BJJ Journey - Kris

Just as in life, everyone has a different BJJ journey. We all learn at different speeds, and have different physical tools. Each journey is personal, and they are all perfectly equal, just as they are all beautiful.  What does your journey look like?

We asked a few of our students to tell us about their individual journey, in the hope that this would inspire and educate others.  Plus so they could share the page with their friends :-)

Here is Kris' story...

1. When and why did you start training BJJ?
 Living in Chile as a kid, I first heard about the Gracie family and their grappling style, so I had some initial background and interest. But it wasn't until I turned 21 that I  first started training  BJJ. I had a general interest in MMA at the time, but the grappling aspect soon became my favorite and when I signed up for my first BJJ class,  I knew I had found my passion. In my first few years I jumped around between a few different schools, with no real goal in mind. But after taking a long break I was determined to find a long-term home where I felt more comfortable and could make solid progress.

             Kris rolling with Bryce.

             Kris rolling with Bryce.

It was at this time that I found the Roy Dean Academy (RDA) and enrolled. As I researched more about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I was determined to train with someone that had Gracie lineage. Paul was instructing at RDA, so this offered me opportunity I was looking for. Joining RDA changed my life and taught me to understand what BJJ was really about. Finding a home was the difficult part, but with RDA and Paul I finally started to appreciate the art of BJJ.

2. Tell us about your BJJ journey so far…
So far my BJJ journey has been special. I have met tons of good people that want to learn and train. From my beginnings of jumping gyms, to finding Paul and the Ralph Gracie affiliated school, the journey has been hard but fun.  One of my  key struggles  was learning to let go of strength and instead focus on technique. Learning what works for me personally was key in my experience, as was finding a good gym with a community of good practitioners that are encouraging, friendly and willing to share their knowledge.

Those who have influenced me the most in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are Roy Dean, Sensei Denni (a judoka,) Paul Moresi, and my girlfriends son, Bryce Bozovich. When I received my first stripe in BJJ I never expected anything from it, I just kept training and saw it as an honor for my progression, however working towards a blue belt had become a goal of mine. 

          Kris & Matt rolling no-gi.

         Kris & Matt rolling no-gi.

I wouldn't change anything with my journey in BJJ. Every time I learn from Paul I get my mind blown and learning the Gracie Jiu Jitsu style is why I love BJJ. Some of the benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is finding training partners that are training to be better. It took a long time for me to find a BJJ home, where I could train with like minded people. The physical and mental benefits are great in BJJ. I love how training BJJ helps my body be flexible and helps my mind be calm and teaches me discipline and compassion. BJJ is the same across the board, but individually it is different for all of us.

3. What are your future BJJ goals?
My future BJJ goals are to keep training to get better as well as to help others get better in their own journey with BJJ, to continue to  compete, and to gain knowledge that makes my BJJ style more complete. I also want to continue to be open to everything that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has to offer. 

4. What advice would you give your BJJ-beginner self?
The advice I would give myself  is to tap early, train smart, be mindful of others and to stay healthy to train. The best advice I have for others training BJJ is to train a lot, tap early, and be open to others advice. It is also a good idea to always keep your ego down, because we are all here to learn and to be brothers.