November 2014 has been a big month at GSW.
Amazing seminars, New students, Old faces, competitions, promotions and hours and hours of mat time.
For me personally there’s been a lot of self reflection and planning around the future of GSW and also the things we’ve achieved so far.
In my opinion our mat is unique. But also exactly the same as many mats around the world. Our members are unique and that is what shapes the schools culture and direction.
GSW has always been about BJJ. It’s all we do. It’s what I love. It’s BJJ that’s kept me going.
I’m sorry, I’m rambling.
By now everyone knows the GSW story.. it’s here on this site somewhere. I started GSW while still trying to maintain loyal ties to Zen Do Kai.. It was never going to last, Loyalty is a two way street.
When both of my parents passed away within weeks of each other it was a major jolt that made me look at my life and reassess things I was doing. One of those things was giving time, effort, money and loyalty to something that brought me no joy or pride.
So I severed ties to people and places and rituals that had been in my life for far too long. I made a conscious decision to focus solely on BJJ and GSW.
Best decision ever.
Last night that decision finally paid off.
For me personally, being awarded my Black Belt in 2007 was a huge shock and one that I really didn’t think I deserved. But I have complete faith in my coach John Will, so I accepted it, knowing full well that it was because of him that it was possible.
But since that time I’ve been protecting that rank. (It was a running joke for many years that I give away belts and it’s totally true, I do give them away, No one has to pay for the belt, but everyone has to earn it.)
I mean, who am I to award a belt like that? Also over the years, the people I expected to make it to Black Belt have fallen by the wayside. So in my head I would always question my right to award the rank.
But it had to happen, so last night after an amazing seminar with John in attendance and with his blessing we finally awarded not one but two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black belts.
Patrick Te Tau and Darren Brown
Two vastly different guys, two vastly different styles, two vastly different pathways and yet both totally representing the diversity of the GSW mat.
Congrats to my first born, you make me super proud and emotional. I look forward to many more years of training with you and thank you for all that you have given me and all that you bring to the mat..