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Chris Hughes ignores the pain to earn purple belt


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Chris Hughes

TRURO  Chris Hughes recently achieved one of the biggest accomplishments of his life.

The 37-year-old Truro resident recieved a purple belt in jiu-jitsu from the Gracie family, one of the most prominent families in the world in the sport, on a recent grading in Vancouver.

Im happy to still be part of that family and that they recognized how Ive advanced, Hughes said. Ive put a lot of time in.

But it was almost an achievement that never happend.

Hughes, owner and instructor of the Truro Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Club, was involved in a car crash four years ago that left him with a back injury so severe his doctor told him hed never train in the sport again.

It was hard to hear that, Hughes said recalling the moment.

My whole life changed. I didnt think I would get this opportunity.

Hughes was unable to train for two years. The injury still bothers him from time to time and there are days when he still cant train. But Hughes said jiu-jitsu has actually played a significant role in his recovery because of the amount of exercise and stretching involved.

I just work around those days, he said. Jiu-jitsu has really made me aware of my body.

Hughes attended the Gracie school for a week, training for several hours a day and taking intermediate and advanced classes.

I just tried to do as much as I could while I was there, he said.

Hughes said the trip was a great opportunity to measure himself against others and to play the role of student instead of instructor.

I like instructing but I also like being a student and learning and picking up what others do.

Though hes proud of donning his new belt, Hughes said he realizes its not everything.

You have to earn it, you have to show that you can do the techniques, he said.

Its not the colour of the belt but what you can do on the mat.



sports@trurodaily.com

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