Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Dentist Pasadena Texas:
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ― Vincent van Gogh
July 1st 2016 is the day I started my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) journey. Everyone has their own reasons for starting. For me, I was 40 and overweight. I exercised sporadically and did not have the mental strength to push myself in my workouts. In my mind, I was still the captain of my High School Basketball Team but then reality sets in and my athletic glory is all in the past. I’ve been a longtime UFC fan and remember the first events where this skinny looking guy named Royce Gracie dominated. He was always the smaller less physically intimidating fighter. However, he would engulf his opponent and wiggle, rotate and soon his opponent would tap out. That was my first introduction to BJJ.
College, Dental School, Marriage, Kids, Business.
Life keeps me busy. In Dental School, I started to ride dirt bikes. Then we had two amazing daughters. My time constraints prevented me from riding as much as I would like. Next, I picked up shooting and became the Shooting Dentist. My Austin shooting buddy Chris started taking BJJ. I asked him about it and he told me how great of a workout it was. I was at a crossroad and needed to make a change. I searched gyms near my house and found Coach Angelus.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”― Lao Tzu
My first class as a new student was intense. I was scared beyond belief. In fact, the week prior to me starting I drove my car to the gym. I stayed in the car, chickened out and drove home. However, on July 1st, I had the courage and walked into the gym.
The mental challenge of BJJ is greater than the physical challenge for me. BJJ is a combative sport and is very physical. However, the mental test far exceeds the physical. Do I have the mental strength to show up knowing that I am going to be physically manhandled.
I still get extremely nervous showing up to class. However, there has never been a single ounce of regret once class was over. I’m slowly learning and getting in better shape. I have lost twenty pounds since I started my BJJ journey.
Below is from my very first tournament. I got Third Place! (There was only three people in my division!)
What is holding you back? What is your excuse? Why not dare to be great.
I am so glad I found Coach Angelus and Team Ravlin. I have so many new friends of different ages, sizes and walks of life. We are a beautiful group of unique people that support and encourage each other on the mats. Then there is life outside of gym. We go out to eat together, meet at the movies, watch UFC fights and have house parties together. We playful harass each other online and call out teammates who have not been showing up to class. There is a something unique, bizarre, and special when your friends have sweated on you, crushed you, choked you and bent your limbs the wrong way. I am so thankful I got over the first big obstacle in BJJ. That obstacle being I did not quit after several months.
Received my Blue Belt April 25, 2018
Received my Purple Belt February 24, 2023
My humble tips to starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
- You can start right now. You don’t have to be in amazing shape. Just start going. You will get in better shape and develop a healthier lifestyle.
- You will suck starting out. You will get better. Just show up, listen to your instructor and try.
- To me the White Belt represents the courage to begin something new, the willingness to be a student and having the courage to show up.
- Go to class consistently. It is easy to make excuses.
- The only magic formula is to show up, listen, try, tap out and keep coming back.
- You will be uncomfortable. There will be people sweating on you, crushing you, choking you and bending your limbs the wrong way. During all of this you are trying to defend and breathe. It takes effort to learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable positions.
- Make small reasonable goals. At the start of my BJJ journey, my victory was just showing up to class. About seven months in I passed my blue belt friend Alan’s guard for the first time. That was a huge morale victory for me. Alan still easily dominates me every roll but I just keep trying.
- Take care of your training partners. While BJJ is an individual sport, it is practiced in a collaborative way. Train smart and don’t hurt your partner.
- Tap early and have no ego. One particular roll I remember was with my Purple Belt friend Ki. It was a 4 minute round and Ki tapped me 7 times. Every time I got tapped, I would take a deep breathe and tell Ki good job. We would reset and I would come at Ki. I kept trying and kept getting tapped. Right after the 7th tap I hear Coach Angelus yell “30 seconds.” I boldly told Ki you are not tapping me. Ki only had 30 seconds, I fought with all my white belt newbie skill. Ki was JUST sinking in a choke when the buzzer went off. If Ki would have had 31 seconds he would have tapped me. Surviving 30 seconds was a huge victory and the highlight of my day. My ego did not care that I was decisively beaten 7 times in a row. Surviving 30 seconds was an epic win!
- Be prepared for lots of laundry! BJJ is such an amazing workout you will sweat like crazy. You need to have clean gear for every class.