taekwondo: Dr. Michael Evangel
2nd Level Instructor, Shamrock Submission Fighting: Frank Shamrock
1st Degree Bando Black Belt: Dr. U Muang Gyi
1st Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt: Professor Mitch Coats/Checkmat BJJ
In addition to the Martial Arts, I’m a Master Tactical Instructor in CDT (Compliance Direction Takedown) under Tom Patire, a Master RKC Kettlebell Instructor with Dragon Door as well as a PCC, Progressive Calisthenics Certified Instructor with the same organization.
Often times we travel a road and find ourselves on a journey that is not known to us for quite some time. I would have to say that my journey toward my attaining the level of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu began when I was 12 years old, back in 1974.
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