Weekend with Giva

This past weekend is one I will remember for the rest of my life! Friday night I drove down to Phoenix Sky Harbor to pick up my Jiu Jitsu Master, Giva Santana. Saturday he conducted a seminar at De Boa, armbars, lapel guards, passing the leg lasso, and some sneaky subs. Some great details on positions that I already currently use, it was fun to watch my students learn from my Professor.


Sunday I re-took the seminar down at Siege MMA, I was able to pick up even more details the second time around. The seminars were great, but the time I got to spend talking and learning from Giva was amazing.

As a Instructor (Professor) I sink so much into my students, I watch them go through highs and lows, good times and bad, and struggles and breakthroughs, one of the best times is watching them reach their next goal or belt. I have the privilege of awarding a few stripes, congrats Brandon (Purple 2 stripes) and Gene (Brown 3 stripes). I also got to tie a new belt around six of my students.

It was a great honor to present my wife a Brown Belt, I’m so proud of her. She works a full time job, she is a mom, a G ;), a kids and womens instructor, a daughter, a leader and the best wife a Jiu Jitsu Bum could ask for. I have watched her grow in life and Jiu Jitsu over the past five and half years and look forward to seeing what this new challenge holds for her. Proud of you, love you babe!

It’s always important for me to stay hungry and continuing to progress and learn so that I can help my students do the same. I have one student that it isn’t always about progressing and learning when I roll with him, it’s more so he doesn’t kill the bad guy. I’m going to miss Keli when he leaves to serve a year in Korea for the United States Air Force. He pushes me constantly to get better, I admire his fire and have no doubt he is going to keep it going while oversees. After about five years as a purple belt it was awesome to see him reach Brown Belt, proud of you bro!

Jiu Jitsu builds more than just modern day super heroes, it’s build camaraderie and friendships to last a lifetime. I went through one of the most challenging years of my life a couple years back, it was great to draw on one of those friendships to get through. I was fortunate to award my friend Will Walsh his Brown Belt Sunday. Will had a neck injury that nearly sidelined his Jiu Jitsu career for life, after months of physical therapy he was cleared to continue. I’ve watched him battle back from injury and become a monster on the mat and an amazing friend off the mat to so many people, including myself. He also is a phenomenal instructor in our BJJ Basic Class, I’m proud to award him his Brown.

I met Andy when he was an undercover white belt, he started training some time in the 70’s, got his blue belt, then quit to participate in Woodstock, then came back a white belt (facts of this story may not be correct). He earned his Blue Belt twice, put in work to get his purple and then made huge changes to take the next step to brown. I watched Andy push himself to compete and grow and become integral part of De Boa. His passion for ours kids program does not go unnoticed, I’m proud of you and congrats on your brown belt.

I also want to give a shout out to some guys that do not train under me anymore but our apart of my Jiu Jitsu family. Congratulations to Joe Gomez on earning your Brown Belt, you the man Joe Go! Kent “smokey” Stonebraker started training about the same time as me, after some long breaks it’s awesome to see him get his Brown! Noah Briggs was a long time attender of my morning class when I taught at Siege, It has been great to watch you grow and earn your Brown Belt.

Destiny Adviento has been teaching our kids program and pushing all our smaller students to get better since we opened. The future is bright for this young lady, can’t wait to see you tear it up as Purple Belt!

Congratulations to Delfina Crow on earning her Blue Belt! A full time employee and full time mom and somehow fits in Jiu Jitsu and represents hard work and determination. Blue Belt is not the time to slack, get in, get better, congrats!

This Promotion had so many highlights but definetely a main event, I want to congratulate my boy Claudio Rios on earning his Black Belt! Claudio has been an amazing training partner and friend since 2010. He is a great example what a student should be, he works hard and sets the tone in the whole gym. Man Black Belt, so awesome!

The Belt Promotion ended with my boys Jesus Jose, Andrew Brittin, and myself receiving our first degrees on our Black Belts! I can’t believe it has almost been three years, I have learned a lot and will continue to grow. Thank you so much Master Giva Santana for you guidance and knowledge, much respect!

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