What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?
I started training in 2005 and what attracted me most was the idea of becoming proficient at escaping bad positions one would likely face if in a physical altercation. Competing in Jiu Jitsu was another big attraction as I wanted to find something to put my heart into.
What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?
My favorite part about Jiu Jitsu now is watching others grow in experience and skill. Teaching a child how to defend themselves without having to seriously hurt someone is always rewarding. Having students come to you and essentially transform themselves, both physically and mentally, that makes Jiu Jitsu something special.
Who is your inspiration and why?
I have lots of inspirational athletes in Jiu Jitsu. Marcelo Garcia, Fabio Clemente, Leo Vieira: Anyone who made their mark in Jiu Jitsu and used the lessons learned to approach life with confidence and continued success. Any Jiu Jitsu athlete who became a devoted father inspires me.
What are some of your achievements?
Hands down, starting and successfully running Lake Effect Martial Arts is my biggest achievement. Nobody but you expects you to win a tournament when you do. Operating a successful business makes winning a tournament pale in comparison. I had so much doubt surrounding me when I started Lake Effect I doubted myself. Now we’re easily the strongest academy in Western New York, without any hesitation. No medal can compare to the joy I feel when I see other’s enjoy the art of Jiu Jitsu as much as I did. Bringing in some of the world’s best instructors and athletes helps Brazilian Jiu Jitsu continue to grow and propel itself into the mainstream.
Being a part of the first Buffalo based Jiu Jitsu tournament company is another memorable achievement. I hope we can get back to running tournaments in Western New York in the very near future.
- Competition Achievements
2018 IBJJF Toronto Open Black Belt Middleweight Masters 2 1st Place
2017 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middle-Heavy 1st Place
2017 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Open Weight 1st Place
2016 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middleweight 1st Place
2015 Ontario Open Brown and Black Belt Middleweight Masters 1st Place
2015 Ontario Open Black Belt Masters Open Weight 3rd Place
2015 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middleweight 1st Place
2013 Buffalo Classic Black Belt Adult No Gi Open Weight 1st Place
2013 Grappling Industries Toronto Adult Expert No Gi Middleweight 1st Place
2013 IBJJF Pans No Gi Masters Brown Belt Open Weight 3rd Place
2013 Niagara Open Purple Belt Adult Middleweight 1st Place- Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
2013 Niagara Open Purple Belt Adult Open Weight 1st Place- Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
2013 Grappling Industries Mens No Gi Advanced Middle and Middle Heavy 2nd Place
2012 IBJJF Toronto Open Purple Belt Middleweight Masters 1st Place
2012 IBJJF Toronto Open Purple Belt Masters Open Weight 1st Place
2012 IBJJF Pans Purple Belt Middleweight Masters 2nd Place Irvine, California
2012 IBJJF Pans Purple Belt Masters Open Weight 3rd Place
2011 IBJJF Montreal Open Blue Belt Masters Open Weight 2nd Place Montreal, Quebec Canada
2011 IBJJF Pans Blue Belt Middleweight Masters 3rd Place
2010 Grapplers Quest Canadian National Grappling Championships Men’s Advanced No Gi Middleweight 1st Place London, Ontario Canada
2010 Grapplers Quest Canadian National Grappling Championships Mens Blue Belt Middleweight 2nd Place
2010 Toronto Jiu Jitsu Classic Blue Belt Middleweight Adult 1st Place
2010 US Grappling Submission Only Intermediate No GI Under 170lb 1st Place Rochester, NY
Professor Michael is currently a second degree black belt in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, certified by both the IBJJF and USBJJF.
What is your favorite submission?
Triangles, Omoplatas and any choke variation, both in gi and no gi.
Black Belt Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Michael Katilus