Academy: MyBjj & KMA
BJJ: Blue 3stripe. TKD: 4th Dan Black Belt.Â Hapkido: Black Belt
Started BJJ: 2015
I started Taekwondo at 14 with a friend of a friend who was a black belt and at uni. He introduced me to his instructor Master Sung - a Korean powerhouse -he truly reminded me of Bruce Lee! We trained in Ashfield in Sydney Inner West & I would ride my bike to training, much to the dislike of my mum.
We trained hard and sparred even harder, back in those days there was not much protective gear around however I do recall investing in a groin guard, after learning the hard way, not all kicks are above the belt.
I learnt about timing, speed, distance, power and control - things that to this day I still think about when rolling.
As a chef, I eventually opened my cafe in Newtown which I have been running for 22 years and I found a local instructor by the name of Master Fari Salievski, who was training Hapkido, Taekwondo & Kickboxing at Newtown PCYC on the third floor. We soon formed a connection & 30 years later I still train with him - taking a couple of years off to start up my business.
Occasionally we would also do boxing on the 2nd floor where Johnny Lewis would train Jeff Fenech and Kosta Tszyu, which was a real eye opener.
The Newtown PCYC was hit very hard with a huge hail storm and damaged the whole dojo. That is when Master Fari moved to Liverpool where it still remains KMA.
I received my 4th Dan in Taekwondo and kind of retired the belt - but not the kicks, the kicks remain with me and are used like a boxer would a jab.
I started teaching Taekwondo, and I also trained with Master Fari true love - Hapkido & a few years ago I received my black belt in Hapkido from Master Fari - who is also a black belt in BJJ under John Will.
It was at KMA where I noticed the Dojo was being used by ex-UFC fighter Brian Ebersole training wrestling & BJJ with Martin Nguyen from One FC. But, I resisted BJJ, until a friend who is a purple belt, mounted me and give me a hard time! So I said shit I need to learn this BJJ stuff. Now, nearly 6 years later I am currently a Blue Belt three stripes and train mainly at Mybjj Camperdown which has a great timetable and program, run by Professor Mario Sergio Yokoyama who is a 4th degree Black Belt BJJ.
During Taekwondo and Hapkido training, I would always do a warm down of at least 10 to 15 minutes, which helped me sleep and helped my next day muscle soreness, and mobility, however In BJJ there is zero warm down, so I have been making it a priority to warm down properly myself after class, as I need to keep stretching as I believe this will help me stay on the mats longer!
In the beginning of BJJ, I had a lot of fun, but soon came some little injuries, elbow, knee, shoulder- the usual, unfortunately. So, I had to listen to my body and my physio & of course I listened to Bulletproof for BJJ, for all the great tips & for inspiration!
As I was a white belt then, I soon found out that rolling with other white belts was crazy and found myself with way more injuries than Hapkido and Taekwondo put together, so then I found Bulletproof for BJJ & lifted a little more and worked more on my mobility and flexibility.
I found myself then rolling with purple, brown & black belts and they had way more control on all fronts, and in doing that I found my defence got a little better and my injuries reduced.
As an instructor in Taekwondo and Hapkido I taught my class are a mix of techniques first, followed by body weight strength and conditioning & movements then a warm down - a lot to fit in one class. But at Mybjj the main focus is jiujitsu - that is why you go there, to learn, so it is up to you to ensure you do the work to stay on the mats!
I have learnt that - Strength is the ability to overcome stress or to absorb the stress! Injuries occur when some kind of specific tissues capacity to tolerate stress is overloaded so the stronger we can get that tissue the less it is going to overload!
Big thanks to JT and Joey for the Bulletproof for BJJ program, I feel more empowered to keep going, on this journey.