Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has consumed a good portion of the world's interest. If you haven't heard of BJJ, you've at least seen or heard about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). However, BJJ has taken the interest of a broader demographic than other martial arts involved in the UFC. Without taking away any importance or level of power from BJJ, the techniques are not based on physical strength or size, but rather proper execution of various techniques that override your opponent. People with interest in solving puzzles or geometric equations tend to gravitate towards BJJ more. BJJ also allows the lesser fit, women, children, or the person 'not looking to fight' but rather defend themselves an opportunity to do so. BJJ furthermore eliminates any hard strikes to the body and, more importantly, any hits to the head. Not that BJJ is completely pain/injury-free, but you don't necessarily have to worry about traumatic brain injury (TBI). Because of the 'anyone can do BJJ' motto; subsequently, you can find a wide variety of personalities at a BJJ gym.
We find the casual grappler, "don't quit your day job" type, who love training but do not want to compete. Or the instantly obsessed, "eat, sleep, BJJ" consuming the entirety of their life type. Usually, these are the black belt / professors or someone in the making ...and then, you have everyone else somewhere in between. Recently, we acquired one of those instantly obsessed types, and we couldn't be happier about it. Meet Tyler Norwood.
The somewhat shy Norwood we first met, started his BJJ journey back in March 2019. "I was looking for the camaraderie that accompanies a consistent, tough task and regular, intense exercise. I was about 340lbs with a quiet desk job when I began. I wanted to get in shape and make new friends with common interests. For years, I listened to Joe Rogan speaking with guests on his podcast about BJJ, and it put a seed in my mind that made me want to try BJJ." The fact that Norwood comes to class every day of the week and sometimes twice a day, we knew he was a keeper. It is impressive to watch Norwood's growth in BJJ as well as the lack of shyness nowadays. "I have gained many friends and have lost 55lbs. The discipline required to participate in something that isn't always physically comfortable has equipped me to apply discipline to other areas of my life, such as diet. I eat much better since I started because it feels good to have healthy energy." This three stripped white belt would like to share with anyone hesitant to starting BJJ, "The best time to start is now. There is a place for everyone. You don't need to wait until you're in shape or have more time. I would advise new students to jump in, work at their own pace, challenge themselves, and be ready to learn."
He has become quite the BJJ advocate and has inspired a lot of us! "After trying a few gyms in town, I asked a friend if he knew anywhere that might be more casual. He relayed that he heard that Binder BJJ had just opened. I looked it up, called Professor Dave, and explained what I was looking for and some particular challenges that I anticipated due to my size. I asked him why I should try Binder BJJ. His response made it clear that BBJJA is a place where everyone can learn and adapt to the sport. Between his encouraging attitude and enthusiasm, it was the place for me, and the location is a plus." We also asked Norwood what he thinks makes a good gym, between professor and student, "A good Professor has to anticipate the needs of his or her students when they are struggling to understand the technique. They should be able to watch students perform techniques and be able to analyze and coach as necessary without being frustrated or upset by the student's learning process. A good Professor should also be willing to safely practice and drill on the mats with students in a way that challenges them and gauges their experience level."
On the other hand, "A good student is enthusiastic about learning without being wrapped up in being better than their peers." We agree with Norwood, and we also believe he defines/represents a great student. Norwood recently competed at the GRAPPLING INDUSTRIES ALBUQUERQUE and placed!
A well-deserved congratulations! He plans on competing in many more.
Lastly, Norwood has taken upon himself to film some of Professor Dave's techniques, we've also shared them on our video blog section! So don't forget to check them out!
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