Here is a brief walk down my Jiu Jitsu memory lane:
• September 1988 - I was first told about "These amazing Brazilians who could take you to the ground and choke you out, no matter what you did." At the time, I found the statement "curious", but I wasn't interested in learning any of that ground stuff - cuz I hated the ground! I loved close quarter work with a blade.
• January 1991 - After three years of "coaching" from fellow students and instructors, I finally started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it was recommended to me by my instructors. I hated the ground, but yet I followed the guidance of my Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts instructors. Professor Royler Gracie was my first instructor. I had a lot of fun training with him!
• April 1991 - I was promoted to blue belt by Professor Royler Gracie.
• April 1994 - I was promoted to purple belt by Professor Moreira.
• August 1996 - I was promoted to brown belt by Professor Moreira.
• January 1998 - I was promoted to 1st degree black belt by Professor Joe Moreira.
• February 1998 - I began teaching seminars internationally, thanks to the help of Jeet Kune Do Exponent Sifu Paul Vunak. My first series of seminars were in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Poland.
• July 1998 - I had my epic Jiu Jitsu match with Professor Jean Jacques Machado. I was a six month old black belt at the time. Even though I lost by points, there were some very interesting moments in that match. Plus, the comments made afterwards by Professor Moreira, Professor Rigan Machado and Mr. Howard Liu (HCK) were enlightening and memorable!
• August 1998 - I became the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt to distribute instructional videos "online."
• 2001 - I was promoted to 2nd degree black belt by Professor Joe Moreira.