Mario “Zen Machine” Sperry – Inside the Mind of a Legendary Fighter

Mario-sperry-bjjMario Sperry climbed into the Pride FC ring and gazed across the mat at Murillo “Ninja” Rua.

They were there to settle the tense and long standing rivalry between Brazilian Top Team and Chute Boxe Academy.

Mario turned to the audience with a wide smile and raised his arms in the air as the 19,000 cheering fans thundered with approval.

“The energy at Pride is beautiful, man,” Mario said. “That’s something I’m going to miss for the rest of my life. I still feel shivers.”

Within seconds after the referee started the fight, the two combatants started trading violent punches until Mario caught one in the jaw. Continue reading

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Danielle Martin – Overcoming Adversity, The Journey of a Model Turned Black Belt

Danielle-Martin-BJJDanielle Martin makes life look easy in her stunning modeling pictures, but those images do not tell the story of her tumultuous journey to becoming the Jiu-Jitsu black belt she is today.

In high school, Danielle was homeless and slept in a campground restroom.

Her mother made some bad choices selling methamphetamine and went away to prison and her father was not there for her.

But instead of becoming another statistic, Danielle fought her way through hardships and has shaped an inspiring life.

After high school, Danielle found herself in a whirlwind as a professional surfer, model and TV personality.

She grew up in Hawaii where she began surfing when she was seven years old. Her passion for surfing lead to sponsorships from O’Neill, Rip Curl and others.

Professional surfing led Danielle to modeling jobs with major national brands like Nordstrom, Nike and Reebok. Danielle was also featured in magazines like Sports Illustrated, Shape, Health & Fitness and Surfing.

After a chance encounter on the beach, Danielle was invited to host a television show that led to roles on shows like Dirty Jobs on Discovery, Planet X on the FOX Network and Pro-Truck TV on Speedvision.

In addition to her professional career, Danielle has won multiple championship Jiu-Jitsu medals at the National, Pan American and World tournaments while progressing through the belt ranks.

Today Danielle is a motivational speaker and founder of True Boundaries — a personal protection and self-empowerment company.

Danielle started when Jiu-Jitsu schools were hard to find and she had to drive two hours round trip to get to academy.

“I don’t really know why I was drawn to it, but it was probably because I grew up not feeling safe,” Danielle said. “I think I was subconsciously preparing myself for the worst.” Continue reading

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The Battle Between Warriors and the Public

IMG_8889-2In the middle of the morning, the 911 calls flooded in reporting a man at busy shopping center frantically waving a butcher knife.

When the officers arrived, the Hispanic man was yelling while holding the knife against his own throat.

The cops stood back and tried to talk the man down.

Hostile crowds started to form and they launched into the usual anti-police rhetoric.

The police did not create the incident, but they were forced to deal with it. They were in a no win situation.

Ignoring the man would leave the public at risk, but to communicate, the officers had to enter the deadly 21 foot range – a distance the untrained public knows nothing about.

The public dismisses the dangers of knives, but cops know the fatality rates of stabbing and shooting victims are similar.

The police were always split seconds behind, forced to play defense as they aimed a mixture of firearms and less-lethal bean bag weapons.

The officers patiently negotiated until he started wildly stabbing himself with the large knife. Continue reading

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Tom Cronin – 6 Time World Champion BJJ Fighter Who Started at Age 33

Tom Cronin BJJTom Cronin immediately flew home when his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

When he arrived in Louisiana, Tom discovered the cancer had aggressively attacked her body and she was on her death bead.

Tom remembered it was the night before his 33rd birthday when he sat with his mother in her hospital bed.

“You won this?” she said while holding the gold medal he won at the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship.

“You fight these guys?” she asked contemplating how he earned the medal. He was never athletic as a child and started Jiu-Jitsu only six months earlier. “How much did they pay you?”

“Nothing,” Tom said. “I paid to do it.”

His mother looked confused wondering why he would pay money to fight with other men. She paused as she thought about it for a minute and said, “I’m really proud of you.”

“That was good enough for me,” Tom mentioned as he recalled the story.

“Tomorrow is your birthday,” she said. “What do you want?”

“I just want more time with you,” Tom answered because the doctors said she was hanging on by a string.

Tom held his mother and they fell asleep.

The next morning she woke up and said, “Happy birthday.”

Tears welled up in Tom’s eyes as he told me, “She made it to my birthday,”

A few minutes later Tom’s mother whispered, “See you later.”

Tom held his mother and they cried as she passed away in his arms. Continue reading

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Chad Robichaux – Marine Special Forces, MMA & Jiu-Jitsu Fighter Overcoming PTSD

chad-robichauxA man was barricaded in his house pointing a rifle at Chad Robichaux – the police officer who responded to the domestic violence call.

“That morning, if you asked me what if a guy points a gun at me,” Chad said. “I’m going to blast him.”

But it was not that easy after Chad glanced in the living room full of family pictures and toys.

“I felt compassion,” Chad said. “It would be such a permanent decision.”

Chad kept his handgun in close, stepped forward and reached for the barrel of the rifle.

“When I grabbed his gun, I really believed I could yank it out of his arms,” Chad said. “I still felt like I was in control.”

They started fighting over each other’s weapons, but the guy was much larger.

“When he grabbed my hand, I knew I was in trouble,” Chad said. “I got pissed. I remember thinking, You’re going to make me kill you.” Continue reading

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