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When I started Jiu-Jitsu I was absolutely terrible at it and would go home from training every day feeling completely destroyed, questioning if I should continue training or not. Many days I wanted to quit but thanks to good leadership from a great coach and having some wise training partners to look up to, I stuck it out and began to develop a somewhat functional understanding of Jiu-Jitsu.
I competed at my first NAGA tournament in early 2012 - scared to death but wanting to feel what it’s like to put yourself on the line, I won my first match and actually landed an (ugly) Anaconda choke on my opponent on the way to a bronze medal finish.
I think that first competition really solidified Jiu-jitsu’s place in my life. I would continue to compete through blue belt, and while I don’t have a perfect record; I am indeed proud of my accomplishments.
I was promoted to purple belt in December of 2015 from Professor Juan Guevara, currently a 3rd degree black belt. Shortly after my promotion I moved across the country on a personal journey and started to build my coaching experience, learning how to be an effective coach for children and youth students. [Aaron was promoted to brown belt in December 2020!]
A year later I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where I honed my no-gi game and leglock skills. I also built my own “Beginner’s Jiu-Jitsu” program at the personal training gym I was working at, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to teach effective self-defense techniques and fundamental grappling skills to law enforcement officers as well as other students.
Jiu-Jitsu is the most important activity in my life and coaching is my biggest passion; I am always grateful for the opportunity to encourage, empower, and enlighten my fellow practitioners.