So as you may or may not know, a few weeks ago our gym went to Adelaide for a Jiu Jitsu Competition. We had a great day, we won, we lost and well all enjoyed ourselves. Last week I received a phone call from AGC saying we had taken out the overall Best Team Trophy & the Overall Best Gi Trophy. I was blown away as it was something I never ever thought we would win....EVER.
We are just a small gym from a country town, mind blown.
So for a little back story for you guys new to the gym. here goes.
My first coach James started this gym at the start of 2017, we training out of the old Fit Mildura Gym on 15th street. We had 3 of us plus James and that is including a 11yr old Bodey. 12 Months later James relocated to Melbourne and I had a decision to make, do I take over this gym as a fresh Blue belt and continue the dream for young Bodey or do we just call it quits.
I took it on, I copped an enormous amount a criticism from around the place, a lot of lies were made up etc but it never bothered me in the slightest. I had a vision and a dream of what I wanted in a gym, what I wanted to provide my members if we were to be successful. I had experienced the bad gym thing, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do but I just hadn't worked out how to do it.
We originally only did 2 classes per week, and many times when myself and Bodey would turn up to train we were the only ones who turned up. But we still trained to keep our progression going in the hope one day things would start to turn.
Our First seminar with Professor Tiago we had 12 people at it, and three of them were people from Melbourne. I'm sure Tiago thought when he turned up that first time what have I done hahaha. We were then in a dodgy ex cabinet makers shed with saw dust EVERYWHERE.
In late 2018 I went to the States with Cooper and Bodey to do The Naga Worlds and the IBJJF No Gi Worlds, I caught up with a great friend of mine over there who had his own gym in Irvine California (now gone due to Covid). The gym was struggling, it was costing my family money and Jenelle was quite keen on me closing it down haha. My friend gave me some awesome advice on what I needed to do with the gym moving forward. It was a huge gamble because the Gym was my hobby, I have a full time job, so to commit more hours to the gym was I suppose going to go one way or the other lol.
Anyway we did it, it has been super tough working 7am until 8.30pm basically 5 days a week, plus everything else that goes on after we close up but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.
I love this gym, I love every member we have. You seriously don't understand the kick it gives me when I see a little tacker like Milan doing a technique some Adults struggle with, or When young Jorja goes to comps and beats Boys, or the personal growth I see in kids like Charlotte. Adults like Joe who probably should be in a wheel chair but trains every night, or Tiny Paris beating people up twice her size. And more importantly my own son Bodey beating me up on most occasions.
We now have 27 classes a week at our gym, our seminar with Tiago last month we had over 110 attend.
We did it on our own, and we did it with respect and pride and I cannot be prouder.
A lot of the thanks goes to Bodey, he has been my wing man in this gym since day one, he is humble, a smart ass, a bloody good grappler and a fantastic son. Also my wife Jenelle, she has had her doubts over the journey but she has backed me 110% and has had to sacrifice a lot of us time. Also Cooper, he has always pumped me up to be the best version of me. He comes home and helps out whenever he can, especially in the early days trying to help us generate new members. And of more recent times, Kate, My brotha from another Motha George(man I'd be lost without this guy now), Jorja, Cini, Stephen.
Throw into this mix dealing with crippling anxiety haha, its been interesting at times. But thank you, all of you, to provide an inclusive, positive environment for everyone to train the beautiful art of Jiu Jitsu was all I wanted, you have all made me the person I am today, you have made the gym we have today and I really hope you all enjoy the gym as much as I do.
Thank you again, I really do love you all.