How BJJ changed my life

Jadon Ortlepp shared his story and how BJJ has influenced his life for the better;

I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2008 in Surrey, I was curious because I had read a lot of online chatter about how low ranking “beginners” were seemingly able to dominate  experienced practitioners of other martial arts.  I had trained Judo before as a kid so I had some grappling awareness; the rest of my experience was striking based.  I quickly found that the work ethic was incredibly high and there was 0 tolerance for low percentage partner compliant techniques.  Only what worked against fully resistant opponents was taught.  There was nowhere to hide, every session I would get controlled and be forced to submit in sparring.  Over and over.  Some found this difficult to handle but I realised the value in letting go of the ego, we often delude ourselves to protect our fragile self-esteem.

However by opening myself to learning I was able to relax and this helped my development, it wasn’t until I paired with a fresh beginner when I realised how far I had come in a few short months.  Not only could I grapple better but I felt better. I lost excess weight and was fitter, stronger and more flexible – I felt confident, and I had earned that confidence.  Training BJJ literally had made me a better person.

Recently I joined the Trojan Free Fighter gym in Worcester where I train BJJ under Paul Severn with the Checkmat affiliation.  They welcomed me openly with no politics, just mutual respect that comes with hard training.  We have a lot of fun and there is a great atmosphere at the club.  It’s rare to find a place where professional level athletes train alongside young people and those just hoping to improve themselves.  We all have different goals in life and martial arts’ training is no different, whether it’s making new friends; gaining confidence; fitness; losing weight or being the next world champion.  You can accomplish all those goals by simply walking through the door and getting on the mat.

Jadon is now a key member of the team assisting coach for the kids BJJ classes alongside Kryztsztof

1 reply
  1. tffworc
    tffworc says:

    Great to have Jadon as part of the team. Always keen to share and offer guidance. Great with feedback and his analytical approach always goes down well to those who receive it.


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