BJJ

5 Most Inspirational BJJ Black Belt Speeches

5 Most Inspirational BJJ Black Belt Speeches

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that has thousands of practitioners around the globe. For people who are practicing Jiu-Jitsu, BJJ is just not a sport, BJJ is a lifestyle. Training partners become family and their gym becomes their home. BJJ gives them a social circle, a lot of friends, confidence, a feeling of accomplishment, and happiness.


Black Belt promotion in BJJ is a high rank that requires almost ten years. For a Black Belt athlete, this is not just a belt around their waist. Black Belt is the symbol of a long journey and considerable effort. Black Belts usually through a speech to inspire and motivate their juniors and talk about their BJJ journeys.


To achieve Black Belt, they have to pass through a difficult journey. Daily exercises, training sessions, cardio sessions, and body conditioning needs a great deal of commitment and continuous struggle. But a Black Belt around their waist makes them forget every pain and hardship and gives them a sense of great accomplishment and acknowledgment.


Black Belt promotion speeches reflect their learning, goal achievements, entertainment with friends, and also the scars of struggles that are trophies of their long journey. Here we have some most inspirational Black Belt speeches.

1. Clinton Terry the First Blind Grappler to Receive Black Belt

Clinton Terry is a blind BJJ grappler who lost his eyes at the age of two. He appeared in wrestling and then started Jiu-Jitsu. He won various championships. He is a real inspirational hero who did not lose hope.

Clinton Terry was promoted to Black Belt by Professor Pedro Fernandes. After his Black Belt promotion, he delivered an inspirational speech that motivated thousands of people to respect their dreams and make struggle to achieve them.

1.1. Expressed Gratitude to his Family

He expressed deep gratitude towards his family, friends, and especially his brother. His brother introduced him to wrestling and then Jiu-Jitsu and later down the line he met with Professor Pedro who awarded Terry with a Black Belt. His brother first took him to a Wrestling club and his mother also supported him. Terry said:  

“My brother changed my life with one decision, so remember one little decision is going to make a difference for you. I am the blind guy who is not supposed to be here.”

1.2. Thanked His Coach

He thanked Pedro for believing in him. He said that when he first entered the gym and thought about becoming a Black Belt, a medalist, and a World Champion, Pedro did not underestimate him; rather he said, let's do it.    

1.3. Expressed High Gratitude to His Wife

He showed deep gratitude to his family, his brother, his mother, and his wife for believing in him and supporting him. He said his wife was the first person who believed in him no matter how difficult his goals seemed.

1.4. Final Words

He concluded his speech by saying:

“Remember, everybody, please, if somebody comes to you with a big, crazy dream – don’t tell people they can’t do it. Make dreams. Don’t kill them.”

2. Teri Reeves Black Belt Speech

Teri Reeves is a student of Romulo Barral at Gracie Barra Northridge. Before promoting her to Black Belt, Professor Romulo Barral expressed.


Romulo Barral mentioned that he does not care about fame and wins. One thing he cares about the most about his students is, they should be responsible and real people. He further added that Jiu-Jitsu has grown in the world so quickly because Jiu-Jitsu makes and treats everyone as equal. It doesn't matter who you are outside the gym. In the gym, you are all equal.


He said we have students from all religions, and political backgrounds, and high-ranked people in the gym but it does not matter on the mat. He then talked about Teri Reeves, as a very helpful, nice, and great person on and off the mat. He admired her by saying that she is a very well-deserving person for Black Belt. She liked to help everybody in the gym.

2.1. Teri Reeves Expressed

Teri Reeves got emotional about her Black Belt promotion. Her smiling and a little bit excited expression showed that it was a very emotional moment and she had a lot to say. 

2.2. Acknowledged and Thanked His Coach

She showed gratitude to her professor and said, it is a very special moment for her. She went nostalgic about her first training day when she did not even know about Jiu-Jitsu. She googled the gym near her.

2.3. Jiu-Jitsu Gave her Strength

She talked about her BJJ journey and achievements. She wanted to prove that women are also tough so she joined martial arts. According to Reeves, Jiu-Jitsu gave her real strength and also highlighted her weaknesses. She reckoned ego as a big weakness.


During her speech, she added that Jiu-Jitsu taught her how to swallow the tears of pain and embarrassment and these tears are good medicines.

2.4. A Little Story of Her Journey

She told a story of her blue belt times when was put out of the mat by her training partner and broke her finger. Her coach, Professor Edwin, said to tap her finger and resume training. Reeves said that she learned the lesson of how to tolerate pain and not make it a hurdle in your way. 

2.5. Jiu-Jitsu Helped Her to Engage Her Noisy Brain

She said that Jiu-Jitsu gave her the feeling of being alive. Reeves further added that she used to have a noisy brain and Jiu-Jitsu keeps her brain engaged. Jiu-Jitsu requires your attention and you are physically, mentally, and emotionally engaged in the best possible way.

2.6. Final Words

In the end, she show gratitude to her professors and her training partners and concluded her speech by saying;  

“I am good because I am here (in the Jiu-Jitsu gym), and I mean it because I know that my brain is going to get quiet, I am going to remember who I am. Where my real strength is developing. Jiu-Jitsu is teaching me strength and I do not have to prove anything to anybody.”

3. Lex Fridman Black Belt Speech

Lex Fridman is a Russian-American podcaster and computer scientist. He was promoted to Black Belt by Phil Migliarese and Ricardo Migliarese in Balance Studios in November 2018. He delivered this Black Belt speech and said that he learned on the mat more than in any other field of his life.

3.1. Work Hard to Get Your Goal

He added that nobody is special. If you want to become successful, you have to work hard. If you want to become the best in the world, you have to work harder than anybody in the world.

3.2. Jiu-Jitsu Needs Training

He said that if you want to learn Jiu-Jitsu, you have to compete a lot and you have to lose.

He said that winning and losing do not define BJJ. you should give your best and that is the thing.

3.3. Show Gratitude to His Coach

He shared, once his coach said during his Blue Belt competition:

“Well give everything you can to win but whether you win or lose, still you are going to have a home here, I am still going to love you.”

He ended his speech by thanking his coaches and his partners.

4. Jacob Miclot Black Belt Speech

Jacob Miclot is a Black Belt who founded True Believer Jiu-Jitsu academy in 2015. Later, his academy was associated with the GF team. He delivered this speech in January 2018 when he was promoted to Black Belt by Gutemberg Pereira. 

4.1. Moto of the speech

“Treat your goals as inevitable, act with character, and share your passion.”

Jacob started his speech by explaining his passion for Jiu-Jitsu. When he was a purple belt and he saw other Black Belt promotions, he thought one day he would also be there. This is the spirit that made him stand on the podium, continue the hustle, and achieve his Black Belt.

4.2. Consider your Goals as Inevitable

Jacob thought that success was inevitable and nothing could stop him.

4.3. Act with Character

The second thing he said in his speech is never to hurt anyone. Do not bully anyone. We have to sleep every night. Do everything in the right way even if it is hard. 

4.4. Share your Passion

The last point of his speech was that, share your passion in the best positive way. If you have a passion and you share it with other people in a positive manner, people will push you forward.

4.5. Final Words

He concluded his speech by saying that there are a lot of negative things around. If you share your passion, you will play your part to make things better. 

5. Gianni Grippo Black Belt Speech

Gianni Grippo was promoted to Black Belt by Marcelo Garcia on 10th January 2014. Gianni Grippo is a World Champion who won world and pan championships various times in his colored belt and Black Belt career.

5.1. Coach’s Words

Marcelo Garcia surprised Gianni with his Black Belt promotion. He came with Brown Belts in his hands with a Black Belt hidden in his BJJ Gi. This showed a great student-teacher relationship.


He admired Gianni and said that Gianni is a hard worker who is always on the mat whatever is going around. He said he knew that one day Grippo would grow into a top competitor.  

5.2. Gianni Grippo Speech

During his Black Belt speech, he started with humble words. And said that who he is today, just because of others because he just used the opportunities his parents, coaches, and training partners offered.

5.3. Thankful to His Parents

He was very excited to give this good news to his parents and told the story of how his parents provided him with opportunities to take part in sports. He was thankful to his parents who supported him all along. His father used to drive him to the gym daily to fulfill his son’s dreams. He provided him with the best institutes that he can afford. 

5.4. Switched Academy

He switched two academies before joining Marcelo Garcia in Alliance. He also talked about that in his speech. He said that he was very passionate about BJJ and did not want any irregularity in his classes.

5.5. Final Words

At the end of his speech, he thanked his coaches, his training partners, and his parents for supporting him and also apologized for any mistakes. 

6. Takeaways

BJJ competitors worked hard and trained for almost ten years to receive their Black Belt. On their Black Belt promotion, they are given a chance to tell their story and hardships so that their followers get inspired and motivated.


Clinton Terry, the first blind Black Belt grappler delivered an inspiring speech for those who think they cannot do something. Teri Reeves, Lex Fridman, Jacob Miclot, and Gianni Grippo also inspired the colored belt grapplers or beginners with their Black Belt promotion speeches. 


Photo Credit: @Lex Fridman

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