A Day In The Bay
Last Sunday (30/08/2015) myself and 5 of our students were fortunate to attend a fundraiser held by Extreme MMA in Byron Bay. The fundraiser had been called to raise money to help send Extreme MMA’s head BJJ/MMA Coach Daniel Almeida over to the Masters World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships in California. Prior to this fundraiser I had been travelling the 2 hour round trip every Thursday on my day off to train with Daniel and his Team so to help him prepare for this tournament, but also so I could experience being a student again. I had met Daniel whilst a student at another gym and I was immediately impressed by his humility and friendly nature. So when the time came to help a good friend out our small Flow Martial Arts crew were definitely keen to get involved.
The day consisted of a seminar with 1 technique being taught each by 5 black belts and myself (brown belt) from Academies of the local area. Following this was a fundraiser raffle, an open mat of training with members of different clubs, and some food and good conversation.
What impressed me most from this day was Daniel’s ability to bring so many different Academies together in one place. I can guarantee not many people would be able to achieve this. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu being a fighting art naturally results in small tensions between different Academies, and of course this is to be expected. Often Academies compete against one another in local tournaments, and there can often very much be an us-versus-them mentality. Despite these small tensions all Teams turned up on the day willing to put their differences aside, share some of their knowledge of this beautiful art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and most importantly to help a friend seek to achieve his goals. The reason this could happen is because of the ego-less nature of Professor Daniel Almeida. It appears he is friends with everyone, and he is definitely open to the sharing of knowledge between Academies which is becoming more and more prevalent in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
What also impressed me was the way our students at Flow Martial Arts conducted themselves. Our Professor Paulo Polimeno and I often make note that as teachers of martial arts it is not only our responsibility to hand down our knowledge of the martial arts to the best of our ability, but more importantly, it is our responsibility to attempt to help develop the character of our students in a positive direction. Fortunately, this is not hard in our Academy as we have been blessed with an amazing group of students that have resultantly bred an amazing culture. As soon as we arrived a couple of our members made the effort to introduce themselves and shake the hands of all those already on the mats. This impressed me straight off the bat. Our students interacted with members of the other Academies in a non-discriminant way, and they were definitely eager to learn some different ways of approaching Jiu-Jitsu from the other coaches. Overall, I was so happy to have them represent us on that day.
When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu our community is small, really small, and it was so great to see everyone put their rivalries aside, even if it was just for one day. Funnily, I was chatting with one of our students recently about such rivalries, and at their essence they are ridiculous. We are all guilty at some point of nurturing these rivalries, but nevertheless they are ridiculous. At the end of the day, regardless of the Academy we attend, we are all passionate about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we are all on similar journeys, and if we were to remove the Academy affiliations it is likely many of us could be very good friends with very much similar interests and lifestyles. I am happy that I had the opportunity to be a part of this day, and hope that there will be similar days in the future.
From everyone at Flow Martial Arts we wish Daniel all the best in his pursuit of that World Masters Championship!!!
Thanks for reading and happy rolling,
Co-Owner At Flow Martial Arts