After sweeping his brown belt division with three submission victories at the IBJJF Asian Championship, Cole Abate has officially joined the ranks of adult black belts. The eighteen-year-old AOJ star published an emotional post on Instagram about his long-awaited promotion, featuring a photo of himself alongside his longtime coach Professor Guilherme Mendes.
“Today marks the most special day of my life,” wrote Abate in the caption. “The day i was promoted to black belt. I started jiu-jitsu at the age of 5. Little did I know that decision would change the course of the rest of my life. My passion for the sport started to develop when I learned that the that the amount of effort I put in was directly correlated with the results I would have later. Since day one, I was a competitor who loved to win and wasn’t afraid of hard work in order to make things happen. This is how I fell in love with jiu-jitsu.”
Abate boasts a total of thirteen years’ worth experience in the sport, and expressed gratitude to his professors, parents, and teammates for the culmination of more than a decade of competitive work on the mats. Doubtless, the eighteen-year-old’s entry into the adult black belt division — the most elite level of jiu-jitsu competitors — will shake things up for some veteran black belts.