Boom: On this day I was certified by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation as a Black Belt, Second Degree, in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and recognized as the Head Instructor/Responsible Black Belt for team Colorado BJJ. For a little context and perspective, I did not start BJJ until I was 34 years old, in 2004. I was out of shape, overweight, unhappy, and looking for something to shake up my world, which I sorely needed given that my day job of the past seven years (practicing law) was draining the life out of me. It turned out that BJJ was just the spark I needed. It energized my life in every way and changed it much for the better; so much so that I quit my day job and opened our academy, Colorado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Stapleton, in September of 2009 (almost 10 years ago now). It took eight and a half years of consistent training and earnest practice for me to earn a BJJ Black Belt from my Professor, David Ruiz (a longer period of more focused learning than the four years I spent as an undergraduate at Princeton University and the three years I spent in law school at the University of Chicago, combined). It took another seven years, a background check, successful completion of the IBJJF Rules Seminar, CPR certification, SafeSport training and a 2018 IBJJF competition season that included a 1st place Gold Medal at the 2018 Denver International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, a 2nd place Silver Medal at the 2018 World Jiu-Jiu No-Gi IBJJF Championship, and a 3rd place Bronze Medal at the 2018 World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship, in order for the IBJJF to certify me as a Second Degree BJJ Black Belt, capable of promoting athletes to the rank of Black Belt under the rules of the IBJJF and having that rank recognized by the IBJJF, currently Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s largest official international sport organization. To say that this certification is the culmination of years of passionate work, blood, sweat, tears and joy is an understatement. I want to thank all those who believed in me along the path to this moment, whether as teammate, student, friend or family, as so many have contributed in diverse ways to this accomplishment. Thank you. And to those very few who actively tried to destroy this possibility, thank you for making me, BJJ Stapleton, and team Colorado BJJ that much more resilient, self-reliant, and independent. Here’s to many more years of training, joy, and progress through the practice of the amazing art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!




2018 World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship –

2018 World Jiu-Jiu No-Gi IBJJF Championship –

2018 Denver International Open IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship –

BJJ Stapleton – Excellent Instruction – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Martial Arts – MMA – Self Defense – Fitness – Community – Fun – Denver – Aurora – Colorado