Having represented and competed with this patch on my back throughout my youth was a blessing, a privilege and an honor that I will forever cherish. My combat sports skills, overall work ethic and character, could not have had better foundation while growing up training in Copacabana, Rio-Brazil.
Being one of the greatest factory of martial arts champions of all time was just one of the reasons that makes this patch so special. Many of my lifetime friendships were built on those mats in the 90s. The bonds developed through years of training, the daily grinds, the emotions shared on the mat, the disappointments and the achievements alongside my teammates could never be replicated in any other activity.
Only those who persevere through the ups and downs of the initial years of training, will experience what nothing else in the world can provide. Family and academics can only teach us so much. The rest is self-discovery. Jiu-Jitsu was the most complete form of education I have received. To everyone who spent years training by my side out there, my eternal respect, gratitude and friendship. Distance and time away are not enough factors to change this. Nothing is.
If all children of the world could have the opportunity to be exposed to proper Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, the world would be a much better place!