Saturday was such an intense day that I found no title but the date itself.
Every Saturday the morning training sessions at Academia Corpo 4, in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, has from 8 to 12 BJJ black belts for sparring. This week we also organized a barbecue and gradings only for the inner circle of students of my Master Sergio “Bolão” Souza (6th degree under Carlson Gracie Sr.) afterwards, and the numbers exploded. It was hard to find a spot to roll with over 35 people on the mats, with more than half being black belts. We had 2 blue belts from the Emirates Jiu Jitsu Center in Dubai visiting Rio that joined us, as well as black belts from master De La Riva and Infight JJ.
Master Sergio came around 11 am and greeted us all before talking to the group and letting me and Mauro Chueng speak to them too. Master thanked Marcelo Kropotkin for his loyalty and dedication the group and appreciated his efforts, also complimenting Mauro and I for the development of the Rio Grappling Club, telling us all that he fully supports a joint-venture between his students as long as we preserve the name Bolão Jiu Jitsu, a brand 20 years old, very respected as a competition team in Rio de Janeiro since he left Carlson Gracie and started his group. Later on we spoke and we will start together in all comps from now on, with details to follow soon.
We will merge efforts between the international team leaded by me and Mauro with our fellow friends from Rio that have been training and competing alongside us for 15 years or more. In reality we were always part of the same group, but we need to sort out details in order to increase sinergy and collaboration between the Rio Grappling Club and Bolão Jiu Jitsu, leading to a joint-venture that will add so much to our groups. None of the brands will cease to exist and a new brand will not be born, this collaboration will actually promote the RGC and Bolão Jiu Jitsu together.
Moving on to the gradings: Master Sergio awarded the fourth degree to Mauro Chueng, Marcelo Kropotkin, Marcelo Herz, Roberto Atalla (me) and Bruno Ximenes. Some of our friends received one and two degrees but I must confirm exactly who was given with my friends so I don’t post wrong info on a hurry.
The barbecue started after a long picture session and completed a memorable day with friends having fun, overeating and enjoying the bond that keeps us together. A great surprise was the late visit of our friend Aron Roichmann who came with his two young daughters to say hello, after many years off the mat. We hope he comes back soon, next time with a Gi and his rusty black belt 😉