“A black belt is a white belt who never quit”. – This quote is plastered on the walls of jiu jitsu gyms across the world. Recently we were fortunate enough to promote four students to black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the same day. This is a testament to their commitment and perseverance. Although all four students grew from white to black belts through our Fort Lauderdale academy, they all took different paths to get there.
Coach Dilano Taylor started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with us fresh out of high school. Coming from a high school wrestling background, it was immediately clear Dilano had a natural talent for the sport. He soon after took up striking and began training MMA. Much like jiu jitsu, he showed natural ability in the sport of MMA as well, moving quickly through the ranks. He’s since gone on to win multiple MMA titles and even headline major fight cards in venues like Madison Square Garden. Coach Dilano has been one of our kids instructors for years and also the head of our kids wrestling program.
Jonas Fernandes came to jiu jitsu from a prior MMA background many years ago. After his brief MMA career ended he made it his goal to focus on jiu jitsu and eventually achieve his black belt. He’s also a father of two and has continued his commitment to the sport by enrolling his kids in jiu jitsu classes as well.
Dan Mulvey began training jiu jitsu with us in our Fort Lauderdale academy as a white belt and soon after began competing regularly. He has since relocated to Las Vegas and continues to train there and continue Master Junior Fernandes’ legacy on the other side of the country.
Coach Luke Stafford originally began training at our Fort Lauderdale academy in 2007 and achieved all his belts white through black with us. He’s been one of our kids instructors for many years and also teaches adult fundamentals classes. He’s also been an active competitor throughout his jiu jitsu journey and has won many prestigious tournaments along the way.
Congratulations to these four students on their great achievements. Their hard work and commitment is a great example for everyone starting their jiu jitsu journey.
The Meaning of a Black Belt
Before delving into Athlas Training Team’s impressive lineup of black belts, it’s essential to understand what a black belt truly represents in the world of martial arts. A black belt is not just a rank; it is a symbol of experience, discipline, and proficiency. It signifies that the individual has reached a level of expertise where they can effectively teach and pass on their knowledge to others.
The road to becoming a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a challenging one. It requires years of consistent training, dedication, and a deep understanding of the art. Athlas Training Team’s journey to accumulating more than 17 black belts within their ranks exemplifies this dedication.
- Fundamental Understanding: Every black belt begins their journey as a white belt. They start by learning the fundamental techniques and principles of BJJ, including basic positions, submissions, and escapes.
- Regular Training: The key to progress in BJJ is consistent training. Athlas Training Team members dedicate themselves to regular practice sessions, honing their skills and refining their techniques.
- Progression Through Ranks: Progression through the ranks, from white belt to black belt, involves mastering the techniques and principles at each level. Athlas Training Team members go through various belt colors, including blue, purple, brown, and black, with each level requiring more advanced skills and knowledge.
- Mentorship and Guidance: Along the journey, mentorship and guidance from experienced black belts play a crucial role. Athlas Training Team fosters an environment of support and learning, where more experienced practitioners help guide those on the path to black belt.
- Competition and Testing: Competing in tournaments and testing one’s skills against different opponents is an essential aspect of progressing in BJJ. Athlas Training Team members participate in competitions to challenge themselves and refine their abilities.
- Teaching and Sharing Knowledge: As practitioners progress through the ranks, they are encouraged to share their knowledge by teaching others. This not only solidifies their understanding of the art but also helps nurture the next generation of black belts.
Becoming a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a journey that demands dedication, discipline, and perseverance. Athlas Training Team’s impressive roster of more than 17 black belts is a testament to their unwavering commitment to this martial art. Each black belt within their team has undergone years of rigorous training, embraced mentorship, tested their skills in competition, and continues to share their knowledge with others.
So, if you’re on your own path to becoming a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, remember that it’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey. Athlas Training Team’s story serves as a reminder that the black belt represents more than just a rank; it symbolizes a lifelong commitment to learning and mastery.