Members of Kaizen Academy gathered together at the weekend to celebrate the first anniversary of the gym. There was live music, dancing, light-up poi, and some speeches to celebrate how awesome this place is and how far we’ve all come in a year. I even got to make one!
What was slightly unexpected, however, although very deserved was what happened during BJJ Coach Michael Wood’s speech…
First up to be awarded his very well deserved blue belt was Joe Butler. Joe recently smashed through his gi division of fifteen(!) at North West Open to take gold, and only missed out on gold in the no-gi division because he managed to take a knee to the goolies and had to spend the rest of the match trying not to die. In the end he took away bronze. He’s now hoping that he’ll have less people to fight, but that the matches will make him work that extra bit harder.
Joe wasn’t the only one to be awarded his blue belt on Saturday night, with the second one of the evening going to Thomas Ngai. As Michael said when giving it to him, he probably should have had it a long time ago! Tom won the Hong Kong Open in the gi in 2015, and his technique and game has been making leaps and bounds ever since.
I reckon this is just the start of a blue belt flood. So many people have made such ridiculous gains this year, taking their technique to new levels, bringing new things to the game. Many of the members are so invested in this sport and are getting so so good as a result. Here’s to many more promotions and well deserved recognition. I’m not going to say who I think the next ones are going to be, but I’ve got my betting money on our resident foot locker, and our flying armbar machine…
Until next time,
With thanks to Laura Jenney photography for capturing these.