We had to post this story. It’s about changing lives through Jiu-Jitsu is what realy counts!!! We have other stories but we will post one at a time.
I was running some errands on a July morning in 2013 when I looked to my left on saw the, “triangle G” above a sign in a tiny shopping center on the east side of Tucson, Arizona. I recognized it as the Gracie symbol! I did a u turn and walked inside… the academy doors and a change in my life happened.
When I came inside the area was still being completed but the mat area was done and looked great. I was greeted by Professor Enrique Villegas in a very friendly way, see I had been to another place that does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Tucson and it was not so inviting.
Professor Enrique introduced himself as the owner and the primary instructor and asked what questions I had. I introduced myself and told him I was an officer with CBP and was also a defensive tactics instructor for the agency. I told him I always wanted to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and thought it would help with my job. Professor Enrique gave me a tour and explained the Gracie Barra values, promotion system, and explained what was asked of me as a student. The next day I walked back into the gym and joined.
My first class was on July 6, my 36th birthday and I haven’t looked back. I only get to train between two and four days a week depending on my work schedule, I have a crazy schedule. I am currently a two stripe white belt and I am slowly getting better. I am beginning to grasp the concept of technique over sheer power. I am a weightlifter and I run and I am a bigger guy.
As someone who practices “The Gentle Art” I am a more confident person, I feel a lot better as my physical conditioning has improved, I have lost about 22 lbs., and I feel as though I could take on the world. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through Gracie Barra has made me a better tactics instructor for my officers and has made me a better and more patient person in my personal life.
Professor Enrique is an awesome instructor and I feel very privileged to say that I get to take classes from a black belt. He is a very technical and very patient instructor and encourages everyone to perform at their best.
I am very proud to be a member of the Gracie Barra family, especially to be a student of Professor Enrique! I found something that I plan to pursue and be a part of for a very long time.