I started my martial arts journey at 15 years old studying Kuk Sool Won for 4 years and learned that this would be a lifelong passion. I began my grappling career 14 years ago studying BJJ and wrestling under Marcello Salazar Bergo in order to become a well rounded fighter and try my luck at MMA accumulating 6 years of experience. I continued under his tutelage through purple belt and now have earned ranks at brown belt under legends like Mario Sperry.
I spent much of my early career not expecting the best from myself but as a purple belt I came to the realization I could no longer accept just being a "good grappler" in my home academy. I needed to accomplish something more. I changed my entire lifestyle to focus on becoming a decorated competitor. I began lifting and eating right to ensure my longevity in the sport and changed weight classes from an out of shape heavyweight to a competitive super heavyweight. The shift has taken time and a lot of mental work to develop the fighter mentality but has been rewarding in many ways beyond my own success. It has enabled me to become a highly effective coach and resource to my students and teammates who desire more from themselves on and off the mats. Every competition has given me invaluable life lessons with which to build myself and those around me.
I'll start this with my favorite quote by Hemingway "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." This quote exemplifies my philosophy on life and martial arts and drives my expectations of myself and my students. There is nothing greater than to be in a position to help others be better tomorrow than they were yesterday.