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Redzovic Jiu Jitsu Black Belt fraternity continues to grow! A message from Adem Redzovic

What do Joe Heid, Yousef Shoukry, Joe Vena, Carlos Banuelos, Michael Ryan , Adam Keune and Mark Braceros have in common? All seven of these martial artists have accomplished one of the most challenging goals a person can accomplish, reaching the level of Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

On Thursday, November 21st, the Redzovic Jiu Jitsu academy in Lincoln Square was JAM PACKED full of members and guests that came out to train with and witness some of their teammates and friends honored during Thursday nights promotion ceremony. 

To say reaching a black belt in Jiu Jitsu from the Redzovic family is difficult would be an understatement. All seven who were promoted have continuously challenged themselves mentally, physically and emotionally for over a decade (on average) on their path toward black belt. There have been great times, difficult times, frustration, joy, doubt, growth, beatings and countless emotions and experiences that have deterred the vast majority of people who began martial arts training to quit. This is something else they have in common, they never gave up on their goal despite all their challenges and obstacles. 

An open message to all Redzovic Jiu Jitsu Black belts around the world, from Professor Adem Redzovic:

“We started from nothing and together we have contributed toward building something very special, a fraternity of souls that has spread outside our city limits and around the world. Thank you for your part but we are not done yet. It is my dream that we continue to provide value to our community and our fraternity by being examples of our schools culture of striving to become better versions of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and potentially spiritually through the practice of Jiu Jitsu. As my brother Eddie said during Thursday nights promotion ceremony, “we are all a work in progress”. We are not perfect and none of us ever will be but we will find incredible value if we strive for excellence. We will fall short, make mistakes and learn from them. Thanks to your Jiu Jitsu training, by this time you should be pretty good at that. 

Mentally: Keep learning, keep refining your technique. Learning doesn't stop when you get your black belt, it actually has just begun and should never end while we are alive. There is always a part of your jiu jitsu that can become more efficient and Jiu Jitsu itself continues to develop so make sure to keep up and don’t let your title of Black Belt fool you into thinking you have completed your understanding of the art. You are now on the front line to set an example to our next generations with how you choose to honor your craft. Deal with less experienced people with the cleanliness of your technique, not just you're natural abilities of power, speed and aggression. Remember the wise words of Helio Gracie when he said “Jiu Jitsu represents the triumph of human intelligence over brute strength.”

Physically: Keep yourself accountable, honor your body, be grateful for your health and ability to exercise and practice your jiu jitsu because it can be taken away at any moment. Inspire our next generations by your example and by what you are able to do with your God given ability despite any challenges that have been thrown your way physically. Nutrition, stretching/mobility and recovery are all important in keeping you on the mats and become even more important as we age.

Emotionally: You don't just represent yourself, you represent all of us and you represent our culture. The energy and example you bring in the training room, the way you respect each other and other members sets the standard and will directly impact our academy culture. The stakes are higher now, people are watching you, you have the ability to inspire as well as lead people astray. Studies have shown that healthy emotional relationships have a direct impact on our ability to live a long, healthy, happy life. Honor each other and the relationships you have built, you did not get here alone.”

A special congratulations to our Black Belt professors Chris Pinto, James Allen, Pete Roehl, Lynelle Ortiz, Luis Alejandre and Erik Butler for receiving degrees on their Black Belts. Our black belt instructors shared their valuable advice with our audience on topics ranging from the importance of honoring your body for longevity, importance of remembering and practicing Jiu Jitsu’s self defense tradition amongst other valuable insights.

Congratulations as well to Alex Villatoro and Collin Schmidt on receiving their Brown Belts after years of sacrifice and dedicated training, congratulations to all! Stop and smell the roses for a moment and then let's quickly get back to work!