Student Spotlight: Robb “Weeble” Adams
Robb Adams is a production supervisor for Schaefer Systems International, and has been training BJJ since December of 2012. At Great Grappling he is known as “Weeble,” and is currently a four-stripe white belt. With the support of his girlfriend Cathy, he has been able to train a minimum of three days a week since he started. Robb can usually be found watching Prof. Jeremy’s YouTube videos, or working on his flexibility and core strength by learning Yoga and PiYo at a local gym—all in an effort to improve his abilities on the mats.
1. Did you train BJJ prior to coming to Great Grappling? If so, where and for how long?
I was brand-new not only BJJ, but to any martial art when I joined Great Grappling.
2. What sports did you play prior to training in BJJ?
The only sport I took part in since my 20s was Madden Football on my PS3. So as you could imagine, I was in tip-top shape.
3. Why did you decide to begin training BJJ?
I had recently separated from my wife of 10 years, and was tired of being a 42-year-old man who felt like he was in his fifties. I was never able to go to the gym and “pick things up and put them down” and feel like that was accomplishing anything. I would get bored with it and stop going, so I knew I needed something that would push me. That’s when I decided to try a martial art—I wasn’t sure which one—but I am so glad I found the one I did. And when I say “found,” that’s exactly what I mean. I live in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte, so I sat in my car and typed in “martial arts” in the GPS on my phone, and it took me straight to the front door of the academy. I walked in, talked to Megan for about 10 minutes with what I know had to be the dumbest questions ever. She patiently answered my questions, then told me I could watch the class that was in progress. After watching, I came back the following Tuesday, signed a waiver, put on a gi, and two hours later I signed up. I was done; I was addicted from the first time I rolled, and have been ever since. If I’m not on the mats I’m thinking about what I could have done differently the last time I was.
4. What are your training goals?
First and foremost, I want to be the training partner that everybody likes to roll with. Not that I want everybody to be able to beat me up, but the partner they know won’t try to hurt them or get mad if they tap me. I want to be the guy that helps everyone get better, so that I can get better, as well as the training partner that leaves his ego outside the gym, and never stops learning. Along with that, my second goal is to be good enough to someday get my black belt and follow in Prof. Jeremy’s footsteps. Not to put a timeline on it either, because I feel if I get caught up in just getting the belt, I miss out on the journey of achieving the ability. If I become good enough at jiu-jitsu to earn a black belt, it will come.
5. How has grappling improved your life?
When I started training, I weighed 230 lbs., and couldn’t run across the room without stopping to take a break. I am now a healthy 175lbs, and can ride my bike six miles a day without a problem. BJJ has helped me understand that life is about more than the daily grind. And if you think that a day in the office is stressful, get on the mats and have another man sit on your chest and try to choke you unconscious. Once you learn that you can survive that and not “spaz” out, it makes life at the office seem kind of boring.
6. What’s your favorite submission, position, or transition, and why?
The Ezekiel Choke has become my favorite submission, mainly because I have had some success with it. It’s a pretty powerful choke, and if I’m sneaky enough with the set-up, they never see it coming. I will say though, my second favorite would have to be the crucifix set-up. There are so many different things you can do from that setup, and it plays off a lot of what I try to do when rolling. As Prof. Jeremy says, taking the back is number one over anything else.
7. What’s your proudest BJJ-related accomplishment?
Not quitting. I haven’t been doing this long enough to say “submitting this guy” or “winning this medal.” For me, it’s just surviving. So to put it in a sentence? My proudest BJJ-related accomplishment is every time I don’t feel like going to class for whatever reason, I put on my gi, get on the mats, and do it.
8. What would people be surprised to know about you?
I like to dress in women’s clothes on the weekends. Just kidding, I think they would be surprised to know that I have always had issues with people being in my personal space. If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would be doing a sport that required me to do the things that jiu-jitsu does, I would have laughed at them.