Student Spotlight: Patrick Hassing

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Patrick Hassing is a mechanical engineer for Bradman Lake who has been training BJJ for six years. He was promoted to a purple belt in May 2013. Also in 2013, Patrick trained in Rio de Janeiro at Gordo Jiu Jitsu for three and a half months. Patrick loves the outdoors and takes delight in trying new things. His connection to other people is what he values most. His girlfriend just moved from Brooklyn back down to Fort Mill.

1. Did you train BJJ prior to coming to Great Grappling? If so, where and for how long?

I originally started BJJ at Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Harrisburg near UNCC. I trained there for eight months and then went to college at Clemson University where I taught BJJ and trained by myself for four years. After this I moved to Charleston for five months and trained at Charleston Krav Maga until I moved back to Fort Mill.

2. What sports did you play prior to training in BJJ?

I wrestled for two years in high school. I have lifted weights since I was 14 and I played football up until I entered high school.

3. Why did you decide to begin training BJJ?

I decided to try BJJ because I liked wrestling but didn’t want to do another year of it in high school. I had seen the UFC and was very interested in the grappling techniques the fighters were using and thus I tried BJJ out.

4. What are your training goals?

My goals are to compete for a time and eventually teach people. I would love to make BJJ the centerpiece of my life where it can provide an income without destroying my body. Hopefully one day I can do this by owning my own gym or assisting at another gym.

5. How has grappling improved your life?

Grappling has helped to open doors I never thought possible. It has given me recognition in the Charlotte community. On several occasions people have come up to me and said they have heard about my trip to Brazil or about my training. I also would have never been able to live in Brazil for such a period of time if I didn’t grapple. That was a wonderful experience that spans much further than just what I can do on a mat. Grappling has provided health, community, friends, goals, and a lifestyle. I would not be the same person without grappling.

6. What’s your favorite submission, position, or transition, and why?

I have some moves that I am an avid user of. The knee-slice pass has been a staple of my game for the past couple years. Reverse De La Riva, x-guard and half-guard are my favorite from my back. Bow-and-arrow chokes, as well as kimuras, are my favorite submissions. These are all high-percentage moves and flow well with my game. Thiago Gaspary and Jeremy Arel helped me a lot with these movements.

7. What’s your proudest BJJ-related accomplishment?

There are several moments I am very proud of. The first time I won an advanced division in competition was a great moment. Winning my first purple belt division was also a great moment for me, but I think my absolute proudest moment was probably being able to help Mario Sperry train for a super fight at ADCC. I was one of his main training partners and got the chance to help him prepare for his eventual win against Alliance founder and BJJ legend, Fabio Gurgel.

8. What would people be surprised to know about you?

I lived in Germany for a year studying and working as an engineer. I spent a lot of time refining my German language skill and can have a full conversation in German (that talks about more than just my name and how old I am). I have lived in ten different cities and four different countries as of now in my life and I hope to travel to see as much of the world as possible. One of my main life goals is to go to Cape Town in South Africa and swim with a great white shark. I am horribly afraid of deep water and sharks scare the hell out of me so I will make sure to do so while in a cage—but it is a must before I die.

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