Gym monsters: Most people in Jiu Jitsu know me through the fine of my competing students. Their incredible success in gained international attention and generated great interest in our training methods, tactics and techniques. however, that my training room has many people in it who chose never to compete or to compete very rarely, on a very informal, sporadic basis. Let me assure you of something – some of the toughest people in the room you have never heard of. I always loved this kind of thing – a who trains part time and doesn’t really have competitive aspirations but who can up against the best people in the world and go toe to toe with them without a problem. These are the gym monsters – athletes who their craft in the dojo and whose goal is entirely internal – but their skills are as good as any. A legend in the blue basement is my student Shy Ace – a true gym monster. He spends most of his time in night clubs and on motorcycles but has a game that can shock the hell out of even world champions. Here he is going up against Kasai standout and silver medalist Tex Johnson and heel hooking him in short order after spontaneously entering a local grappling show after told he should it a shot for the hell of it. One time when he was a white belt he went against Cyborg Abreau and survived a ten minute match without a problem. He has the best mount escapes I ever saw – he did one private class with me many years ago as a white belt and asked what should I learn first? I told him escapes come first and he is basically unmountable at this point. One time I asked a famous world champion to try to stay mounted on him for as long as he could – the longest time was around seven seconds in ten attempts! Take a lesson from this – even if you have no competitive aspirations and don’t train as often as the team – you can still be an absolute monster on the mats – I’ve seen it MANY times – indeed, there’s a good chance you have to – almost every good dojo has its own unsung and unknown mat monsters that can shock and inspire us. Maybe one day you can become a feared gym monster yourself!