Why BJJ Changed My Life

Why BJJ Changed My Life

By Roee Cohen

At some point in my past I reflected on my life and felt like “I needed to change something”. I guess everyone does this from time to time for various reasons. While having these thoughts, I heard about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts classes nearby in my city, so I decided to give it a try.

From the moment I walked in the door, BJJ had a great effect on me. I immediately fell in love with the martial art and, as the time has passed, it became a bigger and bigger part of my life. I eventually began to compete in the sport and, after a few years, wanted to pass my love of the sport on to others, so I started to coach. As you are reading this you might ask yourself why did BJJ have this particular effect on me? How is it different from any other martial arts?

Well to start, BJJ is a martial art meant for even the most physically small and weak person. All the techniques in BJJ lean on controlling your body and leverage and then using these two elements to control your opponent and make him submit.  The technique essentially levels the playing field for smaller athletes, allowing them to compete against a much larger opponent.

The second reason is the philosophy of “Tapping Out” ones opponent. In most of the other martial arts you aim to knock out or even kill your opponent. In BJJ your goal is to force your opponent to “Tap Out”, which means you make him acknowledge his defeat and to then submit. There is something very natural and real about this type of battle between two humans.

Finally, I found BJJ so special because, as it is often called, it truly is  “The Human Chess Game.” Unlike any other martial art, BJJ as mentioned, is intended for even the weakest people, but rewards the fighter who will think ahead, act, and then react to your opponent’s moves. Because of this, the person who can see one or even a few steps ahead will dictate the fights outcome.

There is one particular quote from Flavio Bhering that I try to follow as I continue to pave my way in BJJ: “There is no perfection, only option”. To me, this means that there is no perfect technique, but there are always options ahead. Thinking this way and practicing BJJ is actually what changed my life. You stop taking the obvious for granted, always try new things and find your way out.

Regardless of background, anybody who trains BJJ can expect to gain the benefits of fitness, strength, mental and physical toughness, and much more. At the end of the day, BJJ is a way of life and I suggest that anyone who cares to better himself try it out.

Who knows? Maybe you could change your life as well.

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Amiram Eini

Amiram has over 20 years of martial arts experience – including training in Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. He has competed on the national and international levels in multiple disciplines, having taken home a gold medal in BJJ European Cup, first place in the 2014 BJJ Israel Open and victories in several amateur MMA fights. He started his coaching career in 2000 and considers martial arts to be the backbone of his life because of it’s emphasis on integrity and the line it allows him to draw between pride and humility.

Alon Sasson

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Barak

Barak is a certified Krav Maga instructor from the Wingate Institute. He formerly served as a Krav Maga instructor in the Israeli Defense Forces and has more than 14 years of coaching experience.

Gal Shkedi

Gal has been a coach for over 5 years and serves in the IDF under a “Competitive athletes” program for the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

He has extensive competitive experience both locally and internationally and holds impressive accolades such as Israeli National Champion, 2nd place finish at the European Championship and 5th place at the World Championship.

He currently trains under professor Ido Pariente.

Gal aspires to be a world renowned instructor/teacher/coach and has a passion to teach his students the art of Jiu Jitsu.

Lev Magen

Lev Magen is a former professional MMA Fighter and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Ido Pariente. He started training in various martial arts as a young kid before moving to BJJ in 2001. Lev’s first professional MMA fight was in 2010 and he has a career record of 4-0, including an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Season 16 where he competed for a spot in the UFC. Lev has been coaching both professional fighters and recreational athletes since 2010 with the goal of helping all of his students to achieve their full potential as athletes and as human beings.

Olga Rubin

Olga Rubin is a professional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor and MMA fighter. Although she only started fighting in 2012, Olga has already achieved many successes in her career. Her accomplishments include gold medals at the BJJ North Open Championship in 2014 & 2015, Copa de Israel 2015, JJIF Israeli Championship 2015, and Abu Dhabi no-gi 2015. She also has an undefeated record of 4-0 in her MMA career including victories at Bellator 164 and 188. She has been an active coach since 2013 when she earned her Personal Coaching Certificate from the Wingate Institute, and has since trained athletes in martial arts, functional training, and CrossFit.

Roee Cohen

Roee Cohen, who was born and raised in Israel, has been training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2009. He is a purple belt student of Roy Pariente and has trained in Brazil under Ricardo Vieira of Checkmat BJJ. Roee has competed in national and international BJJ and MMA competitions, taking home medals and trophies from over 10 of those tournaments ranging from 1st to 3rd place. Roee began his coaching career in 2012 with a Mixed Martial Arts Instructor Certification from Wingate Institute and has since trained athletes that have competed in and won both BJJ and MMA competitions.

Eyal Sade

Eyal Sade is a trainer of Classic Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. He lives and breathes martial arts and started practicing various disciplines from a very young age. Eyal has served as a trainer since 1995 in various institutes in Israel and around the world. He received his Muay Thai coaching certificate from The Wingate Institute and has gained experience fighting in both Israel and Thailand.

Adi Rotem

Adi Rotem began actively training in martial arts over 30 years ago at the age of 5. She developed her Thai-boxing abilities in the world famous House of Legends “VOS GYM” in Amsterdam. Adi has a well decorated career in amateur and professional matches and, in 2012, became the, W.F.C.A. Thai-boxing World Champion. She was also the WAKO K-1 World Champion from 2009-2011 and has an extensive record of over 50 licensed matches. Adi became a certified instructor in Dennis Survival Jiu Jitsu in 1997. She was a Krav Maga instructor for the Israeli Defense Forces from 1998-2000. Afterward, she expanded her knowledge of martial arts and competed in Muay Thai fights around the world. She later became a certified kickboxing coach and fitness instructor who has trained hundreds of athletes, including youth and adults, in the discipline of Muay Thai.