When I was a 10 year old living in Italy, I found myself being bullied by a few of the older boys in the area. They were relentless and followed me everywhere including the sports teams I joined. This went on for about a year until I found a Karate class at the local community center. Since then I've been hooked!
I found my Martial Arts Academy a place where I could succeed under my own volition which inspired me to to persist in my Karate training. I found myself months away from attaining my Black Belt when my Military family had to move to a new station!
Since I loved martial arts, I had to find a new academy but this time I began to study Kung Fu. Unfortunately I started over as a new white belt. Like most Military families we moved a few more times which meant a few more martial arts academies!
After around 6 years of this I realized I was trained in Karate, Kung Fu, Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and that's when I discovered the concept of Mixed Martial Arts or MMA. With the help of some great Jiu Jitsu coaches I was able to find a way to compete using my mixed martial arts skills and that was the sport of Youth Pankration.
In my first "Kids MMA" fight, I lost to the Division Champion but gave him a run for his money. This experience caused me to devote myself fully to the sport and work harder than any of my opponents. I went undefeated the remainder of my youth career - retiring with the Youth 170 lb Title and 6 victories all by submission.
Although I still compete as an adult, my passion is on teaching Pankration to the next generation of martial artist. I believe my students are unique and all have their own story and their own strengths.
Youth Pankration is more than a sport, it is a physical and mental challenge which develops focus, goal setting and determination. I gets so much satisfaction knowing that I'm helping my students develop the tools they can use throughout their lifetimes so they can better their lives.