Action star Vin Diesel recently took some time out of his incredibly busy schedule in order to speak at a promotion ceremony at Legacy Jiu-Jitsu, where one of his oldest friends received his BJJ black belt. The friend in question was Valentino Morales, who was promoted to black belt under the legendary Alberto Crane. He wasn’t the only person promoted at the ceremony of course and there were several BJJ and MMA legends in attendance at the event, including Ricco Rodriguez, Fabiano Iha, and Mark Kerr.
Vin Diesel gave his speech at the Legacy Jiu-Jitsu promotion ceremony where Morales received his black belt and went into detail about their life before he was famous, and how Morales introduced him to Jiu-Jitsu:
“This is such a special day for me personally, because I grew up on the streets of New York a long, long time ago. And it was just me and my brothers against the world. We only had heart, we didn’t know anything about skill. Skill, we would rather find.”
“We came out to California and… I remember being introduced to the first Armbar. And I remember being in a studio apartment over here, and saying to him [Morales]: “Hey you’re not gonna believe what they’re doing, but this is something called an Armbar!” He said: “What is it?” And I told him: “Just sit down.””
“And it’s from literally that humble beginning that he, my brother, has accomplished something that is so powerful… But not just my brother, but everybody here who has accomplished greatness; we all strive to be successful in life. Not everybody in the world knows what it takes to be a master of your craft. And I’m seeing my brother and I’m proud, so proud – beyond belief – that I’ve travelled this far to see my brother accomplish something that I may never accomplish in my life. Something that you’ve all accomplished that I’m envious of.”
“I started training with him years ago… But your commitment and the commitment of my brother has shown that these very mats have made him prove to the world that he’s achieved a mastery of something so beautiful. A mastery of something like Jiu-Jitsu, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of it.”
Along with making an appearance at the Legacy Jiu-Jitsu promotion ceremony, Vin Diesel also uploaded a post to his official Instagram account to say congratulations to Valentino Morales for receiving his black belt. While Diesel is not a black belt himself, he’s one of many high-profile celebrities who have talked about the benefits of Jiu-Jitsu and have helped bring more attention to the sport.