An absolutely awesome Grading Day, with Luiz pulling out all the stops as always and giving some heartfelt speeches, before handing out belts to well deserving students, who in turn had to give speeches of their own.
In addition, both myself and fellow black belt Joao received our black belt certificates, Sharpey and Mosquito got one stripe on their belts and Luiz handed out the first place trophies from the London Open and gave one to Sharpey and the other to the Fightzone Gym. Another highlight of the day was catching up with my very good friend Mineiro, who helped the club out last time he was here, taking classes on Mineiro Monday; really looking forward to his next visit and welcoming him back to the club.
Needless to say, emotions were running high and many tears were shed from students and instructors alike; at the end of the promotions, Luiz got the black belts up one at a time and asked them to say a few words about Jiu Jitsu, which included Jackson Sousa and Buchecha. I had another crack at giving a speech, as I was given my black belt certificate and I did a much better job of it this time, managing to speak coherently and pass on some words of wisdom to my fellow students.
In all, there was well over 120 students and fourteen black belts on the mats, if my memory serves me well and after the group photos, the newly promoted students were mercilessly whipped and the it was on to a local cafe bar, for beer and food, a perfect end to a perfect day.