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February 11, 2019

Belt Promotion Ceremony Recap

Roxana Safipour

Belt Promotion Ceremony Recap

belt promotion ceremony

On February 12th Easton held an academy-wide belt promotion ceremony at ETC Denver. With over 140 promotions earned, it was a day to remember!

The ceremony began with hundreds of students packing the mats for a randori session. Students receiving promotions stayed on the mat, and everyone else rotated in to spar with them, providing a constant supply of fresh training partners. This training method is called a “shark tank,” and is a rite of passage for those earning a new belt.

Randori was followed by a short inspirational speech from our founder, Professor Amal Easton. Then the new blue belts (75 students!), purple belts (29 students) and brown belts (25 students) lined up in groups, receiving their promotions to much cheering and applause.

belt promotion ceremony
Professor Amal Easton, 4th degree black belt and founder of Easton Training Center, speaks at the ceremony.

Next came professors who earned stripes on their black belts. These stripes represent years of service as a professor. As such, the ceremony was a reminder to thank all of our professors for their hard work to preserve and teach the art of jiu-jitsu. Congratulations to Professors Finnie McMahon, Cody Donovan, Christian Allen, Lucas Johnson, Ethan Snow, Josh Close, and Justin Curtis for their new stripes!

Black Belt Promotions

Easton is proud to announce the following new Professors who received their black belts:

  • Paul Cartee
  • Shannon Sovndal
  • Patrick Jungnick
  • Gabe Anderson
  • Noah Tirella
  • Devin Rourke
  • Jimmy Ha
  • Jeremy Mast


These promotions bring the total number of black belts under Amal Easton to 95. Perhaps at the next promotion ceremony he will reach 100 black belts under his lineage!

belt promotion ce

belt promotion ceremony

What’s in a belt?

The time involved in earning belts sets Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu apart from many other martial arts. It is typical to spend several years at each belt level in BJJ. Consequently, earning a black belt often takes 10 years or more of dedicated training. You can read about the meaning of each belt here.

A United Family

One of many things that sets Easton apart from other BJJ academies is the sense of a united community that we have managed to maintain in spite of the academies’ tremendous growth. Easton encompases 8 academies throughout Colorado and thousands of students. However, we remain united by our shared values and loyalty to our heritage. Our culture and sense of family allow us to have a ceremony in which over 140 people are promoted, something which would not be possible at most martial arts academies! Being part of the Easton family provides the opportunity to roll with and learn from thousands of training partners. Today’s ceremony was a great reminder of this.

You can view the full list of promotions here.

Congratulations to everyone on their new belts!

Photos by Caroline O’Connell


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