What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?
I started training in 2005 when Carlson Sr. had a team in Chicago. I was working on nidan (second degree Black Belt) in Isshyn-Ryu Karate, and grappling just won my heart. I never finished my nidan.
What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?
BJJ is therapeutic. Because of the intense nature of the training, I can immerse myself in it for hours per week and not think at all about the outside world. The effect of training like this carries over into the real world as well.
I like the depth of training partners at LEMA. I can train hard with battle tested high level guys, or work technique and go a little easy. Unlike other schools I have seen, LEMA is not a perpetual shark tank.
Who is your inspiration and why?
My inspirations are my father, my grandfather, and God.
What are some of your achievements?
I’ve done a lot in my life. Including two black belts and a PhD, most people will never see any of these accomplishments. My biggest achievement is the realization that I can achieve.
What is your favorite submission?
My favorite submission is the one that’s in front of me in a roll.
Black Belt Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Jean Jacques Machado > Fabio Clemente > David Schuster