Know the Coach, Brian Way

Brian training bjj

How did you start training martial arts?

I can’t remember when or how I learnt about martial arts, all I remember was on the sixth birthday my Mum gave me a Judo Gi,  It’s definitly the clearest birthday moment of my childhood that I remember, I was so excited.

I was OBSESSED.  The judo training only lasted a few months but I was hooked.  I would read every martial arts instructional book in the public library and practice at home, hire every martial arts movie at the video store I could (until my Mum put her foot down on me getting the really violent ones) and once I was in my teens I started buying Martial arts magazines and scouring the yellow pages for clubs near by to go attend their free trials.

What martial arts have you trained in?

Well as I said I was hooked on learning all I could and I jumped around a lot trying just about everything possible in my area, a few months of this, a year or so of that,  but my parents wanted me to do something non violent and so I started Aikido when I was 14, that would be my obsession for the next four years.  It helped that Steven Seagal was a huge star at the time.  He and Van Damn were the my movie hero’s.

I’ve since put enough time in to say I’m  ‘trained’ in Muay Thai,  Boxing and Judo, although by no means an expert, just a constant student and I enjoy learning these arts and others still in my spare time. 

Where did you grow up?

Canada and Australia.  I was 12 when I moved to Australia and have been here since.  I went to school in Ringwood, Melbourne and I’ve lived mostly in the Ringwood area since athough I have lived in Perth and spent a year living in the USA as an adult. 

When did you decide to be a martial arts teacher?

I actually got the notion originally when I was 15.  I was set on moving to Japan and becoming an Aikido black belt, returning to Melbourne and teaching.  This never happened but the obsession never left me even though I did a host of different carreers and studies over the years.    After a year or so of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu I knew I wanted to at least teach it,  after five years of BJJ I began to coach classes in Ringwood and after eight I opened my own club in Lilydale but quickly moved to Croydon and after a year moved to Bayswater where I have been the last six years.

How did you get into BJJ?

in early 2008 I was at the train station in Ringwood and across from it in a little tiny shop there was a bjj / mma club.  At the time I was dealing with a great amount of depression, and anxiety and really lacking any kind of self worth.   I walked in to try it out and proceeded to be arm barred, choked, kimurad and crushed for two hours,  it was heaven and I was hooked and have been ever since.

I had been out of any regular training for awhile, and having martial arts again to anchor me and provide a healthy environment and outlet made all the difference in my learning to manage my mental health and build a future for myself again.

Do you train in other martial arts now?

I do.  I train in Judo regularly where I am thrown on my bum and humbled,  I attend seminars on armed and unarmed combat tactics, and occationally HEMA (European sword fighting) because being hit with swords is also fun.

Do you have other interests outside BJJ?

Archery, reading, singing, computer gaming, and I’m trying to learn another language.   Oh and I foster sick rabbits for the Rabbit Runnaway Orphinage in Olinda.

Is there anyting else you would like to share about yourself?

I have a sweet tooth that is too big.  But my best mate is a dentist so that’s ok.

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