Thank you to everyone who attended the Ultimate Jiu Jitsu HQ seminar and grading on chilly Monday night. We had a great turnout with 50 students on the mats, and the atmosphere was electric, especially during the graded sparring. Special thanks to the 13 black belts who attended and set an incredible learning environment for the night.
It was very memorable and rewarding for me to have the head instructors of each of the Ultimate Jiu Jitsu academies showcasing techniques for the seminar. Thank you to James, David, Aleks and Denis for presenting at the seminar. The techniques you showed were very informative and the level of detail was amazing. I’m proud to see you all develop into highly skilled instructors.
I also had the pleasure of ending the seminar with my lifelong training partner and friend, Andrew Gorton. We started our Jiu Jitsu journey together and ended the seminar with his expert techniques.
Collectively, the knowledge that was shared on Monday consisted of more experience than you could fit into an individual lifetime of training, so for me, it was one of the most informative seminars that I have attended.
Following the techniques, we proceeded to our grading which entailed some very challenging sparring sessions. I’ve always said, we don’t test whether you qualify for a belt promotion on the day of your grading, but you already have the skills of a student of that belt and have for some time. What we do is challenge you, so you can see in yourself that you already possess the skills of that belt and have for some time. While you may not necessarily feel up to it or think that you deserve it, those of us who train with you know that you do.
We handed out two of the most senior belts in Jiu Jitsu. Congratulations to Nick Gajoski on attaining the rank of brown belt, who was graded by Aleks, head instructor at Ultimate Jiu Jitsu Milperra. Congratulations also to our newest professor Pablo Coppes, who I had the pleasure to grade to black belt.
Pablo has been with us from the start of his Jiu Jitsu journey. He’s a true old-school martial artist with old-school values. Always generous and approachable, and eager to pass on his experience and knowledge to the next generation. It’s truly a pleasure training him and having our epic sparring rolls. There’s never any excuses from him, just committed training and a passion for the art that shows in not just himself, but his children as well.
Congrats my friend, and thank you for the years of commitment and all the hard work that you put into the club and training, even though at times I know it can be very hard with every joint being impacted by RA. Just remember: I got your back, although lately, it’s been very difficult to submit you from there 🙂
This is just the beginning of your mastery in this art of ours, a chance to bring on more of your flavour to Jiu Jitsu. As anyone who’s met you will agree, your unwavering and wholehearted style and approach to life is inspiring and makes everyone set their benchmark higher. I look forward to seeing you progress through the black belt years, and witness as you take your skills in both teaching and technique to the next level.
Congratulations also to Marko Papuckovski and Cameron Elder, who were graded to Black Belt, 1st degree. Anyone who has trained with Marko and Cam or attended their classes would attest to their proficiency, expertise and the unique style that they bring to UJJ. Welcome to your new grades and thank you for your consistent help and feedback with the running of our organisation.
I always say that I’m a student first and instructor second, and on that note, it’s back to our usual grind. Looking forward to travelling overseas soon to conduct seminars and training camps for the first time in a couple of years. See you all on the mats.