Of all the promotions earned this Saturday, the two that meant the most to me were the black belts awarded by Professor Rodrigo to long-time teammates and training partners, Griff Sombke and Bryan Jorgensen.
We all began training within a few months of each other - and none of us appeared to be destined for Brazilian jiu-jitsu greatness when we started. And Brazilian jiu-jitsu greatness may not be where we find ourselves when we finally do put the gi on the hook for the final time.
But it is a testament to will, desire, and above all an enduring love of the art that has helped all three of us get to where we are, to this faixa-preta. And it will be an even stronger combination of those three things that enables us to reach the next stage in our jiu-jitsu lives, whatever that may be.