Tuesday, 29 April 2014

10 Years of BJJ - My Jiu-Jitsu Journey - Part 7 (Braulio's Grading)

(This is part 7 of this series. If you haven't seen part 6 it can be found here.)
It's time to start over...
As I mentioned previously, the BJJ ranking system for kids changed in autumn 2007, and we were required to be graded again. This meant taking a trip to Gracie Barra Birmingham, and be graded by both Braulio and Victor Estima.
Some of you probably never got the chance to go to Braulio's old gym, but personally I had the opportunity to go there a few times. I've been there for a grading, seminar, and a competition, but funnily enough never a class.
Obviously, we wouldn't be the only team at the grading. Pretty much, every kid’s team under Braulio would be there to be graded. The matted area in that particular gym was pretty small, so were given times slots as there were numerous teams to get through. I can't remember the exact time since it was over six years ago, but I think off the top of my head it was about 10 o'clock.
This would be the first time I had ever been to Gracie Barra Birmingham which was in Acocks Green, Birmingham. Naturally, all of the team met at one location. This time it was Stadium garage in Skewen, and from there we would follow Chris to the club itself.
One thing I remember in particular about this trip was how long it took to get there. I mean hours. We hit some traffic about half way through, and it literally seemed to go on forever. One thing that sticks out in my mind is needing to go to toilet really bad, and my dad refusing to stop as "we'll lose Chris".
So, we finally arrive, and late in typical fashion. The place is absolutely rammed with kids, and there was pretty much no place to get changed, except for on the stairs. The building itself consisted of two floors. On the ground floor you had Gracie Barra Birmingham, and on the top floor you had a gym which was called 'Stevie B's'.
So there me and my brother are getting changed on the stairs like a couple of melons with all these roid heads coming up the stairs, which was a little awkward. If you didn't know, me and my brother get changed really slowly, so it was especially awkward.
Now we finally make it onto the mats. Basically, the grading consisted of them showing a few techniques and us demonstrating them. To my amazement, we didn't actually do any sparring, which personally I thought they would. They had a lot to get through that day, so maybe they just didn't have any time.
The highest rank to be given out that day was a yellow belt, which both me and my brother both achieved. For some reason, I remember being really disappointed with 'only' receiving a yellow belt, which seems a bit daft to say now, but that's how my 12 year old self felt at the time. However, seeing that the kids BJJ system is really yellow, orange, and green, it was actually pretty good.
Actually, the day itself was pretty good. I got to travel to a different club and get graded by a world champion, which is pretty cool.
A few months later, I would return to Gracie Barra Birmingham, this time to compete. This was actually my first competition under IBJJF rules, and with submissions, so that was an eventful day to say the least. And I shall get onto that story next time.
I hope you guys enjoyed.
Catch you later,


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