Last week my children had a moment that will forever change their martial arts history.
They received their very first junior BJJ belt advancements.
But it wasn’t just any advancement.
That pretty handsome older gentleman advancing my children is none other than Royler Gracie.
For those who are unaware, he is the son of Helio Gracie. Helio Gracie is one of the original two that adapted Japanese Jiu Jitsu into what is now known as Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. Since Helio Gracie has passed on, this is seriously as cool and honorable as it gets…
Now I am not an expert by any means, but I did hear the story from Royler himself: BJJ was adapted to be more useful to people of smaller stature. Can’t get any smaller than my little Miss. It doesn’t rely on strength so much as leverage (and dare I even say physics?). It also focuses a lot more on self defense when you are forced to the ground. I hear all the time in Krav “Don’t fall or get forced down to the ground or you’re done.” And for some that is the case… but if you do BJJ being on the ground can be a useful thing especially if you are smaller of stature (ladies hello…)
My kids have been excelling within the BJJ program and they have been counting down the days until they met Royler Gracie for months. It was like a special edition holiday that no one else, not even those at our own dojo, could understand. (Only 7 kids from our dojo take BJJ since it’s only offered at a different location)..
He was so great with the kids. You could tell that he loves what he does, and he loves kids even more. He threw himself on the ground repeatedly with such flare causing many shocked little faces. This also had the reaction of instantly making egos soar waaaaay higher than they need to be. He took great care to make sure that at some point in the seminar each child felt special and confident in what they were doing. The majority of kids at the seminer hadn’t ever tried BJJ before, so making them feel confident in some situations was a challnge I’m sure.
All in all, it was every bit of deserving to be seen as a holiday. Especially when they received belts they had been training since April to earn.
It was such an honor.. and since I’m sounding fangirl already I’m going to geek out a bit.. The kids and Royler Gracie all got together for a group shot and he let me touch his phone to take photos… ZOMG (please note this is sarcasm.. although I did infact touch his phone.. lol)