Today is the 5 yr Anniversary of the Savarese BJJ Academy. I just wanted to take a couple of paragraphs to explain why this is such an important day for the Academy and for me personally and I wanted to thank some people who had an important role in its success. The 5 yr Anniversary is much more important to me than the 1 yr because today I feel like I am living the dream I dreamed about as a bluebelt, running a SUCCESSFUL BJJ Academy, one that I know will be making a difference in the lives of the people in the room and in our community for years and generations to come. As a white and blue belt, doing something like this seemed like a pipe dream, a goal that seemed almost unattainable. After my severe knee injury, when doctors told me that my athletic days were over and even my family was urging me to give up BJJ so I could walk again w/out pain, the dream seemed completely out of reach. Thank you to those who stuck by me and helped me during that time, one of them who even wound up becoming one of my students. The first step in my dream coming true was the grand opening and the second part is today. First, I would like to thank all my students whose role plays an important part in the success of our Academy. I am so proud of the way everyone treats each other and I can honestly say the atmosphere in our Academy is what I am most proud of. No drama, no rivalries, just a group of people who stand by each other every day in pursuit of a bigger picture, leaving their problems and ego at the door and trying to become better martial artists and people w/ each day. A special thank you goes to David Adiv, who for years tried to get me to open a BJJ Academy and was patient enough w/ me to let me do it when I thought I was ready. Another thank you goes to the many instructors and training partners who helped me develop the skills and knowledge I get to pass on to everyone today, most notably David Adiv, Renzo and Royler Gracie, John Danaher, Joe D’Arce and Jamie Cruz. I also would like to thank Master Lloyd Irvin, who may not know this, but whose advice at a BJJ tournament years ago changed my life and the fate of my Academy. I was working a full time job and trying to run my Academy and struggling mightily. Lloyd urged me to quit my job and focus on my academy. I told him “Lloyd, you don’t understand, I need that job to pay the bills at the Academy” he laughed and said “No, Sav,I understand, YOU don’t understand, if you treat your business like a part time business, it will pay you like a part-time business, treat it like a full time business and it will pay you like one!”. It was the best advice anyone ever gave me and I quit my job that monday and haven’t looked back since so a big thank you to Lloyd from me and everyone at Savarese BJJ. Also a big thank you to my brother from another mother, Master Chim Justin Garcia, who has spent his countless time and energy on his own dime in an effort to help me become a better school owner and businessman. I owe alot of my Academy’s success to you. Also deserving mention is my lifelong friend Adrian Febre, who dragged me to my first BJJ class many years ago. Thank you to everyone for your help and I look forward to the rest of my BJJ journey with all of you!
Professor Chris Savarese