Nicolas Gregoriades: unlocking the root of all fears and neuroses

Nicolas Gregoriades left his home in South Africa and arrived in London with only a couple of hundred bucks in his pocket. After trying another gym, he eventually discovered Roger Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu academy.

When Nicolas knocked on the door, a tall but unassuming kid answered. “This guy doesn’t look tough at all,” Nicolas thought.

“He looked like a regular dude,” Nicolas said. “He had that foppish haircut and was kind of pale. I thought these crazy fighters were supposed to be tan, Mediterranean-looking guys.”

Nicolas had some no-gi grappling experience and had been submitting a lot of guys at home with kneebars. One of his friends knew of Roger Gracie and heard Nicolas was visiting the academy.

“If you kneebar that guy, I will call you ‘sir’ for the rest of your life,” his friend said.

“My kneebars are amazing,” the overly confident, 20-year-old Nicolas said to his friend. “Jiu-Jitsu guys don’t know kneebars.”

Roger was gracious and welcomed Nicolas into the gym during their lunchtime class.

“I’ll never forget that day,” Nicolas said. “There were only four guys in class, so I asked if I could spar with him.” Continue reading “Nicolas Gregoriades: unlocking the root of all fears and neuroses”

Ryron Gracie: the secret to success in life and Jiu-Jitsu

At 12 years old, Ryron Gracie cleaned the mats in between matches at UFC 1 where Royce Gracie submitted every one of his opponents.

That event changed history and radically transformed the martial arts community. UFC 1 showcased Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the world and planted the seeds for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to spread internationally.

“I had a pretty good idea how big the UFC was,” Ryron said. “Everybody at my school knew I was there and that my uncle was on TV.”

Twenty-five years later, Ryron is routinely recognized by people who are anxious to share their story of watching the early UFC fights.

“But it’s not about me,” Ryron emphasized. “It’s the name. Torrance is very much the city of the Gracie family.” Continue reading “Ryron Gracie: the secret to success in life and Jiu-Jitsu”

Evandro Nunes – developing self-confidence, dealing with bullies, and finding inner peace

Evandro Nunes is a trainer at the world-famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu University and has earned several world championship Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu medals.

His mindset toward fighting began forming while being raised by a tough Brazilian father who instilled strong, traditional values in him.

“If you see injustice toward you, or someone else, you stand up for it,” Evandro’s father taught him. “If you’re wrong, you apologize, but if you’re right, you fight for it.”

Evandro was born with a firm sense of right and wrong, but it was his father’s lessons that reinforced those instincts.

“It only made sense. If I’m right, I should win,” Evandro said. “The good guy wins and the bad guy loses, just like in the movies.”

That instinct led him into a lot of fights as a kid, many of which were with his brother, who was four years older.

“My brother and I fought a lot,” Evandro said, “but I still remember the first time I won.”

In this fight, Evandro was only seven years old and thought he could not possibly defeat his much-larger sibling.

“He punched me in the shoulder, and I fell on the floor crying,” Evandro said.

Evandro’s brother pushed him down four more times and then demanded that he stay on the ground.

“I remember feeling that I was right, so I should not lose,” Evandro said. “I was willing to go as far as it took to defend my ground.” Continue reading “Evandro Nunes – developing self-confidence, dealing with bullies, and finding inner peace”

Jerome Roseborough – Growth through Adversity

Jerome Roseborough is an active Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and the owner of Katy Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Team Academy in Texas.

Jerome found Jiu-Jitsu when a friend invited him to train in a small room in an apartment complex.

“It was not even a class,” Jerome said. “We did not have mats, so we just rolled on the carpet. We ended up smashing out a window, and I had rug burns all over my elbows. I loved it.”

They trained together for a few months and eventually bought some mats and invited other friends. After training there for about a year, Jerome moved to Texas and immediately joined Katy BJJ as a white belt.

“Before that first day, I didn’t realize there was Jiu-Jitsu in a gi,” Jerome said. “Probably like everybody else who walks in, I wasn’t grasping the concept of how the gi was working against me.”

Jerome was amazed that smaller and weaker guys were crushing him.

“I’ve noticed there are two types of people who try Jiu-Jitsu,” Jerome explained. “One person’s ego is so fragile that they will never come back, but the other comes back determined to learn it.”

Jerome has never had an inflated ego. In fact, he felt he was on the other end of the spectrum as the weaker or insecure person, so discovering Jiu-Jitsu gave him hope.

His attitude toward growth in life and Jiu-Jitsu developed during a tumultuous journey that began when he was homeless and living in a car as a child.

Jerome’s father wasn’t around when he was born, and his mother raised five kids alone by working in a department store. Jerome’s mother was fired after she was injured at work, and she was denied workers’ compensation payments. When the money dried up, they were evicted from their home and the family was split up. Jerome’s sisters were sent to a foster home, and his mother and second-oldest brother moved into a friend’s house.

“Everything was going all right,” Jerome said, “but then it all seemed to fall apart when she got hurt at work.” Continue reading “Jerome Roseborough – Growth through Adversity”

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