Big day for me today! I was finally promoted to purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! My journey has been a long and bumpy one but I am so happy that I have finally reached this point. Long story ahead... I have been a blue belt for quite a few years now. I was originally under Carlson Gracie, and was a wrecker. Submitting people in MMA and winning gold at local Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Back in 2010, my mom got real sick and I had to stop training. I went to college and dealt with the passing of my mom. The desire to train was there, but mentally I was not able to. Fast forward to 2015, I re-connected with a good friend who owned an MMA/BJJ gym and started training again. After getting back in shape, honing my skills and adding new ones, I started tearing up the local scene again. In the last year, I have taken gold (1st place) in three separate tournaments, fighting 20-40lbs above my weight, and took silver in the last tournament I did, fighting at once again, 30lbs above my weight. All the people I've competed against have been purples (and in one case, a brown belt who I submitted). Today the UFC event is in Chicago, and I went into the gym to get some rolls with my teammates. Jason Chambers (BJJ black belt, retired MMA fighter and former host of the Human Weapon) was in town for the UFC, and stopped by to watch our team train (he is good friends with my coach). After watching me roll for a straight hour, doing a gauntlet, he surprised me with a purple belt. I was in shock. I had no clue that I was going to be promoted. I then got to roll with him, and he destroyed me pretty easily lol. But still, I am just so happy. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a huge part of my life and I am excited to finally wrap this purple belt around my waist and compete. Cheers ya'll!