What the Challenge of BJJ Does for Me – John

Douglas Esposito Challenge, Coaches Who Care, Confidence, Member Stories, Sport to Compete In, Want a Great Team

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“Challenge? It’s something we hear often talked about at school, at work, or in media. But what does that mean really? For me it has always meant pushing myself past my comfort zone. As a former successful high school wrestler, I was all too familiar with being uncomfortable. Be it putting in the time training in the wrestling room, working to make weight, or competing against an opponent, learning to adapt and operate while being uncomfortable became second nature.

As an adult I had stepped away from athletics, I found other challenges. Marriage, a professional career, raising kids…these became my focus. After years of concentrating on family and work, I found that I had become too comfortable. In falling into routine I neglected exercise, and found I had grown soft and didn’t feel like I had balance in my life. I found that I was looking for something else, something new to challenge me.

I found Vanguard Gym and enrolled in the Brazilian jiujitsu program. I found a supportive team of coaches and fellow grapplers whose idea of a good time was learning to throw, choke, and arm or leg lock each other. I was hooked! I was immediately reminded of my earlier days as a wrestler, where personal satisfaction and growth was achieved daily through hard work on the mat.

Through Vanguard Gym I was able to find the challenge I was seeking. My main focus is still family and career, but I now have this outlet that allows me to stay in shape, learn personal defense, and keep that mind & body balance that I was seeking. I will occasionally compete in a local tournament or two, and find I have the same level of support and encouragement from my team afforded our professional athletes and fighters. There is no pressure to push me into competition, I do it to test myself and see if I’m progressing and meeting my challenges.

I couldn’t wish for a more encouraging and exceptional place to train, and I’ve found that in Vanguard Gym. The folks I’ve met here have been some of the most diverse, eclectic, and interesting mix of people from all walks of life, all seeking some level of challenge. The reasons behind why we seek challenge and the goals we hope to achieve can differ from person to person. But through training with each other day in and day out, we are able get closer to adapt to being uncomfortable, grow stronger personally and physically, and succeed in overcoming our challenges together. ”

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