Hey legends just me again, so you guys probably see that heading and say what the hell is he on about this time haha.
Nunca Desista dos Seus Sonhos is Português for Never give up your dreams, and this is something very close to my heart. About 4 1/2 years ago I started actually training Jiu Jitsu at a gym with a friend of mine who had just started his own gym. There was legit only myself, Bodey and two other men that were huge lol. Poor Bodes had no hope.
About 12 months later my mate moved to Melbourne and I had a decision to make, take over the gym myself as a White Belt or just let it close. It was only tiny at the time, so it would have been easy to just close it. But I wanted Bodey to keep training, he had been training for roughly 3 years by then so I bit the bullet and did it, I copped all sorts of ridicule from certain places because I wasn't this and I wasn't that, but I never let it phase me.
We had so many nights when myself and Bodey would turn up to train and it was only us, so we would do a few drills and train together.
Our very first Seminar we had a friend of mine from Brazil come to Australia and he came to our gym, Abmar Barbosa, I think we had like 9 people come for the seminar...and 3 of them were from Melbourne haha.
Myself and Jenelle had many heated exchanges at home about closing the gym because it was costing us too much money to keep going, we were legit losing money every week we were open. We had no members, or minimal members, we just couldn't generate exposure for the gym.
That year I took my boys to America to compete at the Naga Worlds & the IFBBJ Worlds, I was sitting in my friends gym in Irvine California telling him all my problems with the gym and that I was probably going to close it when we got back. It was his advice that he gave me then that really turned us around. He said try kids classes and see how you go, we did that when we got back and as they say in the classics the rest is history.
I never in my wildest dreams thought that this gym would be my job one day, but this week it now is. I have done 3 1/2 years of working 70+ hrs a week Because I love Jiu Jitsu, I love making a difference in peoples lives. I never cared how tired I was coming to the gym, this was the best part of my day.
I would do what it took to make sure Bodey had a place to train, and then it became about giving Jess a place to train, and Jorja, and then Will and Matty and Iluka and it is now everyone of our members.
I have been involved in shit gyms, so I know exactly what type of gym I wanted and I think we are pretty close to it.
It's inclusive, it's safe, it has a healthy learning environment, we all learn together. No matter your sex, colour of your skin, your size...nothing, we are all equal and that will never change. I have only ever had one rule in my gym and that is a No cock head policy (excuse my French). If you want to learn, train, treat people right, then you are welcome at our gym.
So my point to this, never give up on your dreams, anything is possible. I am now doing something I love as my job, we have a healthy membership base now and continue to grow. None of his would be possible without my family, Especially Jenelle who has given up a lot of us time over the last few years. Cooper, Bodey & Kate for always supporting me. Professor Tiago for always having my back from the very beginning and sticking with me when I inadvertently caused him issues. We are more than Professor and Student now, he will be a brotha for life. My Friend Cedric in the States for always giving me great advice not only for our gym but also in life. Big George for helping me out when I couldn't afford to pay you love you brotha. All of my helper coaches Jorja, Cini, Jaida, Soane, Rex, Kate, Bodey, gyms don't operate without you so I am indebted to you.
Dreams can come true if you are prepared to work for them, so my advice is don't listen to the haters, keep your head down and bum up and make its happen.
Our gym is the best, not because of myself or Bodey or any other coach here, it his because of our members, you make the difference, you make it inclusive, you make it welcoming, you make sure everyone learns together, thank you all. I legit love everyone of you.