The originals: Most people these days know me as a grappling coach working with the squad. In fact, the first part of my career – long before the squad – was the interface between jiu jitsu and MMA. It began with the young Georges St-Pierre in his quest to become welterweight champion and went from there to the incredible title run of to take on and defeat the other main contender for UFC greatest of all time, Anderson Silva. In that time i has the honor of working with so many incredible visiting athletes such as Rory MacDonald, Frankie Edgar and Roger Gracie – it was only when Mr St-Pierre retired and Mr Weidman opened his own gym deep in Long Island that I switched to to pure grappling with the squad. I consciously avoided social media throughout this time. These MMA fighters were genuine superstars so there was no need for me to write about them and their achievements. When the squad began, first with Eddie Cummings and then Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan, they were unknowns in a fledgling sport, so I joined social media to see if i could help get them recognition for their amazing achievements in the grappling world. From there the squad grew and interest in our philosophies and methods expanded. Still, I never forget where I came from and the thrill of those early days in MMA. This is a shot taken during the mature part of Mr St-Pierre’s career, when Mr Weidman was making his remarkable unbeaten run through the middleweight with his eyes on Anderson Silva (an epic story that we can all draw inspiration from). Practice is over and UFC athletes @georgesstpierre @chrisweidman @davidbranch32 and @johncholish relax with @renzograciebjj and JZ Calvacante @gesias and Magno Garma and other RGA athletes. Great training days – different priorities, same passion, different problems, same methodology of solutions. I am blessed to have been a small part of that time and those people – their quests, drive, brilliance and hard work carried me far higher than could have done alone. Your training roots will give rise to future flowering branches as you grow and in the sport- cherish and remember them.