I started training no-gi Jiu-Jitsu with Eddie Bravo in 2007 at a gym called Legends in Hollywood, CA. I had zero experience, no balance, and no athleticism. I was a 33 year old stand-up comedian and magician based in Los Angeles. Comedians and magicians aren't normally known for being athletes, but I wanted to get in shape in a way that challenged my mind and body. Also, 33 sounds young to me now, but I was older than a lot of the other students.
After the pain of the first three classes, I wasn't sure it was for me. For some reason, I stuck with it, toughened up, and started making progress. Everything improved, and my enjoyment increased. It was slow going, but I got my Blue Belt. It was several more years before I got my Purple Belt, and once I did, I knew I couldn't quit. No matter how hard it got, I was committed to getting my Black Belt.
I saw a lot of people come and go over the years. Many of them were better at Jiu-Jitsu than me, and younger and stronger. However, I'm patient and persistent. Maybe I didn't have the raw talent or experience that other people possessed, but I refused to give up.
Finally, after 15 years, on July 25, 2022, I became a Black Belt. It's been a few days, and I'm still basking in good feelings. You can see the moment I was promoted in the video below. By the way, I'm now 48, which makes me even prouder.
The next time you need a Los Angeles magician to amaze your guests and make them laugh, you can hire me and brag that your magician is a Black Belt. 🙂