Do you have a goal? Do you want success? If this is you then you must never quit, and always remember to have fun. Being bullied for my entire life and never having the confidence to stand up for myself, I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 15. There was never a gym anywhere near where I lived. So my parents would have to drive me to the nearest place which was 45 minutes away. The first night I went was amazing. I talked with the instructor who was a purple belt and he really made me feel welcome. He showed me a Kimura and a rear-naked choke. I signed up that night and purchased my own Gi. (Which I still have) and my parents paid for 3 months of lessons.
When we got home, my Dad who was a wrestler took me down and all I remembered was holding a Kimura (which I couldn’t finish) while he was in my guard. I was a fat kid who was a total wuss and for the first time ever I could actually wrestle with my Dad and not get beat up in a matter of seconds. That night at the age of 15 I made the decision that I wanted to be a Black Belt. It didn’t matter how long it took, but it was a goal I wrote down and have looked at it every day since then. Now at 31, I finally got to cross that off the list.
When I started I knew it would take me twice or three times as long as anyone else. But I knew I’d never give up. I went to train 3-5 times a week and practiced at home. It was all I thought about. All I cared about. And I practiced as much as possible. It took a year and a half before I ever got someone in a submission. Never was good at anything. This would be no different. Years have gone by, and I’ve received the best training from the best instructors in the world.
I’ve had the honor to learn from many amazing individuals over the years. I started my own gym at Blue Belt so we had a club for people to come to learn the basics and train together and play around with what we knew. I was tested in competition and as working as a bouncer for over 10 years. Training as much as possible whenever I could and always keeping my training relevant for Personal Protection. And as of April 24th, 2021, I earned my Black Belt under Erik Paulson.
The lessons I’ve learned from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:
- Persistence and Resilience.
- It might take you twice as long.
- Just keep showing up.
- Never quit.
- Enjoy the days you can train and go as much as possible.
- Have Fun.
- There will be a day where you can’t do this anymore.
- Today is not that day.
- BJJ opened up every opportunity in my life.
- Its life lessons helped me solve every problem I’ve ever had to deal with.
- It gave me a career.
- It gave me confidence.
- And I’m forever grateful for this Martial Art.