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How belt promotions represent discipline, core values at GMA Cesar Pereira

“It’s that time of the year again when the adults and kids take it to the mats for belt promotions, and as each student lines up by their respective belt ranking, the instructor and those assisting prepare to change these adults’ and kids’ lives. Strips of white tape are torn and placed on the edge of the ring ready to find a new home on over 30 belts. As the students stand attentively, Cesar Pereira begins the promotions with a speech; a speech that addresses all the hard work they’ve put in and more work that needs to be done.

Since the inception of the adults program 3 and 1/2 years ago and kids program a couple of years ago, I have watched a program with just 4 or 5 students flourish to full, blown-out . Specially talking about kids martial arts program with ages ranging from 4 years old to 12, all types of personalities and characters interacting with one another, it can sound like a daunting task to work with a large group of kids, but Cesar does it with such ease and patience– understanding that each student is different and working with them individually.

On the mats, and even off, the students listen to Cesar. They respect him, look up to him and have gained a great deal of trust in him and his teaching. Day after day, these kids put their gis on, tie their belts, bow to the mats, line up and train. Day after day Cesar has them warm up, do basic drills, and execute the technique for the day. Whether they are working from side control, performing an armbar from the mount, or a triangle choke from guard, the kids are constantly being pushed and tested, both mentally and physically.

Many of the students have been in competition, many of them bringing home a medal, and many more will follow. His expectations are not just set on the mats and training, but also in being able to put together what he’s taught and executing those techniques where it counts. Where Cesar excels, however, is not in just teaching Jiu-Jitsu, but also in teaching many values the students can carry throughout life. Values such as discipline, respect, teamwork, self-esteem and confidence are all instilled in each student. He provides them with structure, creates a fun and exciting learning environment and does it in a way the students are not only receptive to it all, but they also reciprocate it.

Ultimately, that’s what belt promotions are about. Not just the execution of technique and going into competition, but also about students carrying out the core values infused in them by their instructor. As each stripe gets placed on a student’s belt, or belt colors change, it is a constant reminder of not only all the hard work they’ve put in over the course of a few months, but also the discipline they will carry with them forever.

It’s been an absolute pleasure watching these kids grow and transform into Jiu-Jitsu students, but without Cesar Pereira, there is no kids program. He is the reason for its success, how it has evolved over the years and the driving force behind its continual growth.”

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