Phases: an odd thing about my career in Jiu jitsu is that it went through three very distinct phases. When I began I was a bouncer working in night clubs and only interested in Jiu jitsu as a self skill. In time I became an instructor at my sensei Renzo Gracie’s academy and taught Jiu jitsu to all, but was most known for my work on MMA through my student Georges St Pierre. Mr St Pierre was a super star and attracted many other great athletes and grapplers. The emphasis accordingly was on no gi grappling appropriate to MMA competition with a heavy emphasis on takedowns, top control and escapes. After that came a third phase when became very popular and the squad rose to prominence. Interestingly, each phase was around a decade in duration. Here is a classic photo of an afternoon class at Renzos probably around 2008. You can Georges St Pierre, Roger Gracie, Romulo Barral, David Branch, my great student but unknown student Brian Glick, off camera is a very young Garry Tonon (he used to come in for MMA with Tom DeBlass), Frankie Edgar, Rory MacDonald and Shawn Williams. It always brings a smile to my face when I think of those days – so many amazing people in one room battling towards their goals and helping others battle to theirs. I’ve seen so many changes over the years in the people and places around me and I am eternally thankful for the changes and evolution they have all created within me.