I can’t say enough about how much my two boys have grown in their youth program the past year. My 4 and 6-year-old have not only become physically stronger, but they also remind me how we can all be kind to each other. My older son has become more confident too, which I attribute to the class! Thank you
I am so excited! Today I was awarded my black belt from ProfessorRicardo Almeida. When I first walked into the academy almost 8 years ago, it was very intimidating being a girl in a man's world, but everyone was very welcoming and treated me as one of them - I’ve learned so much through this journey and it’s just begun...
"I have been a direct student of Professor Ricardo Almeida since 1999. He has one of the most professional, well-run academies in the world. It's truly world-class. It's a place for the little kid who needs confidence all the way to the UFC champ to train at. He and his instructors are some of the best in the business. RABJJ for life."
I brought my son to RABJJ for the main purpose of building self confidence. Learning to defend himself is a really nice consolation prize though! At first he was all for learning Jiu Jitsu, then we arrived at the school and I could see him start to look for reasons to just go back home where he felt safe. Next came the Gi and the water works started. I begged him to trust me, I promised him I would be right there with him and that he would thank me later. Then something weird happened. All the other kids from the class came up to my son and introduced themselves and tried to cheer him up. One girl even sang a happy song for him. I had a feeling then that this was a place I wanted him to be. We got him into class with a bit of bribery and a lot of help from his coach. I watched his coach take him into class and sit right by his side. He didn't ask him to do anything, just sat next to him and made him feel confident. As my son began to feel comfortable, every time he looked away at the other students having fun his coach would move away a little at a time. The next thing my son knew was that he was in the middle of class by himself having a blast. That night when we got home he asked me to take a picture of himself in his Gi so he could see. ( I'm pretty sure he forgot about the first picture I took of him in his Gi!!). Today Ben received his solid Grey belt. A year and a half after those pictures were taken. Thank you RABJJ for teaching much more than Jiu Jitsu!!
"Words can’t express the emotions I felt today. I am forever grateful for the support I’ve received from this team. It is such an honor to receive my black belt from ProfessorRicardo Almeida. Professor Almeida is a legend in this sport and yet still takes the time to focus on us all individually. You’ve taught me so many things both on and off of the mats which I am forever indebted. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the team you’ve built.
There have been many times along this journey when I’ve doubted myself and even thought of quitting. If it wasn’t for Professor Brian constantly reminding me to stay the course, who knows if this moment would have ever happened. Thank you for being the big brothers I’ve never had.
Thank you to all of my training partners throughout the years that constantly pushed me.
This is only the beginning!."
We've got another blue belt in the house!!!! I am stoked for the entire team and so super proud of my little lady and her accomplishment today.
"When it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it is hard to find a better Professor than Ricardo Almeida. The environment is family-like, but the education you receive here in BJJ on and off he mats is unprecedented."
10 years ago today I walked into RABJJ for the first time. Just coming off of a difficult divorce, emotionally raw and with way too much free time on my hands (that I was not spending constructively), I was driving home from work when I saw the sign and on a whim cut the wheel and pulled into the lot. I'd been interested in martial arts my entire life and decided to finally check it out. I took my first intro class with then-Brown Belt Brian Walters and signed up that night. I have never once regretted it. Over the years I have been humbled more times than I can count. There were nights I left frustrated and disappointed at my inability to progress at the same speed as classmates. There were times I wanted to quit. But, something else happened, as well. I began to alter my perception and ways of viewing what "success" means. I learned that every single one of us has different goals, priorities, obligations, aptitudes and abilities. And I finally internalized the cliche so many of us have heard since we were young - that the only person you're competing with, is the person you were yesterday. I am not the best student at the Academy by far - I get tapped almost every single day by others of all ranks (lower and higher). But, I can say without a moment's hesitation, that I am absolutely a better version of myself than I was 10 years ago - both in jiu jitsu and as a person. I am a better father, a better attorney, a better human being than at any time before this and tomorrow I will be better than I am today. I have made incredible friendships with amazing people who I otherwise would have never met. We get huge smiles on our faces when we see one another in class, train hard and then thank one another not just for the training, but for the friendship. This has been an amazing adventure and I'm excited for the next ten years. Thank you, Professor Ricardo Almeida, Professor Steven Bongiorno for the amazing schools you have built, cultures you have created and for being the mentors you are. A good teacher teaches you how to fight; a great teacher teaches you how to live.
"ProfessorRicardo Almeidaand Professor Brian, I can not thank you enough. You have given us an environment in which anyone who dedicates the time and dedication can succeed. All of those that I have trained with and befriended through the years thank you. I never thought I would make it to Black Belt, but 11 years later we made it. Individual accomplishments are achieved through a collective effort. No one goes through this journey alone."
I started this journey 3 years ago at 37 which was probably 30 years after I walked out of a dojo as a kid and decided not to pursue a path through martial arts. I don’t believe in regret in most instances but I’ve always regretted walking out of that dojo. Today shows it’s never too late in life to change your path and right a regret. Thanks to all those who helped build the foundation...time to start building the rest of the house"
John and I have been training together for almost 6 years at RABJJ Academy. We earned all of our belts together side by side - white, blue, purple and now brown. There is no doubt that John and I will have a black belt around our waists in the years to come.
However, there is one big difference between us. John is 52 and I'm 38. He has accomplished a rank in Jiu Jitsu that most dream about but don't put in the time or dedication that it takes to achieve it. It's a fact that a large majority of people who train Jiu Jitsu won't make it past blue belt. I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of people half his age drop out for many reasons. Because it's too tough, too hard, too humiliating. Because they don't have time or they got injured. Because they think they are not in shape enough to do Jitsu. But not John, he keeps pushing forward and shows up consistently week after week after week...
Jiu Jitsu is hard on your body no matter what age you are. And as you get older your body heals slower, hurts more, and breaks easier. As I mentioned I'm only 38 and my body hurts a lot more that it used too. I can't count the times after good training sessions that I laid awake at night because my body hurt too much to sleep. It's like getting punched in every inch of your body from head to toe. Add that to the constant injuries in my shoulders, knees, fingers, hands, wrists, ankles, toes, and who knows what else. Sometimes I don't feel like showing up the next day.
Luckily there are guys like John to motivate me and keep me in check. They make me realize I have no excuses. Also, that it's all worth it.
So the next time you think you can't accomplish something, you might want to reconsider and think of guys like John. I would be willing to bet it is possible if you're willing to work for it.
Thank you, prof Ricardo Almeida, I can't express the joy. When I joined, it would have never crossed my mind the relationships I would have built with such amazing people. So grateful to be a part of this family!!