Three people were moved up to the next belt rank on the night of November 30th, 2015. These promotions were the first since the conclusion of the World Championships in June of 2015.
First to move up was Tafon Nchukwi to the rank of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt. Roughly a week before, he competed in the New York Pro and took first in the ultra heavy weight division. Tafon’s dedication and attitude towards his training stood out to Julius Park, owner and head coach at Crazy 88. Tafon listens to the instructions of all of his coaches by training hard roughly two and a half hours every night while also working two jobs. His goal being MMA, he focused primarily on his standup striking and has compiled a 4-0 record there and now has begun taking Jiu-Jitsu more seriously.
Next up was Aleana Cofield. She just competed at the New York Pro as well and took second place in the lightweight division. Earlier this year she competed in the Miami Open and the Boston Open, in which she took third place. Cofield works as one of the front desk staff members at both Owings Mills and Elkridge.
When she first began to work and train at Crazy 88, Cofield did not listen to Julius at all, but as time went on, Aleana began to listen more and more about both work and Jiu Jitsu. He described this improvement as an infinite amount of improvement and looks forward to seeing how much she improves in the future. Despite the fact that she cried when her name was called, Cofield stepped up and accepted her belt, tearless with pride and honor.
Last up was Christopher Kim. Kim trained actively with the competition team in the 2015 year, training hard every night and competing regularly. In 2015, he won double bronze at the Atlanta Open, took third at the Boca Raton Open, and won first in the featherweight division and third in the open at the Boston Open. His dedication to the sport and his work ethic allowed Julius Park to confidently call him the hardest worker in the room. For this reputation he was promoted to the rank of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt. He ended his blue belt career ranked the 15th featherweight and looks to improve that ranking as a purple belt.
The NASA engineer was concise in his post-promotion speech stating simply,
“Congrats to Aleana Marie Cofield and Tafon Nchukwi! Much love to the 88/tli family. I’m just a product of the people ahead of me who have paved the way and the people around me who push me daily. Coaches, team mates and everyone behind the scenes I’m thankful for you all.”