Graduation at SXM BJJ



PHILIPSBURG – On December 7-8, SXM BJJ conducted the largest graduation ceremonies to date.

World-renowned martial artist Rolles Gracie flew in from New York City to commemorate the occasions. Rolles Gracie is son of the legendary Rolls Gracie and grandson of creator of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grandmaster Carlos Gracie Sr.

Some 8 new adult blue belts were awarded by head instructor Melissa Bardfield on December 7. New blue belts include celebrity bartender Paul Peterson, Erion Peterson, Harmony Biddle-Chadwick, Ladislas Drzyzdzinski, Julien Dumon and identical twin brothers Raphael and Baptiste Lagrange. Every new blue belt had been practicing for a minimum of two years.

On Thursday, December 8, students from ages 5-16 demonstrated their self-defense skills followed by sparring in front of family and friends. All students received a custom-made medal and certificates of achievement.

Stripes were awarded to: Jake and Olive Boxshall, Amir Bahrani, Gia Parisot, Christian Van Der Horst, Immanuel Marcia, Renard Brison, Jayden Brooks and Johndell Huggins. New white/grey belts were awarded to: Ziro Degrammond, Markus Hassell, Jaiden Sommersall, Amaziah Barze-Richardson, Mathius Hodge, Sammy Lof and Kzar Williams. New grey belts include: Julia Hinckfoot, Isaiah Arrindell-Peterson and Jaden Busby. Grey/black belts were awarded to: Lucas Bardfield, Mathew Stickells, Amaiya Bauer, Jet Fleming, Sierra Meyers. Yellow/white belts include: Seybian Ortega, Hendrik Cayetano, Amara Halley, Lea Lake, Shaquannie Vanterpool and Sarai Willemsberg. Yellow belts include: Andrea Mcquilkin, Naomi Benjamin, Gweldo Fontaine, Reva Hiranandani, Damaine Jackson and Angie Urdaneta. Yellow/Black belts include: Amani Michel, Aiden Wilkie, Brunillio Bandin, Derek ‘DJ’ Matser, Jaheem O’Connor, Omarion Thomas, Annie Urdaneta, and Leandro Zaballa. New orange/white belts include: Zara Budhrani, Miles Cheasley, Keziah Hoeve, Caiyden Marlin, Adam Comlekcioglu, Lukas Hassell, Natalya Munoz, Kevin Bernard and Connor Scripps-Ewing. A green/white belt was awarded to: Kleyian Carter. Alyna Comlekcoglu was also due to receive this high ranked belt, but was not present.

The benefit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is that it teaches how to use leverage and technique to overcome a much larger and stronger opponent, making it a great self-defense system without the use of punching or kicking.

The belt ranking for children differs from that of adults with extra belts for children (white/grey, grey, grey/black, yellow/white, yellow, yellow/black, plus orange and green). The adult belts are white, blue, purple, brown and black.

On average it takes a minimum of 10 years of intense training to achieve the rank of BJJ black belt, making it one of the most difficult and prestigious martial arts to achieve this rank.

For more information contact head instructor Melissa Bardfield at or call (721) 580-3894.