I started training when I was 20 in Philadelphia back in 2008. After just one class I got bit by “the bug” and haven’t stopped since. I immediately adjusted my life to revolve around jiu jitsu and never looked back. With just two weeks of training, I entered my first tournament. I got destroyed but knew I wanted to be a competitor. Back then things were a lot different, we didn’t have 14 IBJJF events every weekend, and the internet wasn’t spoiling the community with world class techniques, I just spent as much time on the mat as I could.
Looking back, I would give some short cut advice to my inexperienced self. Conversations about how important the correct environment is to thrive, how to efficiently create goals, what I should and shouldn’t be drilling, knowing the difference between techniques that work on people who aren’t so great and concepts that are realistic at the highest level, the list goes on. I progressed quickly according to the standard back then, but it took years to make certain changes that I didn’t even know were necessary.