2015 Pan American Featherweight Adult Brown Belt Champion
Three fights - cross choke from mount, 8-0, armbar from mount. After consulting with Brian Rago, Regis Lebre promoted me to the rank of black belt on the podium. All while wearing my Fushida sponsored gi! (Fushida.ca)
I will watch all my fights courtesy of mensinglaw at least twice - one to enjoy and one to pick apart every little thing I did wrong and can improve.
Something I keep trying to drill into the kids class is that you can’t give yourself too much credit when you win. I could fight any of these girls again in ten minutes and get crushed. Vianca, whom I met in the finals, submitted her first two in less time than I think one of my matches went. This is why we don’t celebrate when we win. This is why we’re respectful both when we win and when we lose. I am super super happy right now, but I know that victory is fleeting and I’m thankful for every sweet moment I have to enjoy it while it lasts.
Thank you to the girls who came out and put it all there for me to meet.
Thank you to my Gracie Philadelphia (phlbjj.com) teachers Brian Rago, Zak Maxwell, and Tim Sylvester, whose individual contributions to my training I can point out piece by piece in every fight.
Thank you to my training partners, without whom none of this would be possible, and whose influences I can also piece out of each match I had today.
Thanks to myself, for figuring out in the last year how to free my mind and my self from a lot of things, real and imagined, and which as a result allowed me to compete today calm and collected, with the knowledge and belief that I could win, deserved to be happy, and would be happy even if someone trumped me in the end. There are so many more important things than just Jiu Jitsu.
As I’ve come this far, I’m especially reflective over what matters as I mourn the loss of my first cousin in a terrible accident two days prior to the event, mirroring the loss of my mother two days before a competition several years ago. I hope that they are at peace and that their families will also know it for themselves.
Everyone deserves happiness. Hug the ones you love.
Photo from Mike Calimbas, soon to be purchased by me at mikecalimbas.com