Barnhart, Wilson are Park City Jiu Jitsu’s newest Black Belts

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Jui Jitsu owner Mike Diaz, himself a fourth degree Black Belt, awarded two new Black Belt recipients on Nov. 5, Keith Barnhart and Chris Wilson.

“We are very proud of these two new black belts,” Diaz told TownLift.

Barnhart started with PCJJ when it first opened, in 2010. “He has been very influential and supportive to the success of our studio,” said Diaz.

New Black Belt recipient Keith Barnhart (left) with Park City Jui Jitsu owner Mike Diaz. Photo: courtesy of Park City Jiu Jitsu

Barnhart has spent many accomplished years in the oil and gas industry, and has always had a passion for grappling, having wrestled at the University of Alabama, and then finding his way to jujitsu. He’s currently retired and spends his time skiing, mountain biking, or in the gym training. The 63-year-old has lived in ParkCity for 22 years, where he’s raised his family with his wife Connie.

“He’s an amazing mentor and instructor and has been an asset to our program in school,” Diaz said.

New Black Belt recipient
Park City Jui Jitsu owner Mike Diaz awarding Chris Wilson his new Black Belt. Photo: courtesy of Park City Jiu Jitsu.

Christopher Wilson came to PCJJ in 2015. He had previously trained with a good friend of the community in Heber who had passed away. He works as a real estate appraiser who travels a lot but consistently spends time training. Wilson currently lives in Kamas where he has built a house with his wife and family.

“Chris’ first training partner in our Academy was Keith so it was really neat to see how their journey turned out together, and they got their black belts on the same day,” said Diaz.

“I have had the honor of promoting only a few people to Black Belt rank. For me I simply ask myself a few questions, are they tough? can they fight? That is easy for me to answer because I have trained with them over a lot of years, and we have shared the blood sweat and tears of the mats,” said Diaz on Facebook. “Second, I ask can they teach? That is also very simple for me because they all teach at the academy, and I have seen how they mentor & share their knowledge of the curriculum. Last but not least , if they know, and can teach, all Master Helio’s self defense. On the day of promotion, this is the time for them to showcase their knowledge and skill of the self defense. Simply put, the test starts the day they enter the academy.”

Diaz has been training 26 years and has had his Black Belt for 17 years. His motto is “A black belt is just a white belt that never quits.”

Currently there are six Black Belts teaching at PCJJ.

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