Laurie Rocha was only 15 when she started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and today she is the proud owner of a black belt.
An incredible accomplishment by a 4X European Champion is being celebrated across social media. Laurie Rocha was only 15 when she started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. In 2017 she won her first European Championship, and in 2018 Rocha became a World Pro Champion in Abu Dhabi. Following her back-to-back wins, Rocha moved to Honolulu (Hawaii) to do three months of English School but stayed nine months after starting training at Island Jiu-Jitsu. Today, she is a proud achiever of a black belt after almost training for eight years. The touching moment of receiving the black belt from her coach and husband, Johnif Rocha, was shared on Instagram and garnered over 14.2K likes.
"No words to describe this feeling! It's been eight years since I started Jiu-Jitsu, and it was probably the best choice I made in life," she captioned the post. "If you would tell me the first day I stepped on the mat that 8 years later Jiu-Jitsu will be my whole life, that I will meet my husband on the mat and open my academy later with him, that I will be traveling the world competing and having the best experiences, I think I wouldn’t believe it." She adds, "It’s one dream come true, but it’s also the beginning of everything I have looking for, to fight in the black belt division. I can’t wait for it."
The people in the comments congratulated Rocha on her big win, and she could not have asked for more. "Aaaa, my god! I always remember when we met as blue belts. You deserve it, I’m glad for you! Congratulations, Laurie!!" said @yamemeoficial. "Professor!!! You are the best role model for women’s BJJ! Congratulations" wrote @miss_beelovey. "Well deserved black belt! You will continue to impact the students and people around the gym!" wrote @hendryk.fl. "Aww Laurie! So so happy for you! You almost made me cry watching this video. Congratulations!" said @re.be.ca.garcia.
Rocha also thanked her husband for being her best supporter, her family who pushed her to follow her dreams, and her teammates for always supporting her and giving her the best motivation when she needed it the most. For anyone unfamiliar, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport based on ground fighting and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of taking an opponent to the ground, controlling one's opponent, gaining a dominant position, and using several techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds. The husband-wife duo also have an academy called Alvorada Jiu-Jitsu, where they provide a family-friendly and healthy environment for students who train in the art of Jiu-Jitsu.
The head coach, Johnif de Oliveira Rocha, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, widely regarded as one of his generation’s top rooster-weights, a reputation earned during his colored belt career when he conquered World, Pan American, and European titles in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) circuit. Their programs are designed to help students build a strong foundation for basic Jiu-Jitsu techniques and have an overall understanding of Jiu-Jitsu practice. Students also learn self-discipline and build confidence, develop respect for instructors, and improve coordination and agility. Moreover, they also have a ladies' program designed to give women a more exclusive and safe learning environment, with access to basic, fundamental, and advanced techniques.