Updated: Aug 27, 2021
1. What got you into Jiu-Jitsu?
At 16 years old I began training MMA at a small school in my neighborhood a few blocks away from my house. I would walk there everyday after school. My instructor would teach us different fighting styles, such as boxing, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu. Outside of the gym he trained each of these arts individually; he was extremely dedicated to his training and that was inspiring to me. He was a white belt in BJJ but with the little knowledge he had at the time, he absolutely destroyed everyone with beautiful Jiu-Jitsu . From that first day he showed us BJJ, I knew how effective it was and knew I had to learn it. I asked him where he trained, and I ended up joining that Jiu-Jitsu gym and never looked back since. I promised myself I would one day be a black belt.
Michael competing as a blue belt at 18 years old.
2. Why do you like Jiu-Jitsu so much?
“Minimum effort, maximum efficiency”
Jiu Jitsu is a physical form of chess. It’s a mind game more than anything. It does require physical training like any martial art, but applied knowledge takes you further in Jiu-Jitsu. Jiu-Jitsu is much more than a martial art to me, it’s a way of life. A philosophy that can only be understood by training the art. Once it’s learned you can apply Jiu-Jitsu philosophies to anything.
3. What do you aspire to do with Jiu-Jitsu?
I hope to be one of the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in the world, competing at the highest levels and showing my unique take on the art.
More than anything I want to inspire others to do great things. I aspire to show people that with hard work, discipline, and dedication, anything you set your mind to is possible. I wont be around forever, but through teaching and passing Jiu-Jitsu down to the next generation, maybe I can stick around a little longer through the impact I hope to make.
Michael winning the Absolute Division Houston Open in 2016.
4.What advice would you give to someone considering getting into Jiu-Jitsu?
First: Ask yourself, "Why?" Find your "Why." Why do you want to train? Once you figure that out, use that as fuel to push you through your journey.
Second: It’s a marathon, not a race. You will have your whole life to train. Burning out is a real thing. Don’t burn yourself out too early!
Lastly: Don’t get discouraged when you’re not winning for the first few months. Everybody goes through this. The first few months is arguably the toughest part for a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Learn to defend yourself, KEEP YOUR ELBOWS IN! Find one sweep, one submission, one pass and one escape and only work those for the first few months. And work your way from there.
Find your "Why."
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