#12 Joey’s Path to Black Belt
On today’s episode the spotlight is shone on Joey “the Natural” Worthing and his Jiu-jitsu journey. JT interviews his partner in crime to reveal some hidden gems on how Joey discovered BJJ while traveling and how a random Beach grappling exchange planted the seed. Amazing insights into his early rag-tag days of Jiu-jitsu in Sydney and Joey’s raw athleticism and willingness to strangle another human lead him to get the BJJ bug.
Unheard stories and unbridled success, catapulted Joey forward but there were some serious hurdles along the way that almost caused him to quit! A random chance meeting and a stranger from Brazil brought him back to the path and what it takes to make him the mat savage that he is to this day.
Speaker 1: 0:04
Very careful a good martial artist does not become tense, but ready, essentially at this point, the fight is over. So we pretty much flow with the goal who was worthy to be trusted with the secret to limit the spot. Ready , ladies and gentlemen,
Speaker 2: 0:30
Welcome to another Bulletproof for BJJ podcast. And today we are, we’re going behind the scenes a little bit. We are going to talk about Joe Worthington’s path to black belt, and he’s currently on that path, not quite at the top of the mountain and it’s been quite a pass. And so I wanted to, even for my own knowledge , uh, better understand what it takes to be Joe wedding .
Speaker 3: 0:56
Thank you. Feel quite chuffed to have the spotlight on me. And , uh, I’d like to thank you guys for joining in for this wonderful tale of two ups and downs.
Speaker 4: 1:07
Well, how does it stop me? Because everybody has that,
Speaker 2: 1:10
That moment of the awareness of jujitsu, whatever that looks like, where they first lay eyes on it. They’re like, what is this thing ?
Speaker 3: 1:18
Yeah. Um, it was , um, I was a USA fan. So watching Hawaii . Yeah . Yeah. I think that’s such a pivotal thing for so many people, you know? Um, but I’d always done martial arts as a kid and I’d , I’d never really stuck with anything, but you know, dabbled in Kung Fu judo, karate when churn, well, that’s come for a bunch of things. And I , you know, obviously Vandam bloodsport, Chuck Nara spruce . They like all that, you know, my brother and I used to have like a fighting pit that we built out the back of our house. We had a tree stump with a rope wrapped around it. We used shin conditioning. We never actually used it that much. We just had it, you know, and we’d like practice nunchucks down there and. So anyway, that was always my thing. And I got to, I got to my, I guess it was late teens, early twenties. Uh, it was early twenties. I’d come off. Uh , um, you know, some hard years of not looking after myself being in the film industry, partying, heaps, you know, just being a young man. Um, and I decided I wanted to get back into martial arts. Awesome. Yeah. I was like, I wanna , I want to do this again. And you know, all through, as, as a kid, I always played soccer and I did that at a decent level. So I was like, well, I’m not playing soccer anymore. And I’m just partying and drinking. And I’m like, I want to get back into some kind of discipline. So martial arts was the thing. And at that time, UFC was happening. People were talking about Brazilian jujitsu. And I remember the, I remember what people were saying about it then was apparently it’s like the most, it’s the most efficient system. Like it’s super deadly, but it takes quite a couple of years of training before you can actually apply it on somebody in a real situation. That was the thing. So it was like, yeah, it’s really good, but you need to give it time.
Speaker 2: 3:07
So w within that, so you’ve done some other martial arts done, some sport , uh , done, done a bunch of things. Was there anyone who said, Hey, Joe, I’m going down here. There’s a bunch of guys strangling each other. You should get around it.
Speaker 3: 3:22
Yeah, there was , um, I was traveling, I’d been on a , on a, on a huge, like , sort of around the world trip. Awesome. It was in 2006. So I was, I dunno, maybe I was 20, 23, something like that. Um, I was in San Diego living in San Diego and , uh , I had no, you know, there’s just like , like looking after myself and jujitsu, we’re not in my realm. Right . I was just surfing doing some landscaping work and trying to make girls . Well, that sounds
Speaker 2: 3:53
Like an amazing prerequisite .
Speaker 4: 3:56
Yeah . You sound like every Brazilian immigrant, right? Yeah . So
Speaker 3: 4:02
Yeah, I say balls , pause all of it. Um, and I, we ended up in Las Vegas for a weekend with , um, I was with my cousin, who’s obviously from Australia and he had a few mates who were over now from the Eastern suburbs are all bond iconic guys. And he said, oh, well, these guys are in town. Let’s meet up with them. So we , we had a weekend with this group of guys. One of them was a purple belt off, and that didn’t really mean anything to me. Um, but I remember we , uh, we got chatting and he was , um, his cool guy. And then we’ll back in San Diego a couple of days later. And it was the 4th of July, huge party beaches packed full of people like packed full of people. Um, and we got talking to some military kids. There’s a big military base in San Diego. And , uh , we’ll talk to these guys and they’re all like, like, jarheads like, you know, big, strong boys, like around our age. And , uh, this guy, there was a purple belt. And then one of these guys w w w they were chatting and the guy’s like, oh, I changed it to them . And , and the Aussie guy was like, yeah, me too. And I said, oh , do you want to have a role? He said, yeah, let’s go. And so these guys started rolling and all I remember was like, we just kind of opened out into this circle and these guys are just grappling going forward on the sand and the guy that I was with tap this dude, like three or four times. Yeah. And I was like, like, I’m like, this is so intense. So this is so awesome. You know? And then they got up after a few minutes and high five and drank a beer and we moved on and , um, I was, I was really impacted by that moment and just like, wow, that’s so cool. And , um, Albright said to me, bro, when you come back to Sydney, like when you get back from this trip, you should come and train like coming because we were chatting about, and I’m like, I want to get back into martial arts said , come try. And like my gyms, the GMI train ads in Bondai, it’s called roots . Yeah. And I was like, yeah, no worries. And it turned out, I moved to Bondai when I got home from that trip, same suburb on the street where the academy was. So I rocked up to the academy. I was like, I , here I am ready to train . And that was, that was the beginning.
Speaker 2: 6:02
Amazing. And so having had that insightful moment, I mean, obviously the awareness through the UFC , I mean, I had a similar experience, but I didn’t know what I was looking at. Like where I grew up, there was no jujitsu. And so when we saw the early USC , which just like, oh, is this guy in this game? What’s he doing? And we had no idea. And my mates were like, oh, you do TaeKwonDo, you should do that stuff. And I was like, ah , I don’t know. I think I’ll get bashed. But , um, for you being in that environment, it’s really interesting to me because I, I have no idea about this. I’m learning as we go right now, you moved to Bondai. You Kadimah is there you’re determined to get martial arts back in your life. What was your first jujitsu class, man? It was mayhem.
Speaker 3: 6:48
It was absolute, there was the most irresponsible thing. Well, no, not entirely. Um, the gym was , uh, at the top floor of this kind of like an RSL club, but it was a building on, on hall street . So it was like really tall, long sets . You take the lift, you go right at the top, they had an indoor pool, which was, you know , twenty-five meters sang, quite small, super chlorinated. And then next to that was just this little section where they’d throw down some old jigsaw mats , the yellow and green ones. And that was the , that was the gym. And I went up and it was just a bunch of guys and it was middle of summer. So it was no gay because that was the way they ran it. They did gay training, like three quarters of the year and then no gay for the summer. Well, cause all the comps, weren’t no key around that time. Um, so it was just shuts off shorts and it was like, no uniform, you just get after it. And all I remember was bunch of guys, most of them fitter and older than me Jack dude’s, you know, nod heads, that kind of thing. And the coach said to me , um, we did the class who, who was the coach? Coach was Paulo . Yeah , yeah , yeah . Who’s a, you know, a bit of an icon in the sh in the Sydney jujitsu scene,
Speaker 2: 8:02
Shore , founder of roots and yeah .
Speaker 3: 8:04
So yeah , he was coaching the class and , um, he’s a pretty tough guy from what I remember. And um, and then it got time to roll and he said to me, Hey, new guy , um, you don’t roll, just sit out for this, for this part. And what I understood was sit out for this round and I was like, okay, no worries. So I just sat off to the side and I’m watching guys are gone for it. And then they finished the first round and then a short break. And then one of the guys, some other guy turns to me and said, oh , Hey, English guy homemade. You want to , you want to do the next round? And I was like, yeah, man, I’d love to. So I jumped in with this dude and all I remember was I just jumped on his back and Renae could choked just like I’d seen in the UFC. And I hit him with that like three times. Oh, wow. Yeah. And , uh , the natural, the natural. And he’s like, you know? And I’m like, oh, I’m so good at this. You know, it turns out he was just some other guy who had started like two weeks before.
Speaker 4: 9:02
And , um,
Speaker 3: 9:03
And I was just full of athleticism, you know , selfishness early twenties . This guy had a couple of kids and sure. He is on beating up on the dad bod guy, poor dude. Um , Carl was his name DJ cool guy. Um, but Paula came to the end. He was like, what the are you doing? I told you, you know, Raleigh I’m like, I thought it was just the first round. And he’s like, no, sit out . And I was like, Aw . Okay. My bad. So I dunno if I rolled more if I sat out, but basically I sat out for that, for that class. And then I just kept showing up every day and, and it was literally just all over . It was, it was just, it was pull harder. It was just getting after it, squeezing for the life for everything and , uh , trying to learn some technique on the side. Nice.
Speaker 2: 9:46
And so I think for a lot of people out there, their first initial experience of jujitsu is chaotic. Even if they’re at a , like a very well-ordered school and they still, you know, those first roles, I just what’s going on. They probably don’t have the success.
Speaker 4: 10:03
I’m actually submitting someone, the first role I ever had there probably. But
Speaker 3: 10:06
You think of like , um , when you get like a kid who’s been playing rugby league. Oh . Right. And they show it and you’re like, this kid’s good. Tough. Or , you know, you roll with them now it’s like a brown or a black belt . And you’re like, this kid’s tough. Yeah . I think it’s just some people have that, don’t they? Yeah. Oh no, definitely. I think some people
Speaker 2: 10:23
Are greedy , right ? Yeah . And probably just handier from a wrestling perspective. They’re like they understand control when they work from there , whatever that looks like. But what I’m saying is when I speak to a lot of people about their first digital experience, it’s usually mildly PTSD.
Speaker 4: 10:38
It’s usually like, I got so bad.
Speaker 3: 10:41
It was terrible. Ah ,
Speaker 2: 10:43
They were taken by it. Yeah . And so obviously you’d seen it firsthand, which is really cool. And, and so it was convenient. It was there for you. At what point did you go? Was it that first session that brought you in? You’re like, this is for me, I’m doing this or was it over time ? You’re like, this is sick and you started, it started.
Speaker 3: 11:03
No , I was in, yeah . I was in from then and I, and I , I had, it was, it was perfect timing because I was back from traveling. I was freelancing in the film industry. So I go through these little periods of work and then periods of like downtime. So in the periods of downtime, I’d go train twice a day. I was on the street like, I’m not doing anything else. I go to the mid morning session, go to the evening session. Um, so now I was totally in from the
Speaker 2: 11:25
Beginning. Cool. And having had athletic background and obviously being Savage human, which you are thank you, which helps it does help my friends , um, compared to say a dad or , or a full-time worker human. Who’s not as Savage as you and not as athletic as you, were you at that time lifting or doing anything in particular or was that something that evolved because you have a very solid background in movement and a movement practice. And that evolves over time because when I met you , um, we were blue belts. And so there’s a bit of time elapsed there. And you were also a personal trainer as was I , and you also had a van full of kettlebells. And I also had , it’s so funny. Yeah. That coalesces at that time, you’re , you’re, you’re in the film industry, you found your to , to it’s your thing, you getting after it, what point are you doing more gym stuff. And how does that play into your jujitsu journey? Your , your physical prep man , it came about because of jujitsu , right? Yeah.
Speaker 3: 12:32
And it , it, it all happened down there at , at Bondai. Really? That was kind of the catalyst. I don’t remember what drew me towards the strength and conditioning kind of thing. Like initially I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think it was actually, I didn’t recognize, oh , I need this for my jujitsu because I wasn’t taking jujitsu that seriously, even though I was gone super hard just doing it. Right. Yeah . Um, but yeah, I just got into it, started with calisthenics. Cool . I started, you know, I mean , bond, I started hanging out, I’d go down to the bars, do some, chin-ups met the guys down there. They’re like, yeah, we’re training, you know , come train with us tomorrow and then go train tomorrow. And then it’s just like, Hey, train tomorrow, train tomorrow. And then all of a sudden, you’re like five days a week down at the bars, you know, and you’re doing, you know, these guys are doing some pretty advanced stuff. So I was doing that at the same time. A buddy of mine was just getting onto this thing that he was telling me about called CrossFit. Have you heard of this thing, CrossFit? I’m like, well, what is it? It’s like, it’s like this website. And they put these workouts out every day and they’re
Speaker 4: 13:35
Up work, but they make you really fit.
Speaker 3: 13:37
And I’m like, oh, that sounds cool. And he’s like, let’s go do something . So we go to the park and play around. So like, I’m dabbling with CrossFit, with my mate and some other crew at the park. I’m doing the , the bars. Um, my brother and sister bought me a couple of kettlebells for Christmas. Like, oh, these things are cool. And so it was just all happening at the same time. And , uh, I was fi I was building this base and I was also noticing that it was making me better at jujitsu. So I was like, okay, this is cool. Um , that was how it all, that was how that
Speaker 2: 14:06
Interesting. And what was the steps for you to get your , like how long were you a white belt? Essentially
Speaker 3: 14:13
As a white belt for, I don’t know , nine months. Wow . It was really quick. Whoa. That’s so fast. Yeah, it was super quick. Amazing . Yeah. And I mean, you know, whatever, I didn’t, I wasn’t expecting to get my blue. It was at a , like a grading kind of all the different gyms of routes had come together kind of day. And , um , I was given a blue belt, not a new blue belt. They gave me the blue belt off the guy that just got his purple belt. Oh really ? Yeah. They’re like, oh, and Joey, they’re like, Hey, give me the blue belt.
Speaker 4: 14:43
He got , wow . Yeah. Great. Um, but I think
Speaker 3: 14:48
It was because I was just training. So at the time, yeah. You know , like obviously whatever, I had a little bit of talent, like a bit of a grappling ability, but also I was just doing two, a days, five, six days a week, you know, I was training for what a normal person might do in two years. Right . Right. Which is about how long you say it takes to get a blow accelerated yet also to going back out time, like the standard man . We were a white belt, you know what I made sure it didn’t take a lot. It was different. Yeah . Um, but yeah, I got the blue belt. I had committed to going to Japan, to compete in the Asian championships with , uh , my coaches at the time and a couple of other teammates and I hadn’t registered for the comp, but I bought the plane tickets and committed to going. And then I got my blues . I was like, holy. My first comp of blue belt is going to be Asian championships in Tokyo now.
Speaker 2: 15:41
Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Um , and so had you competed before you got your blue belt?
Speaker 3: 15:46
Yeah. I competed maybe three times.
Speaker 2: 15:50
Well, okay. Hopefully this isn’t a story of success. Um, how was your first comp experience? First comp
Speaker 3: 15:59
First comp experience was a , again, it was almost like as much of a haze as that first class. Um, I competed against the guy named, I think he’s named Scott. He’s an Olympic weightlifter now, but I , you know, you remember those characters because you’re all going through this thing at the same time. Right . And we had this epic battle back and forth. I’d take him down mountain, get a bunch of points. He’d take me down now . Like it was just back and forth, back and forth, like super athletic. And I managed to be up by two points or whatever, by the time that by the time we finished, so I won that first match. Um, and we just covered every square inch of the mat. Right. Like it was so Wiley. Yeah. And , uh , second match was a guy who, I don’t know who , um , basically pulled close, God control my posture, barred me. I use , you know, simple , like, you know, really good efficient whites or blue belt level of to shut down my, my wildness and dispatched me in about 30 seconds. And , and , but I was like, I was like, who gives a? That first match was awesome. I was like, that was the , um, you know, I, I felt like I’d been so successful that day. I’m like, whatever that goes, heaps he’s better than me, the guy that won. Right. Yeah. But yeah, that was okay.
Speaker 2: 17:17
And so that got you in like, yes, I like competing. I want to do this more.
Speaker 3: 17:23
I never, I think I should say I ever truly loved it. Okay. But it was always the price . It was always like, Hey, Hey. And I think that first comp I did after three months, well , yeah, it was like, Hey, comps coming up in the summer, like, Negi this , let’s do it and sell the house or whatever. Um, so yeah, I never really loved it, but I felt like it was something I had to do to please my coaches. And , and obviously I knew it was good for me. Anything that’s that uncomfortable has to be. Yep . Um,
Speaker 2: 17:50
Let’s see how CR Jo does that. A lot of other people would go, man, that’s so uncomfortable and terrible. I’m never doing that again. Well, I mean, yeah. I wanted to, you know? Yeah. But I’m saying the mindset, it’s interesting that you, I just I’m hearing what you said just then those words are so alien to a lot .
Speaker 4: 18:09
I’m so uncomfortable. I felt so like so much adrenaline, I felt like I was going to spew is physically very traumatic. So I had to do it again. Obviously I went back, of course.
Speaker 2: 18:22
How do you go from that first white belt camp to now you are looking to do an international competition. Cause most people there are like, if somebody gets the bug, they take those steps. It might be a couple of years before they take that leap to go. Right. I’m going to travel internationally and I’m going to throw down in another country.
Speaker 3: 18:42
It was , um, I guess it was all kind of timing and it was also the, like I did, I did maybe another one or two. I think I did one more comp at white belt. Um, or maybe two. And I did really well in those, this , the second one I did, I won, I subbed five guys. Wow. Um, yeah, it was mad and um , one dude didn’t want it. It was all armbars all one guy got dqued cause I had him in an ombre and they picked me up and slammed me. Um, but yeah, one dude didn’t want to tap his arm popped a bunch of, yeah, it was, it was, it was the Mo it was the shittest Amber, but , but in any case, but you know , SARS , I was on a bit of a tear there and, and uh, feeling quite confident about it. And then it was just like, Hey, there’s this cool opportunity. We’re going to Japan, we’re competing in this big competition. It wasn’t like, Hey, this is an international event and you got level up. It was just sort of like, we’re going to Japan and entering a calm, are you in or what? Yeah. And the coaches were not, they were just like taking anyone who was interested. So I’m like, yeah. Why not? Like that sounds mad. Yeah . And actually getting my blue belt before then was a bit of a relief because I went in without much expectation. I’m like, okay, I’m going overseas to fight. I’m probably going to get my kicked, which I did. Um, thank God.
Speaker 4: 20:03
But yeah. So I can’t , I can’t stay in any more success. It was just a clean run of success from white belt to , I basically haven’t really lost any matches yet . Yeah . Yeah. I’ve never tasted
Speaker 3: 20:14
Defeat anyway. Um, but yeah, so it , it was , uh , that was, I was just excited for that.
Speaker 2: 20:20
Yeah. And how being there in Japan, the muddle land of many martial arts, what was that like? Like it , was that just overwhelming or was that just kind of normal or
Speaker 3: 20:32
Look, it was, you know, yeah, it was, it was, it was , uh, it was the second time I’d been to Japan. I’d been there when I started that round the world trip when I’d first ended up finding jujitsu . Um, so being back there, it was really cool. It’s such an exciting place. Uh ,
Speaker 2: 20:45
Have you been, I have never been, always wanted to go and I’m hoping as soon as things open up a little bit, that will be one of the first places I go. Yeah.
Speaker 3: 20:54
It’s , it’s just it’s so it’s so cool. And so, you know, leading up to the competition , I wasn’t even really thinking about the comp I’m just like, wow, look at this place, going to restaurants, bath houses, just exploring Tokyo. And then we get to the camp and I’m like, holy. This place is like a stadium. It was at the coder con . Right . Which is like the home of martial arts. Um, and uh , home of martial arts in Japan. Um, what I remember is that there were huge heaps of international stars there, but I didn’t know any of them. I’m not who the is that guy, but like Marcus who’s, one of my teammates is also a blue belt who did quite well at that camp . He was like, oh, let’s go get a photo with Robert Drysdale. Oh, there’s Leah fella . Let’s, let’s go get a photo with him. Oh, there’s somebody that , I’m where the are these guys, Hey man, what’s up, I’ll take the photo. You know, like, and so looking back, I remember like, I think JT Torres was competing. He might’ve been at blue belt. He might’ve been in my division. Um, you know, I’m like, holy, that’s that guy that’s like best in the world right now. I remember seeing him on a tear and a lower belt. Um, it was all pretty overwhelming , uh, but exciting. And because I didn’t have much expectation on myself that wasn’t, I didn’t feel a huge amount of pressure. I was just pumped to be there. What I do remember is that I was trying to keep my weight down and I hated that. I just, I was like this not eating thing and not being able to just grab a drink when I want to grab somebody when I sucks . I was like, I got to not do this anymore.
Speaker 2: 22:21
Yeah . Especially if you’re in a foreign country with great food and amazing culture, like you’re killing so much of that experience. Yeah. And so let’s fast forward a little bit. Yeah. Blue belt way too much success. Um, coming forward like that, this is maybe this is within the mythology of digital, but they say you really cultivate a degree of game around purple, blue and purple that you build a fair bit of game. And then you kind of, once that you have that foundation, you’re expanding on that to an extent through brown and black. Now at the same time you, at what point does, cause this is just for my own info as well. Does jungle brothers, your kind of your movement into movement and how you kind of come to form your, your thoughts around why GRA grapplers need to be fitter and stronger and more flexible, like talk me through how you came to those conclusions and how that fits in with this amazing place. The church of gains jungle brothers. All right .
Speaker 3: 23:24
I , yeah, had a good run, made it up to made it up to brown belt at the academy that I was at. And by the time I got, I I’d started my gym jungle brothers , uh , we’d start, I I’d left. The film industry, started a small PT business with a few mates, coaching groups in the park. Um, you know, sometime later we ended up taking over a lease at a small gym in south Sydney. Um, and I’m sort of running around working as a PT now. So my schedules now changed. I’m not training as much as I want. I was not competing as , as much as I wanted , um, or as much as they wanted me to. And in truth, I wasn’t really enjoying my jujitsu as much. I’d come to this point through purple belt where I was putting heaps of pressure on myself. There was tension in the academy. Um, wasn’t getting, what I needed from my coach was really not enjoying it. And I managed to get my brown belt. Right. Um, I CA I , I see that as like, I just crawled over the finish line and coaches like, there’s a brown belt. Right. And I was like, awesome. And this is like, I can’t, why don’t I get my brown? It’s probably about seven years ago. Wow. It’s a long time ago. And I’m still a brown belt. I’ve had my brown belt for as long as it took me to get. But
Speaker 2: 24:43
In fairness, Joe really should be a black belt. But obviously, as you all know, if you’re out there in the world that you do too , and you’ve been on your belt seven years, there are many extenuating circumstances that play into that. And you are possibly have more skills than your belt would tell potentially.
Speaker 3: 25:00
Yeah. Potentially. Ah , thank you. No . I say that because I roll
Speaker 2: 25:04
You and I’ve rolled many black bolts and they’re not as good as you. So it’s like, well, you know, whatever. I mean, I still bash you, but no , it’s true. It’s far too, even I hate to admit how, even though ,
Speaker 3: 25:16
Um, but I, but I, so I crawl over the finish line, got my brown belt. Yes. I had a meeting with my teammates and was like, guys, I’m over this. I’m like the, gym’s not what it used to be. I don’t really want to train you . And they’re like, yeah, we’re all feeling the same. And so basically we had this little, right , we’re all going to jump ship , um , coincided with the coach, deciding, you know what, I’m shutting the gym down. He’d lost the love for it. Wanted to go explore other parts of his life. So , uh , it was a perfect time for me. I was like, Hey, I’m , um, I’m going to bail. I’m gonna take a break. Cause I’ve just opened my own gym and I need to give that time. So I basically just turned away from jujitsu and I dove into the gym life. And for me, what was really pivotable there was discovering this movement thing. And that was , um, uh , an amazing teacher, a guy people might’ve heard of him, his name’s IDO portal, pretty famous dude within the movement realm. Um, I traveled to Melbourne, did some workshops with him. He was out from, from overseas and that, and then I, and that was like, this is what I’m diving into. And I spent the next three years going deep into that. And that was handstands bodyweight strength, calisthenics mobility. And I really wasn’t training any jujitsu . So I was still a brown belt and I still went every now and again, like get together for a social role with some people. But, you know, I hadn’t developed since getting my brown belt that day. Um, and that was where I, that period was where I formed a lot of my beliefs, physical development around what humans need. I’d seen what people needed and experience with people needed in the academy. But I didn’t really have a framework to, to address what their deficiencies were. I was like, all right , these guys need more strength. They need to move better, but I didn’t know how do I actually make someone more mobile? How do I, what strength do they need? Is it like, what are the exercises? What , what are the formats? So it was at that time where I was really putting this all together and I’m still in touch with the community. So these guys were coming to my gym, I’m working with jiu-jitsu people. And this is, this was that formative period where I started to kind of put it all together about what a grappler needs in order to increase their athleticism and their resilience to injury.
Speaker 2: 27:28
So what, in some part , obviously , uh , jungle brothers has been very successful. We sit here now in this great place, all these coaches or these things. So what brought you back? Like what kind of circled you back around to go, you know what, I I’m on the periphery. I need to go back into the fray. What brought you back to the path to black belt as opposed to be on the side ?
Speaker 3: 27:55
Um, in a sense you brought me back off because you introduced me to Adam Childs .
Speaker 4: 28:00
Oh, there you go.
Speaker 3: 28:03
Who is , who is my coach? Yes. And , uh, and very close friend and good , you know, old friend of yours, good guy. Um, and I, you know, you brought him down to the gym and we’ll do some training. And then, and we did some, we , we did some rounds and Adam was like, man, I’m going to be opening up a gym here in Sydney. Um, and it would be cool for, you know, if you want to come train and I’m like, dude, I I’d love to, like, I like you, I would love to like get beyond brown belt, you know? And I really, and I could feel like I was like, I haven’t developed my jujitsu since getting this belt. And I, you know, he tells me going back to those first roles we did. He’s like, bro, you a .
Speaker 4: 28:44
He’s like, he’s like you as strong as your jujitsu is . It’s
Speaker 2: 28:47
Only Adam is so harsh. It’s , it’s funny because it goes both ways like you, I guess you are very, you’re a disciplinary and around movement and exercise. Whereas , uh, Adam is that way around you , just a technique. But if you start hitting out him up on his physical distance,
Speaker 3: 29:03
Totally so loose. So I
Speaker 2: 29:06
Think it’s a good mix. I’d always, so to Adam , if you can’t train with me, you need to train with Joe. I’d always said that to him. I said, if you moved back to Sydney, you come back, you’ve got to go train jungle brothers, go tram and Joe , and here you are four stripes now. Yeah . And it’s so close and I , I feel it’s imminent. Your black belt is imminent having gone to this quite long process and, and being where you are now, I guess, would there be anything that you would share with your younger self? Like, or is there any advice that you could give to some fit young Savage, men or woman who’s found jujitsu like you did maybe had a bit of early success feeling like, yeah, this is sick. I want this, what would you say? What does , what are the three things that you could give to them that they could then take and apply
Speaker 3: 29:58
Off the top of the dome piece? I think the first one would be to just try to cultivate a little bit more awareness about around your training. Like just try to think a little bit more, those , those first few years for me, I was just going hard, you know , ask anyone to train with me while I’m doing it. They’re like, oh, Joe is just the spazz . You know what? I was just like a tornado tearing through the gym and it’s like, yeah, like that, you know, it’s and it’s still in me. And I think that’s an important thing to have, but you know, I think if I had just worked to a little bit more awareness a bit more okay . Back off on the strength a little bit. Cause that’s always been the feedback for me and a little bit less strength, take it a little bit slower. And when you do that, I see your Judea . You know, that would be the first thing. It doesn’t mean you have to squash that beginner , physicality at all. It’s just like, try not to rely on it a hundred percent of the time. Um, second part for me, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve always been quite mobile and I look back and I think I was kind of blessed in a way, because I’d never suffered from joint restrictions. So I had mobile hips. I had, you know, pretty good spine, all that stuff from the beginning. So once I lay it in the strength training and then, you know, a little bit of mobility work, I was always quiet, you know, there . Yeah. But looking at every person, every other person, except for you , um, that I’ve trained with over the years that I’ve met, it’s like, man, if you just stretched a little bit more, just took a little bit more like put in, you know, 30 minutes a week and you can sprinkle that across the week . However you like just stretch a little bit, try to open up your hips. Like that is so important. Um, and then the third, you know what, this is, this is actually huge. And I could probably come up, but this one’s a massive is train at a place that feels like the right place for you. Right. Like I look at what I went through kind of from maybe somewhere around blue belt to getting my , my brown. And there was just a lot of stress and a lot of like, ah , I’ve got to show up to the academy tonight, constantly know . Yeah. Just not enjoying it. Not frothing not, and , and that’s what Adam’s brought to my jiu-jitsu . Right? Yeah . Like I’m just like, it. I’m training tonight. Sick. Exciting. Yeah. Whereas like going through that thing and just thinking like I have to, I have to show up, I have to show up for my coach. Yeah. Cause you know, if your coach is putting that pressure on you is sometimes that pressure is good. Yes . You know, it’s not a terrible thing, but just the way that, that was all unfolding for me at the academy that I was at, it was like, this is not , uh , this is not a pleasurable experience. If I was trying to get my son to train something and he experiencing, I blackmail quit it. Yeah . You know , like try somewhere else. I’ll try a different sport. Yeah. You know? So I’m like, and , and, and you know that you go to a different academy and you’re like, oh, it’s a whole different vibe here. Yeah. Well, coach treats me differently and they give me more, they give me less teammates treat me differently. Like go and experience that and know what’s on offer and find the places try for you .
Speaker 2: 32:59
Yeah. I think that’s , that’s awesome advice. Yeah. Cool, man. Is there anything else? Uh, is there anything else you’d like to add anecdotally about your, your journey so far? Is there a funny little story or is there anything that you want to look? No,
Speaker 3: 33:15
It’s something I , um, I, I think about a lot that I would like to pass on to people earlier in the game. Um, I’ve thought about quitting many times and I have actually quit at times. I’ll be like, I’m done, you know, I’ve got a brown belt, I’m good. I’m going into the movement realm. I’m happy with that. And um, I think, you know, talking about how long I’ve had my brown belt for, and that period of just like not trained to do too and being like, this I’m out. Um, I think that’s important for people to know, because you can probably look at me and look at you and think like, oh , these guys are just like, it’s been linear progression and they’ve just gone from strength to strength and gotten that sick belt and strength and mobility. And it’s like, nah, like this thing has been up and down. Yeah . And it’s been whatever, 13, 14 years, 13 years now, I think , um, that’s the process, right? So you can look at people like BJ, Penn, two years to black belt or whatever. Right. Or you can look at what probably what’s more realistic, which is what I’m describing. And uh, and just know that if you’re in a period of down phase where you’re like, this or whatever, like that’s , that’s the process. Um, and maybe you quit, maybe you don’t, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s this just a straight line of, of, you know, awesome development in good times forever. True.
Speaker 2: 34:32
All right, John, I think we’ll leave it there. Thank you, my friend. Very insightful. Thank you for all you guys out there. And if you want to know a bit more about what we do, you can find [email protected] And if you just want to better understand all these different things that we do find us on Instagram at Bulletproof for BJJ.
Speaker 3: 34:53
Thank you, my brother . Pleasure to , uh , to have the spotlight on me. I enjoyed that modern man. Thank you, Joe . [inaudible] .