Finding a Global Community with Robert Smith

Two years ago my close frat brother in Brooklyn, NY finally convinced me to give jiujitsu a try. During my visits to Brooklyn, I would tag along while he trained. It was crazy to me to see people on the mats trying to choke each other out. No thanks! So when I finally walked into Elite MMA, I thought I was losing my mind. Two – three weeks after my first class, I got the jiu jitsu bug. I’ve been training 3-4 days a week since then and it has been a humbling but rewarding experience. 

   I’ve tried all types of fitness activities but jiu jitsu is the one that provides tangible results. I like that I can stay fit while learning self defense. I also enjoy the community that jiujitsu provides. Everyone at my home gym, from coaches, upper belts and peers are always helpful and willing to share information on a move that is giving me a problem.

I’ve also had the opportunity to train at jiu jitsu gyms during my travels – from London, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in addition to multiple cities across the US. One thing is pretty consistent, jiu jitsu is a global community and the gyms I’ve visited have been friendly.

I also added kickboxing to my training over the last couple of months and that has been challenging and rewarding as well. A few of my biggest takeaways since being an Elite MMA member is to focus on the journey and not dwell on the next promotion. Every time I step on the mat and learn something new or improve on a current technique is what it is all about. Also, this has been huge in managing stress related to life! My last 6-7 months have been tough, so the ability to take my mind off a job search or other stresses for an hour or two a day helps. I’m thankful that I found a sport I can grow and develop in the rest of my life.