Ron here with Power English. As many people know, I do a lot of things other than teaching English. One of my passions outside of the classroom is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. (BJJ) Yes, I use the word passion and not hobby. Why? I feel like the word “hobby” is something you do just for fun when you have some free time. But the word “passion” is something that means a great deal to you and your life and something you could not live without doing. For me, this is BJJ.
My first BJJ class was in March of 2011. It’s a day I’ll never forget. My roommate was training and always had his gi hanging up in the basement to dry. I thought it was for karate or something. He said he trained BJJ and always insisted that I join him in a class. I never really gave much thought about it. To be honest, I was kind of in a bad place in life. The economy crashed and I lost my job on the East Coast and there were a lot of personal issues I was dealing with. I ended up in Portland, Oregon but was still struggling to find my place in life. I couldn’t see any future for myself and just struggled to get through each day.
One day he asked me to join him in a BJJ class as I was getting home from work. I was tired, but said, “Ok, let’s go.” It was a day that changed my life. I don’t know why, but I thought we were going to lift weights. We pulled up to the gym. Mata Leao Combat Sports. I took a lesson and learned a couple of techniques. I was completely blown away by what they were doing in that gym. I asked when I could come back next. They said “tomorrow”. The very next day I was back!
I’ve been a competitor and an athlete my entire life. I’ve always been very competitive. So naturally I wanted to compete as soon as possible. My coach Omar Santiago said I could compete in an upcoming BJJ Tournament. With only 5 weeks of training I entered the competition; and I won!
I completed in as many competitions as possible. I then started training Muay Thai Kickboxing and had 4 amateur fights. After that I started fighting MMA. (Cage Fighting) In my first 18 months of training I had around 10 BJJ tournaments, 4 Muay Thai Fights and 4 MMA fights! I eventually moved to Japan to pursue my dream to be a Professional fighter overseas.
I did have MMA fights here in Japan, but I have since quit as a professional fighter. I’m back to focusing only on BJJ and my goal now is to attain a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu. BJJ has given me so much in my life. I can’t imagine where I would be in my life right now if I had never started to train. My goal is not only to attain my Black Belt, but also to spread the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to people interested in finding out more about it. I not only teach English, but I’m also a BJJ instructor.
If you ever have any questions about my passion for BJJ and want to know more about it, please feel free to ask me about it in one of my classes at Power English. I’ll be happy to share.