I am 46 and live in Pontypool, I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie but have lived all over while working as a Commercial Diver. I have an amazingly supportive wife Janet who I met while living in St. Louis, Missouri for nearly a decade. We have three children; Josh 28, Bailey 15 and Lillian 11, and a grandchild Carleigh who is 6. Currently I am the Manager/Diver of a 18 person dive team at Ontario Power Generation. In my spare time (other than Jiu Jitsu and really who has spare time!) I like to run trails with my dog Zuko and ride Motorcross and Enduros. I never trained martial arts before joining Eris Martial Arts. I see self defense as a life skill such as swimming and is one of the primary reasons why I enrolled my daughters and myself into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program.
When did you start training? How long have you been with Eris?
I joined Eris Martial Arts in October of 2014. I have not trained in martial arts before that.
What do you think the strongest part of your Jiu Jitsu game is? What is your favorite or go to moves?
I often wonder what other people think the strongest part of my Jiu-Jitsu game is….but I think my open guard and half guard set up most of my sweeps and reversals. My favorite go-to moves are short armbars/should locks, foot locks, and the electric chair.
So Why Jiu-Jitsu?
I did a lot of research on various martial arts before deciding on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mid 40-year-old persons aren’t going to be throwing high kicks, and martial arts that focus on striking aim to incapacitate your opponent as opposed to control your opponent. I also worked as security in nightclubs in my younger days and have seen that most altercations end up on the ground where grappling techniques become advantageous (hence why all striking martial arts have referees to separate clinches.) I liked the fact that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is based on self-defense. With Jiu-Jitsu, I can control the pace and outcome of a self-defense situation without the need to strike (unless needed) and to control an opponent to submission without injuring the other person (unless needed).
What advice would you give to someone just getting starting in Jiu-Jitsu?
(I need to take my own advice!) Be patient, Jiu-Jitsu is about you, do not compare yourself to other people of the same rank to gauge your progress. We are all different, and all learn differently and our progress should be celebrated by the challenges we overcome as individuals not how we compare to another person. Our journeys might be headed in the same direction but the paths we take to get there are all different. Also be appreciative and respectful of your training partners, they are the ones who will help you overcome and advance.
My marriage to Janet, and birth of my children Bailey and Lillian.