New Belt Promotions at the Minnesota Kali Group



On November 14th the Minnesota Kali Group hosted my friend and coach, Professor Chris McCune of McCune’s Martial Arts. We had a great seminar on working on setting up throws with a new concept behind it and some escapes from knee on belly. Always great to get new tech to add to our game.

We had a great turnout for the seminar and to help with the testing; Chris had a few of his guys, as well as folks from other gyms in the affiliation and also had my guys from Waseca Barbell MMA come and get a chance to meet people from our BJJ family.

Now for the best part, the promotions. My approach on testing varies from group to group. However; when we have someone or a few that are ready to get looked at we are sometimes 4 to 6 moths out before I think they are shiny enough to pass. Additional time is made to prepare, coming in at various off hours, encouraging to ask for partners to drill with on their own time, and pushing their conditioning.  I’m always impressed at the dedication and effort that they put in, not only is it for that they want to do well, but since the other students step up to help, that they want to do well for them too. And although when we encourage someone to test; it’s never a for sure thing, they need to see it through and not give up. They need to earn every inch of that belt.

Sometimes we include a set of techniques from our curriculum; and they spent months repeatedly drilling the techniques, series and flows. I never quite tell them what is in store for them; leaving a little air of suspense for them to look forward to. However; this time we did rounds, seven rounds of live rolls and two rounds of drills. I brought in guests from other gyms so they would have different people to roll with, different games to deal with, the unknown variables.

Probably the best thing for me as a coach is seeing people grow, rising above their own expectations and overcoming challenges. And with that I’m very proud to say that everyone one passed and the Minnesota Kali Group has 1 new blue belt, 2 purple belts and 2 brown belts  and McCune’s Martial Arts has added a new blue belt to their ranks.

Joe Swore and Topher Braddock for Brown.

Ryan Reynolds and Tom Riggle for Purple

Gregory Lassale and Julius Thomas for Blue.


Great job to everyone, always improving.

Proud of my friends Joe Swore and Topher Braddock achievement in earning their brown belts.


Gregory Lassale and a hard earned blue belt!