Lucas Rocha’s unprecedented promotion

Lucas trains with teammate Philipe “Furão” Della Monica. Photos: Andreas Attai

Lucas Rocha is a very happy young man these days. He just received his brown belt and his future is looking bright. In fact, everyone is looking at Rocha these days, watching and waiting to see what he will do this 2010 season. His past BJJ record is one big reason why. As a blue belt in the juvenile division, Rocha competed in the Brazilian Nationals and the Worlds and won gold in both. In the blue belt Adult division, he competed in the Brazilian Nationals, the Europeans, the Pan Ams and the Worlds and won gold in all of them. Then, as a purple belt, he competed in the Europeans, the Pan, the Worlds, and the No-Gi Worlds, and yes, you guessed it, he won gold in all of them, too.

So, when Rocha received his brown belt last week at GB America in Irvine, CA, the mood was high and the talk was rife about his potential at this new belt level.

Rocha’s brown belt ceremony was very emotional for him. Marcio Feitosa, Head Instructor of GB America, in Irvine, CA, made sure that Rocha’s professor and Uncle, Ze’ Radiola (master of Braulio and Victor Estima, Max Carvalho, and Otavio Sousa) was on hand, via Skype, to “give” Rocha his new belt, witness the ceremony, and extend his warm congratulations to his beloved nephew. As Radiola spoke, Rocha choked up and tried to keep his emotions at bay. “I’m very happy to give my nephew and student, Lucas, his brown belt. He deserves it because he is a good fighter and a good person,” Radiola said, “I’m very happy he’s there with Master Carlos and Professor Marcio. I’m thrilled he has the opportunity to receive his brown belt with so many talented GB black belts standing next to him and training with him on the mats.”

Marcio Feitosa, Head Instructor of GB America then added his comments, “I am thankful we have young men like Lucas who decide to represent GB and BJJ. It’s a huge honor for me to be here today and congratulate Lucas on behalf of Ze’ Radiola and Master Carlos.” He then asked Rocha to step up and receive his coveted new brown belt.

Still a purple belt, beside Zé Radiola.

With his old purple belt draped across his shoulders, Rocha said although he is homesick and misses his family, friends, and girlfriend, he is happy to be in California, “It’s a dream for me to be able to live here, and work and compete for GB. I want to win gold at all the tournaments this year as a brown belt. I want to thank my Uncle and family for always believing in me. It gives me the strength to work hard and succeed in this sport and I will do my best to continue to represent GB at the highest level possible.”

Check out how Lucas’s belt promotion went:

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