Student Spotlight: Ian Young

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

I trained for 3 months before Great Grappling opened. During that time I trained under Professor Luis “Sucuri” Togno in Waxhaw and then under Professor Dave Mansel with Satsuma Spiders in Charlotte after Luis’ unfortunate passing.

2. What sports have you played prior to joining GGBJJ?

I have been training and competing in kendo for 2 and a half years with Charlotte Kendo. I have also trained in aikido and muay thai in the past. I trail run and compete in local races. I have especially become interested in obstacle races and mud runs.

3. Why did you decide to begin training BJJ?

What interested me at first was the self defense element. I was especially impressed with the way we can train with full intent and resistance in jiu jitsu but live to get up and do it again the next day. I feel that this is great training for real world situations. As my training has progressed my interest has grown into an interest in competition and in developing my best possible jiu jitsu.

4. What are your training goals?

I want to develop my best possible jiu jitsu and to continue to be active in tournaments. I hope that one day I can flow and move like our experienced belts. I want to train in a way that will allow me to make jiu jitsu a permanent part of my life and to eventually develop a jiu jitsu style that is uniquely mine.

5. How has grappling improved your life?

I am a much more driven person now that I train in jiu jitsu. I am probably the most healthy that I have ever been. I have lost about thirty pounds since I began training. Even more importantly though, jiu jitsu has helped me develop a healthy ego that drives me instead of holding me back. It’s taught me to be realistic with myself, to create game plans and to be patient in achieving my goals. Jiu jitsu is the most honest sport in the world.

6. What do you do for a living?

I am a history teacher at Rock Hill High School. I am fortunate to have a job that I love. I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of really great young people. I like to think that I have impacted some of them for the better. I know that they have me.

7. What are your hobbies outside of BJJ?

Well BJJ certainly takes a lot of my hobbie time. I love anything outdoors. I like hiking and camping, kayaking, mountain biking, and trail running. I also really enjoy traveling. I’ve been fortunate enough to have explored parts of four different continents. I hope to add three more during my lifetime. Yeah, that’s right, Antarctica I’m coming for you…

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Fun facts? Thanks to family/friends/pets?

First I want to thank my wife for her patience and support. I spend a lot of time on the mats and she has been patient and supportive every sweaty, smelly step of the way. I also want to thank Prof. Arel and my Great Grappling family. There is nowhere that I would rather be training then on the mat with you guys. Oss!




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