Meet Chris Webb. Chris is a great guy who loves the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He recently started Northwest Jiu Jitsu Academy here on the island and teaches classes twice a week at CrossFit Vashon.
In an interview with Chris, he speaks about his experience with BJJ:
“I found Jiu Jitsu in 2008. I had quit drinking and using drugs about 6 months prior, and was looking for a positive outlet for my negative energy. I was also quite out of shape and weighed 230 pounds, and wanted to lose some weight and try to have a healthier lifestyle.
At first I was terrified. I thought it was gonna be a bunch of big, strong, scary men throwing each other around and it always looked kinda brutal. I walked through the door and was greeted by a smiling instructor, and after I watched class everyone told me they hoped I would come back, and they really meant it. Everyone was so kind. And there were even women there too! Now I’m one of the smiling faces telling new people that I hope they come back, I’m the smiling coach, and I have watched the art grow exponentially since I started. It’s becoming quite diverse, people from all walks of life train martial arts.
When I first started training I had some pretty severe issues with my confidence and self esteem. I was really bad at Jiu Jitsu for a long time, in fact, I never even submitted anyone until AFTER I got my blue belt (roughly two and a half years of training at that point). At blue belt I entered a tournament after having lost probably over 20 matches. I was ready to quit. I ended up submitting someone. I’ll never forget that feeling the first time my hand was raised. It was then I realized it didn’t matter if I lost as long as I learned, and that it didn’t matter if I was good or couldn’t submit as long as I kept going to class. After that I started getting more and more submissions, and had my hand raised more regularly in competition.
Right now I am working on establishing the Dojo here on Vashon. It is my hope over the summer to train hard for some tournaments, and to work toward my Black Belt.
On May 20, 2010 my coach Brian J Johnson and I went to Canada to compete. I had 4 stripes on my white belt, and knew I was getting close to blue belt. We had a belt promotion 3 days before our trip, and I watched him promote several white belts that I personally thought I was better than. I was a bit confused, but Brian pulled me aside and told me he wanted to give me 6 more months at white belt. I thanked him, agreed, and deep down was relieved I didn’t have to worry. After the tournament we walked to his car, he opened his trunk, and right there completely alone in an empty parking lot he pulled out a blue belt. I was so happy I think I screamed and picked him up! That day meant so much to me, and I will never forget it.”
Class schedule: Wednesdays 7:30pm-9:30, Saturdays 2pm-4pm at CrossFit Vashon.