Congrats to the new Gracie Tampa Black Belts

Yesterday, I had the honor of attending a Promotion Ceremony at Gracie Tampa South.  It was awesome seeing friends/training partners I haven’t seen in years.  With the growth of the Gracie Tampa network of schools, guys have become spread out.  Work, kids, and life schedules get in the way as well.  I had the honor of seeing a buddy of mine and old training partner at GT North, Bill Lindsay get his Black Belt.  He started training at 43 years old!!!  He serves as a testament that you are never too old to start training jiu jitsu.  After over a decade of training he attained his BJJ Black Belt.  I received texts from some of my older students that were inspired by Bill’s story.  Congrats Bill!!!!

While everyone else knew they were getting their black belts, there was one surprise.  A good buddy of mine and co-owner of Gracie St Pete, Anton Yalch received his as well.  It was funny cause we were in the back of the gym goofing off and cracking jokes during the whole ceremony.  Us short guys gotta stick together 😉  Here’s how a short part of our conversation went:

me: You better get your speech ready for when you receive your black belt.
Anton: Bro, when I get my black belt I ain’t saying SH*T.  I’m just gonna go up and start flexing!  I’ma hit a buncha poses *starts demonstrating*
(So I of course join in on the posing and we start cracking up)
Rob Kahn: So the last black belt I’m handing out is a surprise……Anton Yalch

Anton is mid pose laughing and just freezes like a mannequin challenge lol.  He walks up to the front.  Here I am expecting a glorious pose down.  And he is lost for words and just shuts down.  He starts fumbling over his words.  I am in the back trying to remind him to start flexing…..NOTHING!!!  I was laughing in the back, and of course I find him afterwards to congratulate him and give him sh*t for not posing.  We have a good laugh.

Congrats to all of the GT guys that received their black belts and all who received their red patches!!!  Happy for you all, that is such an awesome accomplishment!  Bill and Anton, couldn’t be more happier for you guys!  You are killers on the mats and great people too.