Does someone who wants to make it big have to move to get the level of Jiu Jitsu they need? Or can they work with seminars and other small town schools to advance their skills?
We never hear about “the little guy”, the nobody, that showed up and blew away the competition. I’m pretty sure it’s happened, but if it’s not a reaccuring win then no one says a word. Why is this? I think it’s because us in the Jiu Jitsu community are so hung up on names that we don’t hear the “little guy”. If it’s not Gracie, Garcia, or Bravo etc,. no one seems to care. To me, I believe it’s an enormous achievement to win at any size BJJ tournament no matter what level you are, especially if it’s at the lower levels. This is what drives us nobodies to get better and train harder, we read books, some travel for hours each way for seminars, and others only have the option to watch YouTube and learn as much as possible from there.
Our school is in a tiny little town in Illinois where the sign entering say 4600 people live here! Our coach Clint Hooper started teaching when he was just a blue belt traveling to get his time in from different schools some over an hour away. He did this just to bring an art to this small town that otherwise wouldn’t know anything other than what the UFC has to offer. After a little over 11 years he finally this last Saturday March 28th was given his black belt from Renato “Cheruto” Verissimo, who came to give a seminar at another nearby school Saben’s Martial Arts in Carbondale Illinois. In the time that I have been with him he has produced some extremely talented people! Our team has won multiple golds, silvers, and bronzes in tournaments such as Kozen, NAGA, and Bluegrass. All from a school with less than 50 people! The size of the school doesn’t show the amount of heart within it!! I personally would like to thank all of the small town schools for taking our art to those who otherwise wouldn’t see it! If they didn’t do their part we might not have any more Keenans or Buchechas.
Don’t limit yourself on training just because the guy teaching isn’t Marcelo or Royce! You can receive great instruction, and some you may never get, from every where you go. So is big city Jiu Jitsu better than small town? No! Why? Because big city Jiu Jitsu started as small town Jiu Jitsu! Don’t ever forget that!