JT’s Journey to Black Belt
(Warning! Explicit Language.) On today’s show Joey interviews JT on what it took for him to achieve his Black belt. From the early white belt froth in 2008, getting brutalised and getting the Jiu-jitsu bug. Traveling and training in Brazil, competing at the world championship, hitting hurdles, injuries and fighting ego.
A real behind the scenes look at all the coaches, BJJ superstars and MMA legends that JT trained with and helped him on the path. Lots of rare stories and insights that will help you on your BJJ journey to Black belt.
<cite>Speaker 1:</cite> 0:04
Very careful a good martial artist does not become tense, but ready, essentially at this point, the fight is over. So you pretty much flow with the goal who was worthy to be trusted with the secret to limit the spot .
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 0:29
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another Bulletproof of BJJ.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 0:33
Hey podcast. And we are on episode
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 0:37
Number seven . Oh yeah. Last time rolls on. It’s going well, very happy .
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 0:43
And today, Joe , uh, we’re talking the , the journey to black
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 0:48
That’s right. I want to know , uh, I want to dig into your story a little bit and find out just what the path has been like some of the trials and tribulations , uh, some of the victories, some of the losses, because I think it’s really, you know, it’s very , um, from the outside, you see someone that’s a black belt or, or a high belt in jujitsu, and it’s very easy to just kind of, I don’t know, not really think much about, Oh. They went through all of this that, you know, I went through as a white belt or a blue belt, like they’ve been through this, this whole experience, which often doesn’t get spoken about much by the time you get to that level. Um, so I thought it’d be cool to dig into that a little bit. Yeah, definitely . And yeah, it can get forgotten
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 1:31
Because you’re not, I mean, I, you know, and this is not even technology. This is just as humans. Uh, you know, Instagram, wasn’t so big when I started jujitsu. So I don’t have as many photos from that time. Uh, and also because I feel that the recent contracts of , uh , social media, we only like to show the wins and there’s so many more losses than there is wins. Even if you’re winning this like so much , uh , stuff where you’re , you’re , you’re not loving what’s going on. And you don’t document that you don’t, you don’t, you don’t share that so willingly and I’m , I’m happy to talk about any of that,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 2:07
Mate . Um , how long have you been in black belt for?
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 2:10
Uh, I’ve been a black belt for, for over four years, four and a half years now
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 2:15
Brought on and your coach? Uh,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 2:17
My coach is Laquan Giles from absolute MMA. Um, and I received my Brown belt from lucky and also chaga Stephanie [inaudible] . So shout out to Chicago, Stephanie , who’s the head coach, the head of jujitsu , absolute MMA. Um, because if it wasn’t for chaga , I wouldn’t have gone to absolute. And ultimately over time wouldn’t have kind of had the nice home that I had to then be able to work with Lockie and then B be guided by him in the last six or so years
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 2:51
Is a luckier black belt under Tiago.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 2:53
He is, he got his first Stripe from Chicago, but he was originally graded , um, forgive me for not knowing by a Wilma shadow black belt . Okay. So yeah, it goes that way. And so
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 3:06
I guess, you know , for people who are listening, who don’t know that, that gym absolute MMA in St. Kilda.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 3:12
Yeah. So there’s a couple because Absolut has expanded. So there’s , uh , the gym in the CBD. There’s also a gym in Collingwood, which is the North of Melbourne and that’s probably a more MMA focused gym. That’s where the pros train and I’ve great, great kickboxing program, great jujitsu there as well. The CBD does, there’s a lot of really high level jujitsu guys there, but obviously there’s plenty of other people who are there in the city , um, trying to get their, their training in. And then security is very much, even though they have really good kickboxing and MMA, it is project it’s too focused. Like the, the, the guys who are training twice a day, three times a day, you’ll find them mats and killed her at absolute MMA.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 3:51
Yeah. Okay. Yeah. It’s , it’s kind of known for being a bit of a Savage gym . You won’t what you say. It’s one of the top no-gi gyms or just jujitsu gyms.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 3:59
That is just one of the top, top gyms in general. Like, I guess that it has an open door policy and that’s always been a strength. If you’re a black belt, you don’t pay Matt fee, just come and train. And there’s no politics on that. And I think that is, that’s been a strength. Like you get all kinds of people coming in the door. Uh, you know, we had Israel at a Sonya come and roll at our gym. You know, Jacob ,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 4:21
You guys should’ve given him his purple belt
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 4:24
you , you didn’t deserve it. There’s a huge, [inaudible] it doesn’t matter for us , obviously
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 4:32
Respect to Izzy, especi his spirit . He is a Savage, but I’m telling you, okay. So a lot of people don’t know.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 4:39
Um, Craig Jones has an older brother, Adam Jones, the nicer better Jones
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 4:43
Is that Mr. Jones or Mr. Jones, one eight to shout out one of the most Savage led dads of all time. Dad lie .
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 4:50
And he’s a dad and he’s a lovely guy.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 4:55
And when he first came to some Kilda to train, he got beat up a lot, even though he’s like a huge team , he’s like six foot seven. And could my tie your face off he’s he’s banter was stronger than his jujitsu, but then his jujitsu got significantly better and easy came the train. And I wasn’t part of the session I came late, but I saw Adam Jones beating the crap out of Israel at
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 5:19
A sign . Yeah , Holy. And I put a smash
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 5:22
And I was like, Oh, easy bit . But I mean , he’s still a Chimp , right?
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 5:29
I think he has gotten way better at jujitsu. But if you can even just look at , uh , many things, if you go to a pure jujitsu gym, and you’re not that you get ,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 5:39
You’re going to use feel seal it. Yeah. These are specialized athletes , this sport in it . I mean, even,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 5:44
And Alex Vulcan AUSkey came in to , um, absolute MMA. And , uh, he had a knee brace on like a knee limiting only 45 degrees range of motion. And I think he had a wrist brace on all his and he did. He took me down.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 5:58
Like he came at me so hard and I love Alex
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 6:01
Can shout out champ. Um, bro , I mean, I was able to submit him a couple of times, but Jesus, that guide pound for pound is one of the strongest humans I’ve touched. He and I actually didn’t know who he was.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 6:15
He wasn’t chair. It was before he was a champion before he was champ . And uh ,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 6:19
I actually missed looking for a different MMA guy and actually said to him, I said, Oh , you, this, this guy is like, nah , mate, I’m Alex [inaudible] .
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 6:28
I’m so sorry mate. He was totally good human . He’s like, he’s the guy good looking? And I was like, ah , now you’re probably better looking than him. Sorry, my mistake. But yes, it was great to
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 6:39
Be in that environment because that open door policy, my jujitsu got exposed to way more people. And that helped me a lot.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 6:47
Um, take us back to the start. Where did you, you didn’t start at their gym. Where’d you kick off? I kicked off
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 6:53
At Peter beans in March of 2008. And at that time that was the most Savage gym in Australia. It was the biggest tomb . Most Savage don’t get me wrong or showed up credit to John. Will . He has great guys under him. He’s tough guy. Uh , he’s a legend, I should say. Not only is he a tough human, he’s a legend, but uh, at that time, I didn’t know it. I just walked in there by random chance and got mauled . And I would say 70% of the gym was over 80 kilos. Wow. There’s some big monsters in here and I look, I’ll be honest. I don’t think it was the most technical training. Not that Pete didn’t show techniques, but it was like, here’s the technique. If you understand it good. If you don’t whatever, and now go hard the mentality to go hard. And just, I guess Pete had such a large volume of students. He didn’t care if you stayed. Like it didn’t matter.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 7:44
Kind of seems characteristic of the old school jujitsu two dozen where it was like a lot of going hard, less refinement to the technique. I mean, obviously there were , there were , there’s always been people that have been , uh , better technicians than others. Yes . But I feel like my introduction to digital too was like, Oh , here’s like some basic submissions, basic tape . All right . Just now try and kill each other.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 8:07
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 8:11
Pizza contrarion , he doesn’t answer questions directly. He’ll say weird things to you to psych you out. And really , um, even though Pete had an amazing closed guard game and he, you know, he mentored under collinear skulls , Gracie Jr . And that’s kind of his heritage. And he started his club as a blue belt, you know, pizza , super tough guy. Um, I hit a point in the digital journey where I wasn’t learning. Like all I knew was closed guard, flower sweep, Amber . That was my first two years of jujitsu . And I think to myself, I was, I wanted to learn more, but no one was really open to showing me that there was a couple of people who helped me. Uh, Angus friend, shout out Angus is a black belt under Pete. He actually showed me a couple more sweeps and techniques thankfully. But other than that, I was just surviving. So I feel like I wasted a lot of time, just not wasted, but I only had three techniques. So I got really good at them, but I could have learnt .
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 9:10
It’s fine to think that there was a time when the, the restriction for development into G2 was a lack of information. Yeah . Like now being in a time where there is a major, like oversupply of information, you can BJ phonetics , YouTube, Instagram. Sure. There’s more techniques than you can poke a stick out. Yes, indeed . Back then. It was like, you would have a blue belt running an Academy. Yeah . And you’re like, I know one sweep, one submission and one form of God, if someone could just show me another option. Yeah.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 9:44
And also it was frowned on like I wanted to learn X God , cause I’d heard about Marcello Garcia. And then now one of the Brown belts says me, Oh mate, don’t do that. You’ll never get your blue belt. You asked Pete about X God now .
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 9:57
Cause he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like it and thinks it’s. I was like, I’m like, I got short legs, man . Me think about ballers . Yeah. No. Well the thing is we’re coming around. But yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things that same thing is, it’s like, what’s this new. What is this BS ? Yeah . This stick to the fundamentals and stuff that works. But if it’s very effective. Yeah .
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 10:19
And I even thought to myself, cause I studied education at uni for the brief time I was at uni. But then I thought like, why is he blocking knowledge? Because I got , uh, uh, different books and information on the internet and Gracie mag , uh , seeing different techniques and Gracie mammals like, Oh, spider guard what’s that? It was cool. I was like, Oh , that’s hot. And but I almost, no one would, I had a small collection of friends who we could practice with. But apart from that, it was like dark arts. I was like, I just thought to myself why. Yeah . And then that led me to change clubs after my blue belt.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 10:54
So in that time, in your saying , um, 2008, you started so saying those first sort of two to three years , um, which is for most people, I think those first couple of years is like the honeymoon period where you’re just loving being in the fire of these intense training sessions. Uh, how old were you then?
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 11:15
Uh, I started to do some when I was 25. Okay. And so, yeah, I mean, I came in very fit and strong. Like I came in off full-time athlete mode from TaeKwonDo, but then also hardcore kettlebell training, which I was doing conditioning and strength. So I came in like good shape already. And then it was just like, right. How do I translate this to jujitsu?
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 11:35
So probably back then, like most of us, very little regard for personal safety. Yeah . You’re just throwing yourself into everything. A hundred percent training as much as you want. Really not too concerned about like what you’re doing off the mat where it’s just like just train. Well not I was doing
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 11:51
SNC stuff off the mat. Like I was lifting probably four times a week and I would stretch, but that w that’s my default mode. I know that’s not most people. Yeah . You know, I know most people are not doing that and pretty much almost no one at my gym was doing that only one or two other people would do yoga or something like that. Um, and also the thing which was just so strange to me is that , um, I did know physios I’d had injuries. So I had those relationships where if I cracked a rib or whatever it might be, I would go see my physio. Whereas that was just like alien terminology in jujitsu . No one saw you’d be lucky if people would go to the doctor, it was like kind of like weak, like aren’t men just train, train through that. Like that’s standard. Yeah. So I did get a lot of injuries because I also didn’t know what I was doing. I was going to positions. I probably shouldn’t have been in , um, some spinal final , final , um, ribs, lot of rib injuries. Cause I was playing a lot of half guard and it like, that was my progression from closed guard, half guard at getting under people, also fighting in the absolute, I always got injuries against much bigger opponents.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 13:03
You were competing in those early days. Yeah. I think my belt blue belt. Yeah .
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 13:06
Yeah. Well I was my most competitive, well my most competitive face probably purple, but to be honest , um , white, blue, I actually went to Brazil my first year of white belt . So within my first year I took in 2009, I took a trip to Brazil with the crew, from the beans. We had like five guys and I competed at the reopen sick and I won that bad way. Wow. Yeah. How cool first white belt to do that.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 13:30
How many really? Yeah . Is that right from Australia? How sick? Yeah, it was cool. Yeah.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 13:35
It was so good man. And when you say like when you’re in the, a tennis club where all the legendary fights have happened and it’s like so loud and so confusing, but you see those metals man , and it’s got Jesus on it. It’s like, I feel like a gangster.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 13:50
The rapper , like I feel like ghost face killer
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 13:54
So much shame, boy . Um, man, it was crazy. Like I did the same thing. I pulled closed guard, a swept, they’ve got the arm bar . Like I won pretty much every match like that matches where there , if six for me, Jesus Brody had maybe seven roadie was a blue belt and he won his and big w got bronze in weight and absolute at black belt. Holy. Yeah. That was a big day. And he, I think he choked out Bernardo for real . Oh wow. And so Signo Venetia’s Vanessa’s yeah. So senior was , um , coaching us cause he was associated with Golder jujitsu and he knew from when he was very young. So he was screaming and the referee gave pass points to Bernardo and Bernardo hadn’t quite passed.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 14:36
He was like , I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you. And your family, you rubbed my fighter, like input . She keeps going mental , trying to jump the fence. Cause
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 14:44
Yeah, that time was like a champion. And like, everyone’s like, Oh , and he’s an intense human, but then took bananas back and , and actually him. Wow. Which is huge. Yeah . Um, but then he, he lost the next , uh, next match, which is a semi. So he got bronze, but then you’ve got bronze in the absolute . So it was a great day. But what was incredible is, cause I didn’t know what I could do cause I’d , I’d never really, I feel achieved what I wanted in TaeKwonDo, but it’s a long leg man game coming to grappling and having shorter legs, lower center of gravity. It was actually kind of good. And uh, I just did the same thing, but in the final I fought it like a 16 year old kid from Gracie Baha who pulled guard on me. And I was like, Oh, I don’t really know how to pass card to try not to get sweat . He was trying to do to me when I was trying to do to him. But then eventually I just kind of forced his legs open and passed. It took me like, Oh , nearly the whole match. But when I passed, he kind of broke and then I arm by the sheet out and yeah, man , it
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 15:40
Was just this moment when you fall over to crumble ,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 15:43
You broke sign him . But he’s like a young kid and I’m a grown man, fully athletic. He’s a scandal itself. But I remember getting back to our little apartment, like little house in the mountain , um, under Petra to Gavia and um , man, just thinking, I think I can do this. Like I’ve only done this a year. I just want my first international metal . Like I , I gave me a crazy level of self belief and passion for what should you to can be because when you see dude screaming and hollering and like guys are so intense on how important you do too , is I hadn’t experienced that level of passion in Australia. And I brought that back with me and that really fueled me to want to be better, want to be the best and just destroy people with jujitsu. Very cool. Yeah. What was
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 16:30
Take me now to some of the, the, I suppose , uh , what , what’s the wire, what am I looking for here? The struggles that you face. So talking about this honeymoon period that folks go through and anyone listening can identify with this and then you kind of hit these hurdles where you’re like, maybe you get a new job. Maybe you start to get bad energy with your , with your gym or your training pants , whatever it is. Something just gets in the way of you having this kind of pure love for the thing and being happy to turn up all the time. All of a sudden it becomes tricky.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 17:01
Yeah . Life changes. Um, tell me about the first piece . First one was probably a shoulder injury. Ah , this guy snag me in a triangle very quickly. Like I thought I had blue belt. I was doing pretty well. Um, I’d come back from Brazil. I put smash on crew . As blue belt felt good, felt like I was the best blue belt. This guy just smashed me up and triangle so fast. And I was like, nah , I’m getting out of this. Put me into a Camorra . I fought out of it. My shoulder popped put me in an arm bar . I fought out of it, pop my elbow, fought me back to Maura all the time, working his triangle, eventually triangle armbars me, but I’ve already kind of torn infraspinatus superspinatus and like pop my elbow. And I couldn’t use my arm properly as a personal trainer. I couldn’t move my arm. I couldn’t put weights back properly. Like couldn’t live my life. Uh, and that was very confronting or competition. I in income and I caused her country jujitsu roll on that shot . I couldn’t sleep on that shoulder. Like men that he got so real, I’m like three and a half years in. And I’m like, Holy crap. I can’t anything properly. Really? And that was like, I mean, I’d hurt my ribs before that I’d hurt my back. Like I’d got stacked really hard, but not, not surgery level. I didn’t get surgery on my shoulder. I got a love rehab and it it’s, it’s fine. But it was like so confronting. Cause I couldn’t function properly for three months and that made me go do, should I keep doing this because I need my job. I gotta pay my rent. I love being fit and healthy. Do I compromise that for jujitsu? And yet had to take a back step. I had like three months off and I had to do a ton of rehab. So it taught me about the rehab process. Um, and then , uh , another thing on top of that was , uh, not long after I got my purple belt. Uh, I went to Brazil. I came back and when I came back, I was a bit between gyms because I was traveling to South Jalong to train with Dan chairman , shout out to Dan Durban , uh, possibly one of the greatest guards of all time, in my opinion, anybody Australia, the whole world, one of the greatest guards. Australia’s great secret Dan chairman. Um, but Dan couldn’t really give me a position teaching cause I was traveling in the South too long and I was kind of getting ready for Brown belt. I was around that time and he couldn’t really give me classes to teach. He’s like, yeah, you could come down twice a week. I can’t pay. I was like, well I can’t travel an hour and a half there teach for two hours and come back and not get paid. And he’s like, well, it kind of was like a bit of an impasse because he’s small and whatever and full respect to Dan . This is no comment on him. I needed to take that step to teach. I needed to make some money from jujitsu . I needed to progress. And I was in between clubs. And I know a lot of people who are probably listening to this yeah . Had that experience. Whether it be the moose house they’ve got married, they’ve something’s happened in their life and they can’t train at their club for whatever reason. Uh, you know, it might even be political. You know, you , you , you instructors become an almighty who knows. And so now you still want to do digital, but you can’t do it. And um, Chicago , Stephan Nudie was very welcoming to me. He knew me and he’s like, man , you can always just come train. And absolutely it’s not a problem. And yeah, it was at that time that I actually, it was just because I couldn’t commit to traveling to Jalong . I wasn’t single. At that time I had a partner and I needed to work in a bunch of stuff. And I had to make that choice, that one, I had to look after my body and to , to continue to do to , I had to change gyms. And that was a confronting thing to do . Okay. I almost, I almost stopped jujitsu for a while there , like there was just because it was logistically hard to get there or it was like, well, I , it was almost like, I didn’t want to change gyms, but if I didn’t change gyms and I’m not going try to stop jujitsu
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 20:48
And that’s like ,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 20:49
That’s more confronting than anything. And I, man , I , I , I love Dan and everything he did for me and I owe him a lot, but I was determined to get my black book. So I had to, I had to make that change.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 21:02
Right. Um, and what is that? Are you, you know, that feeling, is that a, is that a commitment to your team and to your coach? And you’re like, they’re my, that’s my crew. And I don’t like, and I don’t see it happening without them or is it a, is it a pride piece? Like
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 21:20
No, no. I think it’s a little bit obligation. It’s like relationship is kind of like relationship. Like you , you build a friendship and it gets super deep and you spend so much time with a person and they just give to you as much as they can. And then you’re , but that’s also maturity too. It’s like this isn’t a live and die by the master thing. This is like, it’s a gym, you pay a fee and yes, it’s a service rendered to you. But like, if you , if the gym doesn’t give you what you want or you can’t access the gym, you go to a different gym. And this is the world we live in. You know , it’s not the same as the old school. I only train with my master and die with the master and all that kind of thing. But it was just confronting because Dan had just taught me more digital than anyone. And I just, I felt like I owed him a lot, but I had to also keep my life working and that that’s, that’s the hard thing. Right? How do you keep your do to , and keep your life functioning and that’s, that was a choice I had to make.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 22:20
What about after that? Has there ever been any , um, uh, besides injuries, has there ever been like a , a , uh, what’s the word, like a hurdle to your training?
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 22:30
I had a very anti jujitsu girlfriend for a period of time. Ah , tell me about her. Um, I will know her Hannah , um, lovely, lovely human, but not true too . And funny was , she’d actually dated previously . That’s a trend, but she didn’t love jujitsu. Um, she was into karate
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 22:50
Or some. She, she ,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 22:54
Uh, I think she liked wine better than activity.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 22:59
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 22:59
Hannah’s great. Human. Um, but just not supportive of Judah too . And jealous of jujitsu , like why you got to train? Why don’t you spend more time with me? Well, actually this is the first love woman. You’re the side. You’re the side sheep . No, not true. I loved her ideally . Um, I thought we’d be together forever. It didn’t work out, but she definitely was encouraging me to not train and that’s quite negative. It’s like anything, like, I mean, I’m , I’m reasonably trainable, but you know, it’s like you reward positive behaviors, right. If I didn’t go to training , she cooked me dinner and let’s do this. That’s nice. You’re going to go to training. You set
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 23:34
Yourself up ,
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 23:36
You set your own washing out . You didn’t , you don’t like, it was like very like subconscious, but it was very real. And that slowed me down. And then I, at that time I had it, I had an injury was part of it because I got a really full on hip injury where I could barely walk for a period of time. Um, yeah. I just didn’t know what to do about it. And I just couldn’t train jujitsu. Yeah. And then it was like a string of injuries through, from purple to Brown. And I just didn’t compete at Brown basically. I think I might’ve competed once. And it , I was really looking at myself like, is this it like, is this where I stop? Because I’m that Brown belt that’s like so injured and so caught up with life that I don’t stay on the path. And , um, what was great was at that time , uh , purple belt, my last trip to Brazil, lucky and live with them. And they said, we’re going to open a gym under absolute . And I was like, dang cool. Cause I always been a fan of lucky and I was friends with live . We’d been teammates through absolute and we trained together in Brazil. So we were like some of the only Australians there, apart from Canon can clock Jones , uh , for some of you out there, you may know cannon , he’s a beast , um, son of Ross, Clark Jones, very famous surfer in Australian mythology and , and, and, and true life person know he’s a real dude, but I’m saying that he’s has this mythological status storm surface. He was in that, wasn’t it ? Yeah , yeah, yeah, yeah. And then also Adam Childs from the head of Alliance. So was that guy? Yeah . God knows Guffman . Yocto the grasshopper. He doesn’t like being called as my coach. Yeah. Well, I don’t know . Well, I mean 10 and he’s kind of my coach in a way too, but I , I like to try and remind him that we are more equal. No , but , uh, yeah, it was one of those things that we hung out a lot. And when they said we’re going to start our own gym, I said, I will come and train with you guys. And that put me on that path. That was like a little renewal then you’re like. Yeah, this is energizing. I remember that we still with the chick , uh, we always lucky, like, I’m going to need you to break up with me , but he didn’t know none at all . I started training there and it was closer to home and that worked out. And then, but we, we ride around my Brown belt. We did , uh , break up, unfortunately, but fortunately , uh , because I was teaching morning class and my jujitsu got better , uh, without her, unfortunately. But that’s how it goes. You got to make these choices friends. Um, no, I think it was just one of those things. It’s just like any sin can run its term and, and as obsessive as I am , um, there was more in jujitsu for me and my relationship with all my friends and my community than there was in my relationship with my partner at that time. Yeah . And obviously there was other contributing factors, which was , she wanted a partner who made more money.
<cite>Speaker 4:</cite> 26:29
That’s pretty fun to sip . You’re like, but I’m going to be here , come on, back out . I don’t think it will get the mortgage approved.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 26:39
Um, then and yeah, I look, I think it was on my Brown belt for a little while, but I got my black belt after nine and a half years. And there was a lot of up and down mentally through that time, I did have points where I was like, I , I think I have to stop. Um, but I didn’t , like, I did have bouts of Andrew where I just couldn’t train, but there was definitely the mental process of like, this isn’t good for me. And I think you’ve , you might’ve had some moments like that job . I’ve had it . I’ve had a good couple,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 27:09
Which I won’t go into now. Cause I don’t want to, I don’t want to hijack it to me, but yeah, definitely. I , you know, I think that, that I think that anyone who trains to digit to , well, here’s the thing it’s like, like you, you, you use the , um, the parallel of it’s like being in a relationship there’s ups and downs always, and that, you know, sometimes you break up, sometimes you work through it, you stay together. Yeah . Sometimes it’s take a break, like all these different ways of dealing with these like down periods and jujitsu is no different and there’s potentially even more going on with digital because it is competitive even in the gym. It’s , you know , whether you say it is or it isn’t, it is. Yeah . You know what I mean? Like you, you, you, you have some kind of view of yourself and your training partners and there’s a hierarchy and it’s like, and you’re trying to climb this ladder. And so I think that there’s a lot of emotional turmoil in that. Um, and yeah, it , everyone has their own sort of different expression of it. Right. And different ways that it plays out, but it’s there. And so, yeah, I think what’s really fascinating is, you know, the , the two main things that you mentioned, like injury was, was a big catalyst for that. And then also this relationship and they it’s it’s, it’s almost more than that because well, each of those things becomes bigger than that. Like the injury is just an injury, you rehab it, you go back to training. Sure. But you fall out of the habit, you get caught up in, in not training you to , to start doing other things. Maybe you’re socializing more. And then by the time you’re like, Oh , I think my shoulders, all right. You’re like, Oh, that’s right. I trained to do to , Oh. I’m going to go and get my kicked by everyone. And your coach, maybe like walking coach, like, where you been . And you’re like, do I want to go through all of that? Like that’s . And I think that that’s, that pressure can really build up for a lot of folks. Yeah .
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 28:53
Yeah. And I, I was, you know, I was basically Laquan Giles took over the infinity gym, which was run by kit, Dale and kit had a mast , just a team of competition animals. And they just trained super hard. So walking into that environment was every day was comp day. Like every class was comp cost , blue belt, purple belt, Brown belt, all the way up. And some of these guys who had been competitors of mine, like Ben Hodgkinson, we’re now teammates, Craig Jones. We’re now teammates. You got to deal with these guys on a regular basis. And they’re jerks. I mean, whatever, like they’re tough guys, is you just as awesome. But I really want to hang out with them, you know , to not the most intellectually stimulating conversationalists. Oh , Savage Cole . Oh man . those guys. I mean, I respect them respectfully. Uh, Ben Hodgkinson. No , I mean, Ben and I are friends, to be honest, it took time I had to wear him down. But , um, yeah. And then look at it . I think when it is ultra competitive, it’s all or nothing. So if you’re not prepared to show up like that, don’t show up and I , that’s not everybody’s gym, but everybody knows somebody who’s like that who goes a hundred percent and you got, you can’t say no, you’ve got to just step up to what that is. But I think I am a very stubborn, determined human, and that has helped me get to where I am. And I know that even being a stubborn, determined as I am, I could have quit numerous times. And I was definitely like, I can’t continue this,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 30:20
But I did. I was very fortunate
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 30:22
Because that brings me to be here having this conversation with you here we are, which is really cool. And I think the biggest thing for me coming out of all of it is the journey could have been easier if I was a bit smarter. If I had a bit more guidance,
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 30:37
Hey, if I had it, I’d go to cared more about my wellbeing . Not just
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 30:42
If I showed up and paid fees, you know, like, and I think jujitsu has changed for the better. I think more gyms are more welcoming now. And there is more of a system to look after people, but because gyms are bigger now and digits is more popular. It’s easier to get lost in the crowd, especially if you get injured. Yeah. So I think that’s why I’m really positive about what we’re doing in Bulletproof , because I feel like it gives people something that’s something to hold onto something to work on. So they don’t fall through the cracks and fall off the , um, off the path
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 31:15
And do it in an experience , less pain.
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 31:18
Yeah. I mean, man, I’ve I’ve, I don’t know how my liver is right now. I have consumed so many antiinflammatories and painkillers in the last 10 years. I’ll tell you, I’m not, I’m not the guy who’s like, huh , I don’t want a painkiller . I’m like, how can I get the full tire and fifties? What’s that surgery, daddy, you got some endo. I just
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 31:35
Want to try. So it’s
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 31:38
Bad. Like it’s just because my ego won’t let me rest. And I , I, I, whether you’re a competitive person or not, we all have that, which is
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 31:49
Whatever I can do to just, I just want to get my Judy’s to fix. But
<cite>Speaker 3:</cite> 31:54
Stepping back from that, that was a mistake. And I now look at my body and go, well, I still want to keep my function. I won’t be a cripple. I’m 50. And I wouldn’t want that for anyone else. I don’t want anybody to be, you know, just destroying their liver or their body by training when they shouldn’t. So it’s like learning from my mistakes and experiencing that. I definitely, I definitely give people more, the advice to be more patient. You don’t need to be the best right now. You want to be the best long term. So if you still want to be here in five years, you know, what’s four weeks, what’s five weeks. But the thing is we as humans, we often can’t see past that.
<cite>Speaker 2:</cite> 32:33
Matt . I think that’s a good point for us to wrap it up on. Okay. Um, and I think , uh, yeah, there’s more for us to dig into in this conversation. Yeah. There’s definitely a little taste for folks there. And I think the main, the main takeaway for folks is that , um, everyone goes through tough times change due to whether it’s injury, personal issues , uh , logistical things , um , beef with your coach or beef with training partners, whatever it is. It’s like, things will get in the way. And , uh , oftentimes it’s just about finding what you need to do to, to start to find that passion again. Um, if you want any help from us, you can email@example.com or you can get us on the Instagram, which is at Bulletproof for BJJ. Um, if you are interested in trying our program, there is a free trial, but you can also use the code Bulletproof 10 and you’ll get 10% off any of our subscriptions. Definitely my guy. Thank you, Joe .
<cite>Speaker 1:</cite> 33:26
Thank you, JT . Cheers guys. [inaudible] .