As a martial artist, your coach can be the most significant part of your journey or the worst. Either way, they will be essential to your growth, and it can be tough to find the right one to help you become the practitioner you want to be. I had the privilege of experiencing both types of coaches firsthand during my journey, and thankfully none of them were Joshua Fabia, but one guy was pretty close.
Puerto Rico is known for its beautiful beaches, fun-loving culture, and delicious cuisine mixed with Spanish, African, and indigenous ancestors. I had the fortunate experience of growing up there, but it was a mental prison for me. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression most of my life rooted in my past growing up as a foreigner in a strange homeland there.
The art of fighting is as old as time. Hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian boxers and sculptures of ancient Greek wrestlers appear throughout history. Every life form on earth has fighting instincts, and through the years, these tendencies have progressed in humans. Now, many art forms of fighting that we practiced in the past have become sports viewed by the masses.
UFC 263 was a massive night for mixed martial arts, and it was also a night that made history. There have only been three champions in that division, and they were all dominant title runs. So when Mexico’s Brandon Moreno fought Brazil’s Deiveson Figueiredo for the UFC Flyweight championship in a tightly contested rematch of their previous draw, the world watched anxiously.
On June 15th, 2019, I made my commentary debut on “World Series Of Fighting: Submission 1”, and it was my first step through the door of high-level martial arts. Being from Puerto Rico, it was a dream come true to meet so many great athletes and work with them.
So you train all day, and you listen to “The Joe Rogan Experience” all night all day, but you get on social media and see your art major friends screaming for Joe Rogan’s head on a pike.
A lot of us in the jiu-jitsu community get a little skeptical when it comes to pro-wrestling. People tend to think it is fake fighting. But, even though it is choreographed, they still take the bumps to entertain fans. The biggest pro-wrestling company in the world, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), considers themselves “Sports Entertainment,’ and what’s not to love about that? The theatrics, the lights, and the energy of the crowd are something that is not like other art forms.
There are many ways to prepare for competition, and a lot of us use supplements whether they are legal or not. So, as I am preparing for my “High Rollerz” debut, a tournament that requires its participants to “indulge” in cannabis use before they step on the mats, I realized I needed to work on more things than my jiu-jitsu before compete. I also needed to work on my THC tolerance.
In this crazy world of submission grappling, many of us focus on the sport aspect of the martial art because, let’s face it, it is entertaining. But, other aspects of the art are more fundamentally fulfilling—most of all, the benefits it has on your mental health.
Puerto Rico has a colossal fight culture. But it is primarily focused on the sport of boxing. With fighting legends such as Tito Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, and “Macho” Camacho calling the island home, it is pretty surprising there is not much of an MMA scene there as well.