What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?
I started training BJJ in 2011. I played water polo and was a Division I rower in college. After I graduated I looked for a more challenging sport. I wanted to do MMA so I trained Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Ultimately, I became obsessed with Jiu Jitsu. It’s a game of chess with limitless direction. I use BJJ as a doorway to an endless challenge which I find exciting. I’m attracted to the sport because it’s never the same. The moves and counter-moves evolve every day.
Early on I learned it’s a sport that won’t let you hide from being humbled. Jiu Jitsu is a weapon and a medicine. It’s good for mental health; it’s good for protection. I believe Jiu Jitsu teaches you how to fight for yourself. Fear can hold you back, make you hesitate, think twice, and create self-doubt. Jiu Jitsu teaches you to fight your own battles.
What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?
I enjoy the tight bonds that are created on the mats. There is an amazing diversity of people of different background. You get to become close to people you wouldn’t normally meet.
What is your favorite submission?
I love using collar chokes. I think chokes are the most gratifying of submissions. It’s hard to out-tough getting put to sleep. My favorites to use are paper-cutter, loop choke, and baseball bat.
Black Belt Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Jean Jacques Machado > Fabio Clemente > Jordan Marwin