Gabe Pearlman - Owner, Shield Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Gabe Pearlman - Owner, Shield Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

With a love of jiu jitsu and having been trained by some excellent teachers Gabe Pearlman decided to open his own jiu jitsu studio after moving to Austin from Providence, RI. As the owner of Sheild Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Gabe is able to pass on the lessons he learned and build the jiu jitsu community.


Troy: Good afternoon, Austin. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day today. Enjoying, hopefully you've been able to enjoy the nice weather we've been having here in December, which is why I moved down to Texas many moons ago. And why my next guest, I'm sure probably thought about Austin, Texas as a place for him to relocate as well, but much more recently.

So today I'm joined by Gabe Pearlman. How's it going, Gabe? It's going good, Troy. I'm doing well. I know if I'm, if memory serves, you moved down from the Providence, Rhode Island area a few years back.

Gabe: Yeah, that's correct. Yeah. I moved in 2018. Okay. In April. Yeah. Okay. A big portion of it was the weather.

It doesn't hurt to be, In shorts and a t-shirt in December when you're from Rhode Island.

Troy: Yeah. Like I definitely, again, middle summer it gets hot. You're is this really the best thing? But I will take hundreds hundred degrees in summer for a couple months, straight over negative below zero, or at least below freezing and shoveling snow for months from up north.

For me personally, in a. A hundred

Gabe: percent. Where I'm from, it's two and a half months of summer, and then everything else is fall, winter. Yeah. Maybe a little bit of spring, but like here it's nine months. Yeah. Of nice weather. Maybe a couple of months of like cold weather. I'm fine with it.

I made a good

Troy: decision. I'm happy to be here. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Now the two months of summer are glorious up there for sure, but it's,

Gabe: They're not actually. That colder than here. That much colder than here. It's, it gets really hot up there and it gets humid too. Everybody complains about like triple digit summers here.

I'm happy with it. I'm just support the tank top and the flip flops. That's what

Troy: I'm here for. . So you are the owner of a Brazilian Ji Brazilian jujitsu studio here in Austin, Texas. I wanted to bring you on cuz I, find, as someone who is into health and fitness as well too, it's always cool to meet other people who have a similar passion.

What, but in potentially a different discipline as someone who never took up boxing or karate or jujitsu as a sport. It's one of those things where it's interesting how many different avenues people can have to, to being healthy and staying active and doing things that they love, that are also really good for 'em health wise.

Gabe: Yeah, I've been doing this now, I've been doing Brazilian jujitsu for about a little over 15 years now. I've been doing martial arts of one kinder or another since I was a kid. My original martial art was wrestling, which honestly, when I was doing it as a kid, I didn't even know it was a martial art.

I didn't understand that wrestling kind of counts as a form of combat. My mom always used to say she'd be like I'm gonna come and see you fight. And I was like, it's a wrestling match, mom. It's not a fight, but it is a fight. And and wrestling and jiu-jitsu, which are, closely related.

really good methods to train your mind and as, as well as your body for just persevering and dealing with difficulty. I think one of the strongest things that ever happened to me as far as an influence as a child was wrestling, taught me to just get your butt kicked, get back. , go again and, try harder.

And that's that's something that I think makes a good employee, makes a good friend, makes a good, husband or wife. It can just permeate all the parts of your life that,

Troy: that require it. . Yeah, no, a hundred percent agree. Especially in a day and age where it feels like a lot of people don't, you don't really have to.

It's very easy, relatively easy to go through life without really having to lose in some cases. Now we all have struggles in different things, right? But that's one of the amazing things about sports is it let, lets you have A lot of micro losses that in the biggest scheme of things aren't important at all when you're a kid.

That doesn't mean they're not super important to you. And I'm I myself have cried over a sporting event as a kid many times, but it lets you understand that. There's that things will, can, you can get another chance, right? Having that micro loss isn't the be all and end all and teaches you that perseverance to get up off the mat as a wrestling term and and go at it

Gabe: again.

Yeah, wrestling is one of those unique sports that is. It's both teamwork and individual all at the same time. You can't get better at wrestling just doing it alone. So you always have your teammates around you. And this is true for jujitsu as well. You have a group of people around you and you're all tasked with the job of making each other better.

Every day, right? Whether that's through pushing each other through moments of defeat or exhaustion, or whether it's through literally kicking your butt for you. Those are all, viable means of making your teammates stronger. But then when it comes time for the match, you are really out there alone and there is a strange.

Tunnel vision that happens. I remember the first time that happened to me. I was 14 years old. I step out on the mat and, the wrestling rooms generally, especially in the northeast, are small, but they're always packed with people. So you get, the whole crowd is screaming for you.

If it's a home match and you get out onto the mat and you shake your opponent's hand and you get this strange sensation of everything kind of tunes. And you lose the crowd, the noise of the crowd, like it sounds a thousand miles away. The your coach, if you're lucky, you can hear 'em, but a lot of times you can't hear that person either, and you just get this weird tunnel and you're just connected with this person that you're fighting with.

And when the match is over, whatever happened it's because of you, if you. , there's no other lineman or, point guard you can point to and say, oh, I did my job, that guy didn't. And if you won, you can't say I played like crap, somebody, Dr. Dragged me up the field.

It's not like that. It's all on you at the end of the day. And I think that's a great metaphor for life too, because you can only control so many things. . And most of them are inside of you. Yeah. If you're looking to improve, if you're looking to take responsibility, if you're looking to, to figure out what happened, wrestling and jiujitsu and most martial arts certainly the ones that are one-on-one combat sort of sports they'll teach you to look in.

before you look anywhere else. And I think that's a positive influence long term. Yeah.

Troy: What got you, so you mentioned, going your mom going to watch you fight as a young kid. What got you into the sport to begin with?

Gabe: My my buddy I have a friend Alex, who we've been best friends since sixth grade and he wrestled he played other sports as well.

He was always much more of an athlete than I. But, I hated basketball and I was terrible at it too. And wrestling and basketball occupied the same, period in the sports season for high school and and middle school. And he said, come wrestle, come do this with me.

And I was like, I don't know, there's spandex and you gotta be in front of a crowd with this silly thing on your ears. And there's this headgear that you wear. Yeah. And and certainly for a 14 year old boy to basically put on a singlet and then stand in front of Sure.

Your entire school and all the parents, there's a, there's just a shyness. Certainly there was for me. Maybe some kids love doing that, but I was like, oh my God. But then he brought me to my first practice and I wrestled with this. I was probably like in the, at, I was a chubby kid, so at 14 I was probably like in the 180 pounds range.

Not, not buff or anything. I was like a little

Troy: chunky not an hundred 80 pounds of chiseled.

Gabe: No. I was a chunky little kid. And and he brings me in the wrestling room and the coach divides us all up and we start the practice with. , some exercises and stuff like that.

And then they basically have us wrestle as a means of seeing where we're at. And as a, somebody who knows nothing, you don't know what to do. So he stuck me with the coach did the guy who was a wrestling at 125 pounds. So I'm like I'm way bigger than this kid. I'm just gonna pick him up and squeeze him.

And you don't realize how technic. it is. And how much the sport is really about achieving a great effect with a little effort. So yeah, this this 125 pound kid who was in the same grade as me, but way smaller, just threw me on my head for however long the practice was and just, dropped me on my butt, threw me on my head, held me down on my back.

I couldn't. And there's a humiliation factor in wrestling that is in some ways a good thing, right? Because you're like, the worst thing that happens to you is you're embarrassed because you just have some boy holding you on your back against your will. But in a lot of ways that's a pretty effective way to demonstrate without hurting somebody that you can do whatever you want.

So that, that was my first wrestling practice. I remember it like it was yesterday. And it really, it lit a fire under me. I was like, I don't wanna be just unable to do anything, in this sport, like these other guys, they're picking each other up. They're throwing each other around.

It looks so acrobatic. It looks so fun. and I just had no, no natural innate ability for it, and it really pushed me to dig around and see what I could do. So yeah, that was how it all started. And then that kind of dovetailed very much into the martial arts for the rest of my life.


Troy: being the, again, the bigger kind of chubby kid like you mentioned. Was there bef, prior to wrestling, was there a thought of okay, I know I'm a little bit bigger, but that means that like a belief that I know I'm at least stronger and tougher than kids that are smaller. And so then suddenly when that happened in that practice you're like, oh wait, maybe I'm not, and so that kind of what made you decide, helped you decide, hey I really do wanna actually.

Get to where I thought I was cuz like say for some people having that happen to them, they'd be like, I'm out. Oh, you know this happened. Again, it's slightly embarrassing that this kid that's two, two-thirds of my size was able to do this to me. I'm just gonna stop. Versus the kid that decides, okay, I wanna be better at this.

And it's always an interesting mindset.

Gabe: Yeah, I mean I think it you, I'd be lying if I didn't say there was both. , right? There is a sort of dislike of the sport when you start. To some degree because you, it's not fun to get tossed around , even if you're great at break falling and tumbling and all that stuff there you can't be alive as best I know, without an ego of some amount.

And your ego has taken hits every day when you're doing that. And I think there was a part of me as a kid that that did not like those ego. but didn't like them in a way that felt like there was, that, that was something that needed to be addressed in myself. So there was a bit of discomfort and misery to go along with that.

But to answer, answer what you're saying about, what is the kind of prime motivation of sticking with it? I think a good degree of it was actually the camaraderie. I had my friend there, he was much better than I was. And when you are in these sort of close combat situations with people, you learn a lot about who you're dealing with.

So the 125 pound. Guy that I was wrestling I never liked. Like we traveled in separate circles. Sure. I was much, nerdier and don't wanna say studious, but I was certainly more into things that were not considered popular for a high school boy to be into.

Whereas he was very much, like down the line. , not a dumb kid by any means, smart kid. But he did all the things that you would expect a popular boy to do. But then we get into this situation where we're both wrestling each other, and I'm learning a lot from him.

And it's hard not to become friends with somebody. And it's also hard not to see the kindness in them, right? Because he didn't have to help me. He didn't have to help me get better. , you're on this team together. And like I said earlier, your whole job is to make your teammates stronger. And that takes compassion, but it also takes a willingness to discuss, look, man, you, you're weak here.

Let, you need to work on this. . And that's it's hard to have somebody take you by the hand like that and not respect them to some. Sure.

Troy: Yeah. No, in, in growing up playing sports my whole life as well too. Not the only individual ish. I guess I did some running stuff like track and whatnot, but that was more so as a side sport to basketball and the major ones, but like golf as well too, where it was very much, it's on your own.

Yeah, there are things that could, weather conditions that could have an impact on your round, but everyone had to deal with the same kind of things. But it's interesting how. There's a lot of people out there that in, instead of trying to make themselves better, like to tear other people down, right there, there's, whereas if you really want to be better though, , great.

You could be a big fish in a small pond, but what does that really get you? Whereas if you can build up your teammate like you mentioned there, or the people that you're competing against, that's really the only way you're gonna continue to improve yourself in life, is you keep scaling up your level of competition through, finding new opponents or improving the group of people that you're with as well.

Gabe: Yeah. And that a hundred percent translates in. , the martial art I do now because we're all in a room together and we're all the kind of wrestling that you get into with jiujitsu is a bit more kind of intense wrestling's intense for sure. But it's not like you're trying to strangle somebody intense or you're trying to like yank on their arm in an uncomfortable manner.

So there, there is a level of intensity that's. That increases when you make the transition from wrestling to jujitsu. But along with that comes, I think, an even stronger camaraderie because it's scarier, it's harder, and it's more like a true fight. You get this sort of you get. , all kinds of byproducts.

You get a gallows humor for sure. Everybody busts each other's chops, certainly at our school. And that's something I like to foster because it's important to not take yourself too seriously when you're doing something fairly serious. But then there's also a real strength of partnership.

If you see a weakness in somebody's martial arts game, and if you see a weakness in their guard as an example, which is a means of keeping somebody in control while you're in an inferior position if you strengthen that person's guard and you make it harder for you to defeat their guard, then you're gonna get better training, right?

You're gonna get a sharper opponent that's gonna then create it strengths in your game. So it's a very much like an arms race where you're just, you're always trying to help gain a new ability so that you can then pass it on to your opponent who's, in the gym anyway, is your partner.

And then and then they get better at fighting it. And then that makes you have to get better at doing it. And it just builds and builds. And that's how you get better at martial arts. So it's, again, it's solo, but it is, you cannot just. Punch in a mirror like you see in the movies, right?

That's how it always like, just, I'll just, I'll be rocky, I'll just climb a mountain or run up a hill with a log on my shoulders. Yes, that's, that exercise is important, but if you really want to get good at fighting, you gotta fight. . Yeah, no,

Troy: definitely. Say compared to a basket basketball where you couldn't, can just go and shoot baskets or dribble a lot and get some distinct advantages from the people who do, who put in that one-on-one work.

Say a fighting is definitely a sport where that's much harder to do, right? Like you can definitely gain strength and gain endurance and things like that on your own, but it's gonna be different going up against an opponent for.

Gabe: for sure. Yeah. And there I've not seen too many times where people don't, face against an opponent who is not their teammate.

You go to a tournament, you fight in a tournament, you go fight in an MMA fight. It's very hard to come out of those experiences without an appreciation for the person, even if they're totally not on your team. , especially if they gave you a hard. Like I've been in some drag out battles with people both in my school and then outside of my school.

I like them more afterwards. Sure. Because I'm like, wow, that was super difficult and you did some things that I really didn't expect. It's clever of you. . It's just, it makes you appreciate people. And then for the guys who you train with every day, boy, you learn a lot about how nice they are or how not nice they are, or what's deep inside of them as far as an ability to seek out, the ability to survive, right?

Like I, I have. Training partners and students. I don't really make a distinction between those two things cuz I don't really think there is one. You have some training partners that you spend some time with and you fight and you just can't get 'em. And it's very hard to come away from that.

Not loving that about that person. You're like, wow that guy's tough. He, yeah, I, I can't get that person. , maybe one out of a hundred. I get 'em. And and that's a great thing to know about somebody, that they're durable and they're resilient and it makes you wanna emulate it.

Troy: Sure. What prompted you to make the transition from wrestler to Jiujitsu? Was it simply the fact that you were no longer in high school, so wrestling wasn't as much of an option? Or was there something specifically that. And made you want to switch disciplines?

Gabe: Yeah. I think it's funny because it, this is something that I truly believe has always been inside of me and when.

When I was in high school and I was wrapping up high school, I wanted to go pursue judo, which is a basically a sister art of jujitsu. Judo and jujitsu have the same origin point, right? The founder of Judo is technically the founder of Jujitsu as well. This guy Gigo. So when I was leaving high school, I wanted to go study judo.

I g I let my high school principal talk me out of it. I can be mad at him, but ultimately, I was, I shouldn't have listened to him. So I stepped away from wrestling for a time went to college, gained a bunch of weight. Went from like a trim high school senior to I think at my heaviest I was 273 pounds and not muscle

Troy: 273 pounds is hard to be just, hard to be muscle. Possible, not

Gabe: impossible. I'm five 10, so I would say damn near impossible. I Sure, yeah. Yeah, so I went full circle in a lot of ways and then along with that weight gain came a lot of dissatisfaction about my body state, my mental state.

I was certainly depressed when I was that heavy. And I called up my buddy, the one who got me into wrestling originally, and I said, Hey, I need to do something about this. I need to lose a bunch of weight. Will you come to the gym with me? And I was living at Rhode Island at the time, so we. a deal that we were gonna go on a diet together and, he helped me along and.

We were going to the Barrington Y M C A seven days a week together, and eventually, like he couldn't keep up. Like it took me some ramp up time, but only maybe two or three weeks before I got into a groove and I could go from, like, when I started I couldn't even jog on a treadmill. I had to be on a recumbent bike.

And then I worked my way up to the upright bike, and then I worked my way up to the treadmill. But once I got going, I was dropping weight like crazy and I was feeling much better about myself. But. Seven days a week after a year turned into six days a week, turned into five days a week. It's boring to run on a treadmill and watch the news and lift weights and it just gets old.

So I tried to go back to wrestling. I tried to coach at my old high school and I did an assistant coaching there for a season. And the thing about when you're coaching Wrestling, Certainly at a high school level is you're not wrestling. Sure. You're mostly just hurting kids. So I was disillusioned with that.

And then I'm sitting in my apartment one day and I see the Ultimate Fighter Season one finale. So this was like 2006 or seven. They aired on Spike the fi, the final. Of this season of fights that they were doing with the ufc, it was one of the first ever broadcasts that they didn't do on pay-per-view.

Sure. And I just like channel flipping and I stumble upon it and I start watching this fight and I notice that most of it's an m a fight, but most of what they're doing looks a lot like wrestling. . I didn't know at the time that it was jujitsu, but I was like, boy, that looks like wrestling. I think I could do that.

And that looks a lot more interesting to me than running on a treadmill. Sure. So I, I dig around, I find a school I go to a number of places, but the one I land on, My instructor's school, a tempo, Brazilian Jujitsu in Providence, Rhode Island. I step in there, I got the class times wrong.

So I go in and there's just two people cleaning up the mats. My buddy Jimmy and my buddy Pippy now. But at the time I didn't know them. And they said, oh yeah class isn't class is over, but come back tomorrow. Bring a shirt that you don't mind if it gets pulled or. and like a pair of shorts and you'll be good.

And I, I still say that to people who come and join my gym and, that's good advice because with grappling, your shirt gets in the way, hands get caught in there and you don't wanna bring anything nice like a soccer jersey, you're gonna lose it. So yeah, I showed up the next day and.

The events went very similarly to my first wrestling experience, right? I go in there, they partner me with this guy who is not 125 pounds. He's much bigger. He's like maybe 200 pounds. Good friend of mine. Another Jimmy Jimmy Connor. . Good guy. He owns a school now in Providence as well. He's a black belt, but at the time he was a blue belt and which is like just the first rank up from white.

And he goes, oh hi, how you doing? Now he is tattooed from his ears to his ankles. He looks like Henry Rollins but bigger. Sure. , if you need a point of reference. But he is super nice guy. Hey, hi, I'm Jimmy. How you doing? Shakes my. and he goes, you ever done anything like this before? I go, oh yeah, I wrestled.

He goes, great. I'm sure you'll do fine. And he proceeds to strangle me like 500 times in the course of one round, right? He's dumping me on my head. He is squeezing me between his legs. I don't know what's going on. All I know is in the first 10 seconds I grip onto him with such like fierce panic. , the clothing wiggles around and my thumb dislocates and yeah.

And he's and he's just, he's being real gentle with me. I'm the problem. I'm like, I'm in a mix of panic and adrenaline. Yeah. So he beats me up, he gives me some very good words of advice and you need to relax more. You need to breathe more, you need to stay calm. And I'm like, . I don't know what just happened.

You couldn't have , you couldn't have, you could have held a gun to my head. I couldn't have told you what happened in the last five minutes of that moment. So like a jerk, I look around the room for the next smallest person like I can find, right? Just, I'm just looking for some means to regain what a, what I thought my ego might, might look like.

And I see the girl who was there the night before Pippi, and she's 120 pounds soak. . So I ask her if she wants to roll, and she says, yeah, absolutely. And she's a blue belt as well. So within the first 10 seconds of us starting, I, I step on her hair and she looks at me like I stepped on her hair on purpose, , and she proceeds to strangle me over and over again.

And I'm trying to get away. And she's Come. And she's just putting me through my paces and I get up and I'm a mess. I'm, my hand's swelling up. I think I maybe got a black eye. She's really just, I was out of control and they were checking me is what was happening.

Sure. I know I'm making it sound like I got picked on, but really what was happening is I was wrestling in a manner that I was not ready to receive an equivalent energy. . So they they dealt with me as was needed. And I very much appreciate that because one, they didn't give me any illusions about how easy this thing is.

It's super hard and it's super complex and there's so many different moving pieces. But then the other thing they did is I got up, I left that class and I was like, man, that can't be the last time I do that. That will not stand. as my last attempt at that sport. And that was August 23rd, 2007. And I've been doing it ever since.

It was, it got right in my blood immediately.

Troy: What prompted you to wanna then start your own own school?

Gabe: I don't think I really started seriously thinking about that till I was like a purple belt. So the ranks in jujitsu go white. , purple, brown, black in that order. There are coral belts and red belts that come after black, but for all I intents and purposes, they're the same as a black belt.

That's just those are honorifics for how long you've been doing it really. , the thing that I saw that I really wanted to see if I could. was make an environment in which people were like free to learn and express themselves. My instructor, who's a, I mean in a lot of ways he's been a mentor to me, but also he's been a great example.

, Tim, he had an environment of people who were all tough fighters, but they were also super kind and. and we would train together as often as we would eat together and hang out together, and we all would just make each other laugh, make each other tougher fights and. Make each other smarter. There was always little games and challenges going on, whether it was playing chess or trying to nudge the person when we're standing at an event or something, just to see if you can knock 'em off balance.

And it was an incredibly strong community that I was a part of. And I, on top of that, Tim had a lifestyle of just doing this. , right? All he at the time I met him, all he did was jiu-jitsu. He would just come to the school, teach or train or sometimes both, and go home. And he ran every class and he was always there and he was always providing insight and knowledge to people.

But he was also just participating. And I thought, man that's a great life. Like you're getting paid to do. , you're having a blast. You're making lifelong friends. Why wouldn't I want that for myself? I was a purple belt at the time. I didn't know if I would ever even manage to get my black belt, but I did promise myself, I said, if I get my black belt, I wanna see if I can do that.

Long I

Troy: didn't answer. Sorry. Yeah, no, you're good. So then you moved to Austin. What prompted the move to Austin in 2018 then did you have your Did you have your training facility in Providence before you moved and then just look at transferring down here? Or was that something you've only opened since moving

Gabe: to Austin?

Yeah. No I did not have a school. I taught at my instructor's school and a few other places when I was living in Rhode Island. Knowing I wanted to open my own school. to me meant I had to leave. The Rhode Island is very small. Sure. And Massachusetts ain't that much bigger. And I knew pretty much everybody who was worth training with in those areas, and most of them I was friends with too.

Yeah. It just that's what happens. So I didn't really want to compete with any of my friends, but I certainly didn't wanna compete with my instructor. I felt like in good conscience, I don't think I can. Have somebody come to a school that I'm running and they go, where should I train and not say his name?

Yeah. As a, the conundrum I found myself in. So I I said if I'm gonna do this, then properly I gotta put some distance between me and the home gym and see if I can recreate it on my own. And it was between. For good weather. San Francisco sorry, excuse me, San Diego. And and Austin were the two places that I had been to that I liked best.

And I went Austin for a number of reasons. Cost of living sure. Little. Little tax break too ain't so bad. . Yeah,

Troy: I think a lot of people will do it unless you're be, unless you really want to deal or not deal. But unless you really are drawn to the fact that you can be at, go to the ocean or mountains, right?

Like from a terrain standpoint, there's some definite nice things. With San Diego and the weathers of. Nicer. If it can be right. Yeah. Yeah. You're on there than it is here but that's only a small order of magnitude compared to when you're wind, Rhode Island is your default

Gabe: setting. Yeah, I was still going from like pine trees to palm trees, so I was fine with it.

Yeah. Yeah. So when I moved here it was a matter of gaining a sense of the terrain. And getting a sense of where I wanted to be, but it was always the goal to open up. And we opened our gym in August of 2021. Was our very first official class, like the end of August. Okay. So we've been open a little over a year now.

Nice. And how's

Troy: it been going so far? Is it's great. Yeah.

Gabe: Yeah. Yeah. My favorite days are days I have. No day job to go to. And I just go there and I teach and I train with my students. And I'm, I very much feel like I'm their student as much as they're mine. And so we all kind of bounce ideas off each other.

Last night we did a class that was like a dialogue, which I sometimes like to do, where we just hopped, I had been mulling around some positions and some techniques in my. and we had some other, experienced fighters in the room and I was bouncing ideas off each other.

That's that's the best time because I feel like I'm learning stuff as well as helping other people.

Troy: Yeah. No, that's really cool. And so the, what's the name of the School

Gabe: for. Ah, yeah. The school is Shield Brazilian Jujitsu or SHIELD bjj. And the website is shield The Instagram handle is at SHIELD bj j a tx.

We have a Facebook too, which is, you can find in all of those. But this it's a nice environment, I think and people seem to really like it. They come in. , they feel I. that there isn't as much pretense, which can sometimes come along with the martial arts thing. Okay. I don't like anybody to call me professor Sensei or any of that stuff.

I I know I think it's funny too, you're laughing. I think it's funny. There are lots of people who like, very much don't being called by their first name if they're head of a school or something like that. And that's fun. It's, that's a preference. Yeah. But for me and the way my instructor taught me,

This is about making people free to think how they need to think free to be creative and move how they wanna move. And if you start building kings within the environment, it gets very hard to do that. You can subvert yourself in that mission. So

Troy: It's, there's definitely kind of two sides to the coin one, right?

Like it's, it. , there's a, sh showing a level of re of respect, which I think is a nice thing to do to, to people that have to, to anybody, especially people that have accomplished stuff as well too. But then you definitely have the flip side of that coin where there's certain people who Want, want the, or whatever that title or thing to be said, because it makes them feel better than, or more important than the other people too.

It's, it there, there's definitely a balance there. But no, it also, there's a TV show where someone who's not in martial arts at all talks about being a sensei and has someone repeat it. No, sensei. So that was part of my laughter there too, is just in. Again the silliness that sometimes titles and different things can

Gabe: create.

It's for sure silly, right? I, I can't hear the word sensei without thinking of Dietrich Bader from Napoleon Dynamite, in his American flag pants and bandana being like, doubt your sense. I, that's all I can think of. Yeah. So when people call me that I understand. Aca, most of the time I'm lucky.

I, my students are smart people. , and they are not afraid to bust my chops. So I hear the word all the time, but it's always meant to rip me not to not to be some sort of title, but e every now and again, somebody you knew will come in and they'll, they'll drop that.

And I understand they're trying to be respectful of me and I appreciate that. But for me, respect is always best. , right? And if you respect me, you don't have to call me a title, right? Sure. Like I don't, I certainly don't need that, and I don't think other people really, truly need that as well.

It's nice, it's maybe a formality, but if you are really great at what you do and you are really ahead of the curve and you give a powerful lesson, or you do a powerful technique that wows people. The title, but means way less than that. Exactly. Yeah. So yeah, that's my feeling on that kind of thing.

What part

Troy: of Austin is the is the school located in?

Gabe: We are right next to the domain, right behind the Q2 stadium. So the the street is Denton. For, we recently, our neighbor unfortunately went out of business for. Which was a big hangout for all the Austin FC fans, but we are like right down the street from where there used to be.

Spicy Boys Chicken is another neighbor. They're right at the end of Denton and Metric. So when you're driving down metric, just take a right on Denton, if you're headed south. Take a left if you're headed north. And and we're right near the end of the street. And you can see the stadium from our place.

You can hear it too, when they're, when they got a game going on, which I love. I'm a lifelong soccer fan.

Troy: Yeah. When if for someone that hasn't gotten, been involved in Jisu and stuff, like what, what's the best way to, to start? Or what would they, should they expect to try to get involved?

Gabe: Sure. The first thing I would say, which is, this is like me being honest instead of me being a good marketing guy, is it's not for every. . And they, and you. I don't think anybody should feel bad about trying a class or taking a class and being like, yeah, I don't really like that.

That's not for me. Because they're, that, that is the case, right? And I have those things about myself, right? Like basketball, not for me. I, it's just bores me to tears slash makes me really tired and I don't really like it on either front. If you're coming to a jujitsu class, I think it's best to come first of all.

with not a lot of high expectations about oh, I'm gonna clean house in this place. Like my instructor always used to say, check your ego at the door. That's, it's a good practice because not just for martial arts for life, but especially in martial arts, there's always somebody who knows more than you.

There are lots of people who know more than me, and I've been doing this, we're slowly approaching, if we count wrestling over two decades and there are still people who can, kind of mess with me. . There's always a bigger dog. There's always a big, a bigger fight.

So if you just come with an open mind and understand that you're gonna be part of an environment and you're gonna be one of many people trying to accomplish something personally there, I think that's always nice. The other thing I would say is be open to the idea. That this is going to be scary to some degree, right?

Like you're gonna feel some panic when somebody grips a hold of you if you've never fought before. It is, this is like lizard brain stuff. You cannot help it. It happened to me. It will happen to anybody who tries this out for the first time. Just be okay with that, right? Be okay with the idea that it's gonna feel scary and then trust that your partners are gonna take care of you because that's our job, right?

As the black belt in the room or one of several. If there are several, like our jobs as the upper ranks are always to take care of the people below us. If we get hit in the face by a white belt's foot, that's our. , right? So you don't have to worry so much when you're new at this about taking care of other people.

Just trust that we'll take care of you and then worry about yourself. Worry about keeping your breathing calm, keeping your body as level as you can, and you're gonna feel super sore and exhausted. You're gonna feel sore in weird places that you've never felt sore before. That's just how prac, how practicing of martial art goes.

Certainly grappling. So you're gonna need a few days. at the beginning, after your first session, that's okay too. Just, keep coming back and keep listening. That's really the only way you can learn beginner's classes or advanced classes. I never really found much utility in that stuff.

You can learn anything from anybody if you're listening.

Troy: Cool. No, that sounds pretty cool. Yeah, for say for everyone who didn't get it there, the website can give you the address and other places to check them out on social media and stuff. And so I really appreciate you taking the time to, to chat about it.

It's, thank you. Definitely not the dis you know, again I'm the other way. I'm in. basketball, volleyball sports disciplined category that way. But it's still so cool to hear of different people and, and all the similarities that there are, right? Like you definitely have different skills and there's Some definite diff differentiation points between them.

But in a lot of ways, there's a lot of overlap, especially when it comes to the mental and teamwork aspect of it. For sure.

Gabe: There's a lot of overlap, and I think a, a jujitsu isn't from anybody for everybody, but a, good jujitsu fighter could come from anywhere for sure. Like it's like that Rathai movie, right?

Like you can find a good. Anywhere. And same thing with fighters. And you said you ran right?

Troy: I try not to run. I have run not too much. I generally have played basketball growing up and now I play a lot of beach volleyball and more into the, more into sports. Again I will, I've, I used to run a little bit.

To get prepared for basketball season and things. Sure. But yeah just to go running, like you say, Bo would bore bores the crap outta me.

Gabe: Okay, yeah, great. And it is boring, but I also think there's an analogy there for martial arts because most of running is between your ears, right? Very much so that's v that's why it's hard, is like you have to sustain your run however long it is while your mind is trying to make excuses, trying, oh man, my legs hurt.

My calves hurt, my feet hurt. Why am I doing this? I, if I turn around now, I could be home in 10 minutes. And you get those sort of invasive, pervasive thoughts. And you get those in martial arts too. You're like, This guy's really sweaty, and he's his chest is on my face and this is, I'm, I feel so hot and this they're trying to like lean on me and it's uncomfortable, but you can learn so much, I think, in both those sports about what you think you can tolerate and then what you can actually tolerate.

Sure. Yep. And you can, in my experience, most people can tolerate. An incredible amount of discomfort and still come out on top. And that makes me an eternal optimist to know that about, people. And I get to see it every day too, so I get it reinforced.

Troy: That's awesome. appreciate you taking the time to, to jump on the podcast with me today.

Thanks for inviting me out. Appreciate it. All right. Have a great day everyone.

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