Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

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I had been working out at gyms for a long time and was getting bored. Hmmm, the gym offered some cool classes maybe I should try those. I’d always wanted to try some martial arts classes, but the gym didn’t have many of those.

A friend of mine decided on a whim to try a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? What was that? My friend told me about what he knew: it was similar to wrestling but you could use submission holds. He also told me about some guy named Royce Gracie who used BJJ to beat bigger stronger opponents in some famous fighting venue called the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I didn’t know it at the time, but I would later receive my purple belt from Royce Gracie. It sounded interesting but I was nervous. Was this a safe place to train? Who were the instructors? I checked the place out online and it looked good so I decided to give it a shot.

When I arrived, the place didn’t look like much, just some old garage, but when I met the instructors and saw my first class I was amazed. I had spent my whole life being active, playing sports, and working out, and I had never seen anything like this. It was more complicated than any sport I had ever played, and equally physically demanding. It was like playing physical chess. You had to be both smart, quick, and strong to do well.

This was my first class so of course I didn’t do well at all. In fact, I spent the first year of my training having large people sit on me and small people tie me up like a pretzel. But I  loved it and wanted to learn more and do better. I didn’t know it at the time and in fact would have never thought it possible, but I would later win multiple medals at high level BJJ and submission wrestling tournaments and spend years teaching what I had learned from others.

Some of the people I trained with competed, but most people were like me at the beginning: people who had little to no experience, who just wanted a fun and mentally stimulating way to improve their health and fitness. Over the years I have trained with and taught a wide range of people: kids with emotional challenges, women interested in self-defense, senior citizens, law enforcement and military officers, and amateur and professional athletes.

Something that began as just a cool hobby has turned into a true passion of mine, and my career. Wow, I never would have thought that would be possible.

Are you ready to see what’s possible for you? Please contact me.

-Japheth

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