Gracie Barra Sydney’s Sean Fong Speaks about motivation, limitations and Jiu Jitsu
We may see physical disabilities as an end to… well… pretty much everything. However, for some being physically disable has not hinder them to succeed and to stay active. After all, how much percentage does our limbs take on most of our bodies.
We’ve seen handicapped athletes do great in the world of sports. And it shouldn’t be different in Jiu Jitsu. Gracie Barra’s teaching ways has been proven to be effective to everyone. Even the handicapped. To my surprise, we have received word from a certain unique Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu warrior in Australia. He has been practicing Jiu Jitsu for 5 months in Gracie Barra Sydney. We think that introducing him to everyone would spark inspiration to those who are looking for some. Sean says, “I can inspire at least one person to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by doing this interview, then it’s worth it.”
On one dreary afternoon, while playing in the sugarcane fields of Fiji, Sean lost his left arm (full story on the video interview) . As a kid, and having great disposition as a kid, he pursued and lived normally. Years later, he is now works as a manager for a legal firm. This just proves that handicaps cannot set limitations to anyone.
GB.com: So how’s your training?
Sean: Training is going great. I’m training 2 to 3 times a week. I would love to do 5 or more sessions a week with more conditioning classes. I’m enjoying it at the moment. I got my third stripe about a month ago and especially enjoy the classes where I get to roll at the end :) That’s when I get to experiment with what works for me and what doesn’t. At the moment I’m just working on adding to my game – defense, controlling my opponent and then trying to sweep and go for a submission.
GB.com: There are a lot of other schools that teach Jiu jitsu in australia, what made you choose Gracie Barra?
Sean: I did a bit of research before I chose Gracie Barra. I knew that they had a reputation for producing high level talent eg Roger Gracie, the Estima brothers, Nino Schembri, from watching the UFC I knew that Georges St Pierre and Frankie Edgar were students of the Gracie Barra school. I did research online and found out Professor Marcello had done some work with the Manly Sea Eagles – a local rugby league team that has won the grand finals last year and in 2008. As a team they have an impressive record. Also I found in an online forum for jiu jitsu that someone posted that the facilties at GB Sydney were the best he’d been to.
There’s more to me than the handicap. And once I’m on the mat my natural competitive drive kicks in and wants to win.
GB.com: Your handicap has never deterred you from being active in sports, tell us what motivates you to excel despite it.
Sean: Firstly my motivation comes from just wanting to be involved. In school I used to watch the other kids play rugby and soccer and other sports that I couldn’t participate in because I couldn’t run. I knew I wasn’t weak and that I had some athletic ability but I never had the chance to show it. That’s not meant to sound sad and gloomy or make people feel sorry for me. I felt like if I had a chance I would show people what I could do. Now that I am older I feel like I am making up for lost time. I genuinely love to compete. It’d be a shame if I let my physical insecurities get in the way of me having fun. I feel like there’s no way I’m going to miss out on all the adventure
just because I am missing two limbs. There’s more to me than the handicap. And once I’m on the mat my
natural competitive drive kicks in and wants to win.
GB.com: Tell us who your favorite Gracie Barra Fighter is.
Sean: If I had to pick one I’d say Roger Gracie. Simple and very very effective. I like the idea of having say 20 techniques but really mastering them to the point of being almost impossible to defend.
GB.com: Can you tell us abot the support you receive from the trainers in Gracie Barra Sydney?
Sean: The support I receive is great. They are very encouraging and have a lot of patience. I think they find it valuable as well to experiment and adapt different techniques. Plus you really feel like one of the family, its a great atmosphere. I think a lot of that is due to Professor Marcello. He’s very animated and funny and its very easy to be comfortable around him.
GB.com: How long do you see yourself staying with gracie barra?
Sean: For life! I would love to travel the world and do BJJ at the same time. I cannot wait to vist the Gracie Barra schools in the United States and Europe. Eventually the goal is to get to Brazil
GB.com: Lastly, tell us your thouhgts on the right kind of motivation a person shoujld have.
Sean: I think people should stay positive. I believe strongly in setting goals and going after them. Your focus determines your reality. begin each day with a purpose. don’t let anyone define your limits.
Visit Sean Fong’s Page at www.facebook.com/sean.fong
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