Black belt for Ian

Ian Rossiter became the first person in Somerset to earn a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

A MARTIAL arts enthusiast has become the first person in Somerset to be awarded a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

Ian Rossiter was given with the accolade in a special ceremony in Cheltenham by his instructor and former world champion Chico Mendez.

The 45-year-old, from Weston who teaches BJJ at Sweat FA, said: “Becoming a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu isn’t the same as in other martial arts because there are no tests or grading fees and there are only four belts – blue, purple, brown and black.

“You only move up to the next belt when your instructor deems you ready. It has taken me about 11 years to achieve my black belt and to say I am over the moon is an understatement.”

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It takes an average of 10 to 12 years to earn a black belt in the martial art form.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was originally created and made famous by the Gracie family and promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique.

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This is the second black belt that Ian has earned, having already made the grade of 4th Dan Black Belt in Japanese Ju Jitsu.

Ian, said: “It’s been long hard path, but I’m pleased it’s all paid off. It’s such an honour to be given the belt.”

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