It’s not everyday a student is awarded a black belt in martial arts. This acheivement takes hard work, dedication, commitment, and perserverance. Those are the qualities you can find being put to use everyday at Forca Martial Arts & Fitness in Russellville, AR. This past weekend the following students were awarded their black belts after undergoing a rigorous testing criteria that featured a panel.

Judo Black Belt

Brian Wilson
Judo Sensei Joshua McMillian and a panel of 6 black belts administered Brian’s rigorous Judo testing. Brian talks about his judo journey, trials and tribulations, and pays gratitude to his mentors and teamates below.

Black Belt, Inferno Combat Systems

Cora Wilson
A panel of black belts instructors placed Cora through a strict testing criteria. Cora earned her black belt in the Inferno Combat Systems developed by Professor Kaleb Plank of Inferno Fitness & Martial Arts. Several LDMA black belts were part of the certification process including Master Danny Dring.

Jr Black Belt, Inferno Combat Systems

Evan Edwards
Evan was also awarded a black belt under the Inferno Combat Systems program. Evan is one of the longest running students at Forca Martial Arts & Fitness. It’s taken him 6 years to get to this point in his martial arts journey. Check out highlights from his testing criteria below.

The Gentle Way.....

Judo wasn’t always the most gentle art for me. As a matter of fact, the very first judo seminar I ever attended I was thrown somewhat poorly and fell somewhat poorly and broke my collar bone. That was 2009 and the day after I received my blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What started as a humble study and a means to broaden my abilities as a mixed martial artists and a jiu-jitsu competitor, I began to study judo with an intense passion.

Had Mr. Dean not shown interest in teaching me early on, it is doubtful that what has been an incredible journey may not have ever begun. I am proud and honored to know this man and call him my mentor. Their are so many things he has shown me that I will never forget and I look forward to learning even more.

I learned pretty quickly that judo was more than just a collection of Throws, but an intricate art with overlooked obscurities that broadened many aspects of my martial arts.

I was fortunate enough to eventually run into Sensei Joshua McMillian who was a major part of giving even more roots to a judo program at our academy and my continued evolution on and off the mats. Thank you for believing in me and investing in me and continuing to pour your knowledge into me and the rest of our students. You breathed life into our judo program. I am proud to call you coach and friend.

It is an honor to receive every rank that I have tested for from this panel of black belts. It was my goal to showcase elements of judo that I had learned from everyone throughout the past 7 years. From team workouts and classes/drilling with Jeremy Bushong to having Stephen Gourley in for seminars and regretting it after the first time he threw me, your martial arts are forever preserved in our traditions.

Thank you Nathan Murdock. I have always learned to much from you and your influence on me as a martial artist continues to this day. You are my brother. Thank you for always being there.

Danny Dring Ldma and Kaleb Plank without the time and patience you have both poured into me, my school, my students, Cora…it’s hard to imagine any of this being possible without the guidance and influence in this entire journey. I am forever grateful for mentors like these. These people have all influenced my art and my life in positive ways and I look forward to continuing my progress with such an awesome group of individuals helping light my way forward. Thank you for this great honor.

Black Belt Ceremony and highlights of Cora and Evan from this past weekend. Rank presented by Master Danny Dring, Professor Kaleb Plank, and Coach Brian Wilson.

Cora in action during her Inferno Combat Systems testing.

Thanks to everyone that helped take pictures and videos of the ceremony.
Keitha Wilson, Brandy Edwards, Jessica Williams, Taylor Heflin