This is such a terrific story. Not only does this demonstrate once and for all that if you train smart and listen to your body, BJJ is a legitimate life sport.
And whether the author of this article knows it or not, she articulates in just a few sentences several of the 10 Commandments of BJJ:
“He’s Mr. Consistency. He never misses a class, not ever,” said Buckels, who holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu, as well as kru in Muay Thai kickboxing.
In those 15 years, before Pace, Buckels had only awarded one other jiu-jitsu black belt, and it was to another instructor.
“The best way to describe Gene is that he just executes what you teach him to do,” Buckels said. “If you show him a move, he will go after that move.”
Gene Pace earned his black belt in BJJ by being consistent. He trained twice a week and never missed a class.
He earned it by being fearless. When his instructor shows him a move, he “goes after that move.”
He earned it by being patient and he earned it by being humble. The general estimate for earning a black belt in BJJ is 10 years, which is already a very long time compared to most other styles of martial arts. He earned it in 15 years. This epitomizes for me what I’ve said before. I’d rather train for the rest of my life as a purple belt than get my black belt tomorrow and have to give BJJ up forever.
BJJ is a life long journey and a true life sport. Stories like this just make my day.
I don’t know about anyone else, but this really makes me look forward to class tomorrow!