William Vandry’s Black belt student’s history

Carlos Machado, me and Rigan Machado 26 years ago

Bushido is a code of conduct that emerged in Japan from the Samurai, or Japanese warriors, who spread their ideals throughout society. They drew inspiration from Confucianism, which is a relatively, Bushido code contains eight key principles or virtues that warriors were expected to uphold.

Source: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/history-of-the-bushido-code/#:~:text=Bushido%20is%20a%20code%20of,importance%20on%20loyalty%20and%20duty.

An idol of mine when I first came into Jiu-jitsu was Master Rickson Gracie. Rickson sould speak about the Bushido code of the Samurai in his fights or interviews. I always thought this was honorable, and I always held that virtue as a Martial artist.

The day i received my black belt
Carlos Machado’s first four black belts: Tim Burril, Travis Lutter, Klay Pittman, William Vandry

In teaching over the years, I have always tried to teach good techniques, philosophy, even nutrition and health since we cannot be good pracitioners if we are not healthy.

I started when I ws a young man, and being a Martial artist in other arts, I always supported and honored my instructors, the Machado brothers. I always supported their seminars, private lessons, classes, and always gave back to lower ranking fellow students when I used to take classes at Carlos Machado’s class he first started in 1995 at the Chuck Norris filming building of his Walker Texas Ranger TV show.

In life, I always learned about work ethic. When I was a teenager going to college, I worked doing mop and tar roofing and bouncing at a club at night. I have earned everything in my life. I have never taken or used people for my gain. In Jiu-jitsu we have lost a lot of the code of Bushido. I have had students that wanted rank from me thinking they would be making millions opening a school or breaking off. I had one student who could not earn a black belt under me that I lent him money to put down on a house he couldnt even qualify for, but it was a foreclosed home. He still lived at home, and didn’t even have a steady job. He asked for a chance, as he could not get any help or borrow from anyone including family. I lent him the money, I even gave him my old furniture as I was buying a house at the same time. In return I have never seen his house, and to make matters worse, he tried to go under my instructors and thought getting an association equals money.

I had another who could not earn a black belt. In a disgraceful action, he tried to pull students out of my school, many of them I saw the facebook messages they showed me of his bullying messages stating: “You have a choice.”

These days it seems if you want a belt just pull out your wallet. What happened to this Martial art?

These days I get people from other schools asking can they come in just to get mat time. I usually send them to go somewhere else. We used to want and desire to learn, and develop our techniques. Now, there are people who want to win only, or have arrogant nature in life.

I was telling a fellow black belt once that you cant worry about past students. They are like that their whole life, not because of you. But the point of this article is not to dwell on the unethical. It is to show like in the Star wars films, there are still the last Jedi of Jiu-jitsu.

You can read more on that topic my history in BJJ and back in 2018 article:

I like to remember my history and everyone should chronicle theirs in the Martial arts.

1995 Carlos Machado, me and John Machado

2006 Carlos Machado, me and John Machado

2017 Master Carlos Machado and I

2020 Chandra (Brown belt) me (6th degree), Master Carlos (white-red belt), Master John Machado (Coral belt) Professor Marcos Santos (5th degree)

Lets get to a proud time in my life, as an instructor and to see my students now develop into peers themselves. Here is a little history, congratulations to all of you and my current highest ranking black belts timeline!

2010 Black belts (Ed Aiken is second to the left)

2011 Jesus Armas is third from the left, and Ed Aiken is 7th from the left, Jesus was awarded his Black belt that day.

2011 Jesus Armas awarded Black belt

2013 Ed Aiken received his first degree on his Black belt
2014 seminar Jesus Armas, Carlos Machado, Ed Aiken and I
2014 Jesus Armas awarded first degree
June 2015 seminar new Black belts: Jonathan Tate (was a Brown Belt under Orland Waugh from Arlington before moving to Austin), Jarred Manbeck and Pat Vanover. Photo from left to right: Jesse Armas, Jesus Armas, Jonathan Tate, Jarred Manbeck, Pat Vanover, William Vandry, Marcos Santos, Ed Aiken, Josh Travesio, Michael Drabek, Ian Haynes

2016 Robert Tijernia received his black belt

2018 current and new blackbelts Tony Skaff, Chris Davis, Ben Williams Myron Dixon and Slade Foster, Jesse Armas first degree award

2018 Chris Davis received Black belt

2018 Tony Skaff received Black belt
September 2019 Richard Stephens awarded Black belt
September 2019 Elliot O’ Hara awarded Black belt
September 2019 Jeremy Leigh awarded Black belt
2019 Black belts Richard Stephens, Jeremy Leigh, Elliot O Hara, Michael Drabek, Ed Aiken, William Vandry, Jesus Armas, Ian Haynes, Tony Skaff, Ben Williams
2020 new Black belt degrees: Ian Haynes (2nd degree), Michael Drabek (2nd degree), Ed Aiken (3rd degree), Jesus Armas (3rd degree), Jeff Anderson (2nd degree)

Old school history photos of Jesus Armas:

First stripe almost 18 years ago
Jesus a blue belt
Jesus a purple belt in 2009
Jesus a brown belt 2010

Jesus received first degree 2014

Jeff Anderson old school history

2002 when Jeff was a blue belt
Jeff and his son almost a decade ago
2015 Jeff receives his black belt
2016 Jeff and Josh T
2017 Jeff and Slade
Jeff and I 2018

I hope this has touched, motivated, and made proud all of these Jiujitsu practitioners!