Fitness

Line Up

July 22, 2019

*yells* Liiiiiiiiiine Up; is typically the first thing you hear at the end of class. So why would I want to use this as my intro ? Good Question. I wanted to yell at ya’ll to line up in order of belt rank which is very common in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It shows your sweat, tears, hard work, and dedication especially to saying OSSSSSSSSS ! There is a white, blue, purple, brown, and black belt here who have lined up to give me answers on their journey and what they’ve learned. Before we get into it for those of you who don’t know what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is, the definition is a grappling-based martial art whose central theme is the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force him to submit. Alright, now that that’s out the way lets hear what our 6 indiviuals have to say about their journey.

White Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: Carolina Del Angel

Belt: White- 1st stripe

Age: 31

IG Handle: @kro_dangel

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

My gym had recently started a jiujitsu program and I wanted to try something new. Another main reason was to just get in shape.

How long have you been training?

I have been training for about 7months now.

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

To be honest I don’t think I have a favorite move yet because I still feel awkward with a lot of them, but I like to watch my professor do flying triangles. They are hypnotic. I hope one day I can find a move that I can make my own.

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

I look up to mainly women because jiujitsu is a male dominant sport. I have so much respect for them and their discipline. Also because they EMPOWER other women to keep growing this sport. To list a few of them:Beatriz Mesquita, Bianca Basillo, & Nathiely De Jesus; locally I love Chelsah Lyons. I also look up to my professor Gilson Nunez because he is the one who introduced me to the sport. He is a badass but he still remains very humble.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

I have borrowed a lot a music from my professor. He listens to a lot of brazilian hip hop and rap. Now every time I’m on my way to train I feel like I need to listen to what I call my “BJJ Playlist” to get in the mood.

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

Definitely Gi. With No-Gi I feel a bit lost without grips but I guess that’s a newbie thing.

What do you do to recover from training ?

Mainly, I like to stretch a lot, use some CBD Oil, and get a massage when needed.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

I would say to go for it. BJJ not only challenges you physically but also mentally. Also, it’s a great way to learn self-defense and stay in shape.

What competition would you like to do next ?

I have never competed before, but I have been thinking about doing the IBJJF Dallas Open tournament in September. We will see….

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

There are very few girls at my gym so training/rolling can be challenging at times. I try to remind myself to lead by example so that I can hopefully motivate more girls to come train at our gym. I believe in the phrase “If size mattered, the elephant would be the king of the jungle.” Also, I like watching instagram stories and posts from BJJ ladies that I look up to for motivation.

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

I like to cook and love to eat. I’m a foodie, I love to try new restaurants in the area.

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

It has taught me to stay commited and to be patient.


White Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: Curtis (CJ) Bodin

Belt: White – 3 stripes

Age: 48

IG Handle: @curtis_bodin71

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

Watching my youngest daughter excel in it and wanting to be able to enjoy and grow in the sport with her.

How long have you been training ?

14 months

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

Straight ankle lock from X guard

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

My professor Bruno “Tank” Mendes, because his love and compassion for the sport and his desire to share it with others.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

Skull crusher by K.Y.D.

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

Gi

What do you do to recover from training ?

Can’t share that…..it is not appropriate for a public blog. 🤣

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

Take the step and try it. But you have to give it at least 2 weeks in order to begin to understand and truly appreciate the sport.

What competition would you like to do next ?

World Masters

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

My daughter is watching…..I am not a quitter

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

Travel with my family

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

Taught me how to handle disappointment and defeat. I thought that I was in shape until I stepped onto the mat. It has gotten better with time but it is a very humbling sport no two days or rolls are the same.


Blue Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: Matthew Falavinha

Belt: Blue Belt- 3 stripes

Age: 27

IG Handle: @falavinha_bjj

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

Honestly, I wanted to do something where I could lose weight and learn how to defend myself. There was a school around the corner from where I lived where I started training. I was going everyday after school. I remember my first class like it was yesterday. I was caught in a triangle and got put to sleep. I never expected that to happen, which made me come back when most people would leave. Till this day I’m still great friends with Rome whom is a Brown Belt in Taiwan.

How long have you been training?

I’ve been training on and off since I was 17. 10 years, I know crazy. Consistent training is key and I wish I would have stuck it out in the beginning, instead of partying and doing all the “fun stuff”. I’ve been training two and half years under Bruno “Tank” Mendes and the Soul Fighters team.

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

So my favorite move to drill would be the DeLa Riva sequence. Some many different ways to establish a dominate position. My favorite move/position for competition I would have to say is the knee slide sequence with the leg weave. Great position to pass and maintain a great control of your opponent.

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

There are to many to name! I’m just grateful to be in a sport where every black belt I’ve met has been nothing but great role models on and off the mats and care about the sport we all love.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

“Dias de luta dias de glória” By Charlie Brown Jr. Probably one of my favorite songs, which stays on rotation. I tend to listen to this everyday before class.

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

Gi! It’s more of a chess game. No-Gi don’t get me wrong is very difficult and more realistic in a street situation. As far as sport goes, what I prefer to compete in will always be Gi.

What do you do to recover from training ?

CBD for relaxation, cold and hot shower after class. Protein shake, BCAA’s, and just a good night of sleep. Occasionally, I do the cryo chamber.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

Go out and try it. Jiu Jitsu is made for the little to overcome the giants. Jiu Jitsu makes you face a real life situation every time you train. It is therapy, helps with PTSD and overall a healthy lifestyle. Jiu Jitsu is a lot more than a martial art, it is a lifestyle. I personally think everyone woman should train Jiu Jitsu. It can save your life.

What competition would you like to do next ?

I’m registered for Dallas Open in September. Next year, will be more of a competition year. I’m hoping to be able to compete at Worlds 2020 and Pans.

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

I usually go to my professors whenever I feel like this. They give me words of encouragement. It’s great to have a team around you that want to build you up.

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

I love being around my family. Being able to spend time with my kids and wife(thats me) means the world to me. I’m thankful my wife understands what Jiu Jitsu means to me. She allows me to train consistently, and for that I’m thankful. On my off days I just want to be home with them and enjoy their presence.

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

Jiu Jitsu has changed my life. Growing up in New Orleans there isn’t much to do for kids. I found Jiu Jitsu at 17. Never in my life would I think it would have such a huge impact in my life. I have met some of the greatest people and still maintain a friendship with them through Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu has made me grow as a man with confidence to face any problem in the world without being worried. Jiu Jitsu has broken me down with tears. Jiu Jitsu has made me throw up. Jiu Jitsu has always been on my side, through the good and the bad. For this I will always love Jiu Jitsu


Purple Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: Tristan “TJ” Martinez

Belt: purple belt – 1st stripe

Age: 31

IG Handle: @tj_martinez452

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

I always wanted to wrestle as a kid, but I was better at football until I bummed my knee out. I always enjoyed watching it in high school/college. When I started doing Muay Thai with Tomer, he was a purple belt teaching before the MT class and would use me as a spare grappling dummy for his students occasionally. It all kind of clicked once he opened Siam Star and got a BJJ coach in.

How long have you been training?

Since February 2012. The first few years were on-off because of school. I’ve been more consistent after graduating in 2015.

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing?

I like north-south/side control positions. But any position I can smash and grind a person’s endurance I’ll gladly use

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

I’d say my coaches and teammates but I know that’s cliché. Our team has heavy hitters. So outside of them a few I like DJ Jackson, Cyborg Abreu, Matheus Diniz, and DC Deangelis. Just big guys who like to smash-thus I want to be.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

Right now “Big Bank” by Big Krit is on repeat

What do you do to recover from training?

Cold showers after practice and sleep primarily. I have a tens unit and massage gun if I’m too banged up.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu?

Just give it a week. It’s awkward and uncomfortable at first but you never know until you try

What competition would you like to do next ?

None preferably. I hate competing and the nerves that come with it but I know it’s good for me. So whichever I can sign up for and get off from work thats it.

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up?

I’m pretty stubborn and kind of knew I’d be in this for a long haul. Quitting isn’t really an option.

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do?

I don’t have much time for other things with my schedule but I’m a big comic book/video game guy. I keep a comic book on me most of the time in my car/backpack

What has JiuJitsu done for you?

It’s helping live out that wrestling aspiration I had. Overall, it’s helped me be a bit more confident in myself and make more friends/family than I’d imagine.


Brown Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: David Husley

Belt: Brown- 1st stripe

Age: 33

IG Handle: @lonestargrappler

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

Weight loss and self defense.

How long have you been training?

5 years February of 19

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

Kimura😍

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

Too many to count tbh, Bruno/Tank Mendez. Someone I’ve been under since white belt. Our builds are similar so I’ve always taken what he says as gospel. Even more so off the mats.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

Lol, Reggae music. Fortunate Youth, Tribal Seeds, Iration.

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

🙃 No-Gi

What do you do to recover from training ?

I use a “Pso-Rite” and an inversion table, along with Warrior CBD. All life savers.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

It’s something very hard to explain. Come in willing to feel an experience. Open mind and humble. If you do this you’ll grow on and off the mats🤙🏻

What competition would you like to do next ?

No-Gi worlds possibly, but if Submission Hunters, FTW, or Kasai come calling I’d be interested.

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

Not an option. We’ve all felt that way at a time, but too many need help and guidance. I’ll suffer in those moments for others growth.

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

Eat chipotle

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

Brought me true purpose and meaning. Gave me an outlet to help those around me and love them appropriately.


Black Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: John Orr

Belt: Black Belt 2nd Degree

Age: 48yrs

IG Handle: @johnorrbjj

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

I wrestled in high school, boxed recreationally in college, then started BJJ when I was 35yrs old. A work colleague showed up with a black eye one day and I went with him to a submission wrestling class and was hooked. I did research and found out that we were doing BJJ and sought out a gym. The engagement mentality of BJJ got me hooked VS just working out with weights.

How long have you been training?

I have been training 14yrs.

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

My favorite posotion is half-guard(top or bottom) and favorite submission is the Peruvian Necktie.

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

I look up to my team (Brazilian Top Team) founder Murilo Bustamante. He was a pioneer in MMA from Pride & UFC.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

Victory by Fabulous. I also have a playlist with old school rap & heavy metal.

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

I prefer Gi because it is more technical.

What do you do to recover from training ?

For recovery I rest, use the TheraGun, and see my chiropractor regularly.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

Try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ! It is NOT for everyone, but if it IS for YOU, it will change your life.

What competition would you like to do next ?

I compete in everything I can. I’ve done 11 tournaments so far in 2019. My next major touranament is IBJJF Master Worlds.

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

Quitting or giving up is NOT AN OPTION !

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

I enjoy TV series with my wife before bed.

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has given me a healthy lifestyle and is also my therapy. Tournaments keep me accountable for cardio plus weight and daily training gives me physical and mental release. When I train I must focus 100% on training or someone will choke me unconscious. I must let go of all other daily stresses. Nothing motivates you more to push yourself physically than not getting submitted !


Black Belt

these are not my images. these were submitted by each individual.

Name: Bruno Mendes, aka Tank

Belt: Black Belt 4th Degree. This means I have been a black belt for fourteen years.

Age: 38

IG Handle: @brunotankbjj

What made you start JiuJitsu ?

I was raised and lived in Rio, back in Brazil. It was and still is a tough place. I was always fighting in school and in the neighborhood, so it brought me discipline and self control. When I started Jiu Jitsu in Brazil, at the time it was the most famous martial arts.

How long have you been training ?

I’ve been training since 1995, so I have 24 years and counting of training and experience.

What is your favorite move to do while training or competing ?

I am a guard passer, so I like to be on top and get side control and work my attacks from there.

Who in the JiuJitsu community do you look up to and why ?

I’ve always had a special place for the old masters and people from the generations before mine. These guys created the base for jiu Jitsu, when it exploded in the world and defended Jiu Jitsu when nobody knew about it.

What song pumps you up before you train ?

I like rock songs and songs with a strong beat. So I go from Metallica, AC/DC, O Rap etc …

Do you prefer Gi or No-Gi ?

Gi, always.

What do you do to recover from training ?

I use to do some stretching, epsom salt baths and relaxing active exercises.

What advice would you give to those interested in trying JiuJitsu ?

Don’t be afraid to try and look for a place where you feel welcomed and relaxed. Jiu Jitsu has a family based culture. Once you find a place you really feel like family, this will make things work very well and your experience will be the best one possible.

What competition would you like to do next ?

I have plans to compete soon, but I don’t know which one yet. For sure, I will try to be at Worlds Masters next year.

What do you tell yourself when you feel like quitting or giving up ?

It’s not an option. Nobody will make my dreams or goals come true, if not myself.

What is something else other than JiuJitsu that you love to do ?

I love movies, read and writing. If I could, I would study to be a filmmaker.

What has JiuJitsu done for you ?

Everything ! For real , everything I have in my life comes from Jiu Jitsu. It’s my career, it’s my livelihood and my lifestyle. I am the man I am today because of Jiu Jitsu.


I want to go ahead and thank everyone who gave me the time of day to be a part of this post. Y’all are extraordinary. I hope that one or all of their experiences have given you that drive to go and try brazilian jiu-jitsu. Oss !

XoXo, Ericka♥

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