Phil Cardella Seminar, September 2019

I’ve been slacking with respect to blog posts, but the festivities of this past weekend are a great excuse to pick things back up! The short version is that we had a seminar, a party, two blue belt promotions, and a black belt promotion. Keep reading if you want the details.

Phil Cardella Seminar

Daniel’s longtime coach and Relson Gracie black belt, Phil Cardella, visited us for a seminar on Sunday. I don’t think I could write this post without stating that Phil tragically and unexpectedly lost his wife, Laura, less than two weeks ago. Despite his grief, Phil decided to continue doing his job, starting with the seminar series that Laura had helped him plan. We’re grateful that he did, and I hope that we were able to offer some distraction and perhaps even a few moments of solace despite the circumstances.

To those who know him, it should come as no surprise that Phil’s teaching was up to his usual high standards. Some of the topics included an arm drag series, back mount pummel series, and clinch work. Learning from Phil is always a treat, as the techniques he chooses to share can be applied to anyone’s game; they are practical rather than flowery, and he always includes simple - but crucial - details that make all the difference when it comes to effectiveness. We’re very fortunate to have him on our team!


After the seminar, degrees were awarded to Andres, Sybella, Lukasz, and James D. Kenny and Matt both earned their blue belts! And last, but certainly not least, our very own Coach Daniel was awarded his black belt after 13 years with the Relson Gracie team.


What’s a black belt promotion without a proper celebration? Seminar attendees, additional members of our academy, and their families enjoyed catering by Mission BBQ, as well as homemade cupcakes and brownies. Despite the bees trying to taste our food, I think it’s safe to say everyone had a great time.


A lot of people helped to make this event special. First and foremost, I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” to Phil Cardella for traveling up from Florida to share his knowledge and recognize Coach Daniel’s achievements. Thank you as well to Michael Casey, of Relson Gracie New York, for visiting us along with some of his students. Thanks to Alex for showing up with his camera to capture group pictures and promotions. And last, thank you to those who helped clean up or set up and to everyone who attended!