Matt has been training for four and half years (close to five). He is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (on his way to a Purple) at The HardCore Gym in Athens, Ga. Matt was actually looking for a school that did MMA when he first started. His only reservations had to do with the quality of the coaches. Three weeks after he started, Brian Bowles (former WEC World Champion) knocked out Miguel Torres. He had taught his class early that week.
Although he started by looking for mixed martial arts he truly fell in love with BJJ. It has given him a lot of confidence. It has helped keep him in shape. When he started he lost forty pounds in the first 6 months and has kept it off (even though he doesn’t eat as cleanly as he should). He has gained a lot of athleticism as well. The environment is really friendly. Everyone is very helpful and cares about their training partners.
Matt talks about the trust it takes to do Brazilian Jiu Jitstu. You are trusting someone to submit you and handle you in a sense. Hopefully they will trust you as well. The HardCore Gym has a lot of trust. You can learn from every single training partner from a white belt all the way up. The fact that there are 3 Black Belts (not to mention all the Brown Belts on down) is extremely attractive for being here as well. Matt has done a lot of traveling and gone to a lot of different schools. Having three Black Belts on the mat every single night is extremely rare. You are lucky to have a school that has even one. It helps to learn from three different people by learning different escapes, submissions, and strengths.
At almost 30 years old Matt says that some of his hardest training partners are older than him. The idea that you have to be young and spry in order to compete or even keep up with people isn’t true. It’s the older guys that give him much more trouble then the younger guys. His advice is to show up, sign up, and go to as many classes you possibly can. There is a ton of scheduling you can do and it’s all beneficial. Think of it like an all-you-can-eat buffet and just fill up.