- People show up to class, just to learn from the sidelines while injured. “I really wanted to see how you pass the closed guard”. The level of commitment to improving and belief in our technie /approach has been mindblowing. What a blessing. @Toon @gauthier_blommaert
- People show up at 7 am to train. When Dario, Ilyas, Nick, and me (stapho) started to train at 7 we thought we were the baddest badasses out there and that nobody would be as crazy as us. “ hue hue, train when the competition sleeps bro”. But the 7 am classes have been stacked with disciplined people trying to perfect their technique.
- High-level people flocking from across Flanders to join our gym. We let everyone train where they want, so we don't require anyone to switch. Still it seems the best of the local scene find something at Stark they’ve been looking for. All we did was create the space, culture, and structure and they started coming.
- “I haven't trained for 3 years, but Ilyas said it was good here, with a lot of nogi, so I signed up and now I'm back to training.” Nothing brings us more joy than inspiring people to start or get back to jiu jiu-jitsu.
- The quality of technique during open mat. I was used to seeing people fuck around during open mat, sloppy drilling while waiting to get some rolls in. But at Stark Ghent I see people drill the techniques from class to absolute perfection. Not just the athletic purple belts, but also older beginners. The dedication to technique brings a tear to my eye.
- People hardly miss a single class, I think Mauro and Ilyas, for example, have average about 9 training per week so far. This reminds me of my time training full-time. It's an honor to share my experience with them and grow into my role as a mentor and coach.
- The commitment, focus, and skill level of the founder and coaching team. We haven't said much about it yet, but we're building out separate but aligned coaching teams for gi, no-gi, standing, and beginners. The first meetings have been a blast and people are going way beyond what anything could ask of them. This warms my heart with hope for the future.
Long story short, it's already been an emotional and rewarding journey. And I can't wait to see how things evolve.
Ps: Handing out my first blue belt actually brought a tear to my eyes.