Team Renzo Gracie Blue Belt Heads to ADCC World Championships
The grappling world has been abuzz of late with all of the exciting performances and matches coming out of the recent East Coast and West Coast Trials for this coming Fall’s ADCC World Championships in Los Angeles.
This past weekend, one of the several amazing stories that all involved East Coast grapplers like prodigy Nicky Ryan and last minute attendee Amanda Leve, was the story of blue belt Nick Rodriguez who took the world by storm at the East Coast Trials as a white belt with only 6 months of training and achieved bronze at the first trials. Things went much differently at the West Coast Trials with Nick winning the gold and securing his spot in the World Championships next Fall.
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BJJ Fanatics was able to catch up with Nick and get some insight into his goals and training. Check it out below!
BJJ Fanatics: Thanks for taking some time to talk to us Nick. What does your weekly training schedule look like? How do you divide your time up through the week?
Nick Rodriguez: So prior to ADCC Trials, I was spending 2-3 days a week at Renzo’s, 2 days wrestling with New Jersey Regional Training Center for wrestling, along with 2 days at South Jersey BJJ, one day at Ocean County BJJ (home of Tom DeBlass) and also one day at Grindhouse MMA with James Booth. I also lifted weights every day on top of training two to three sessions each day.
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BJJ Fanatics: We know that Professor John Danaher is big on thinking and planning in one year and 5 year increments. Where do you see yourself in those time periods? What are some goals you have for yourself?
Nick Rodriguez: I plan on winning the ADCC World Championship. I have a few other things on my list of less importance, but currently I have tunnel vision. I’m absolutely fixated on becoming a ADCC World Champion. Each day I spend with Professor Danaher, I can feel my game evolving. Correcting imperfections and systematically tearing apart opponents is what Professor Danaher specializes in and I plan to utilize each tool I acquire in that blue basement. This journey has just begun.
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BJJ Fanatics: The old BJJ cliche is that it enriches every area of life. What has grappling and BJJ training with the team you train with and for the competitions you train for impacted the rest of your life?
Nick Rodriguez: Jiu Jitsu has honestly made me a happier person and has helped with my people skills tremendously. The networking involved with this sport has truly helped me blossom socially. Meeting different people each week allows me to give everyone a better understanding of the person I am.
As far as fitness goes; Jiu Jitsu has helped thicken up my core muscles and has played a large part in keeping me extremely lean even at 230 lbs.
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BJJ Fanatics: Which training partner or partners challenges you the most?
Nick Rodriguez: Training with Gordon Ryan and the guys from NJRTC are always my hardest workouts. When Practicing with Gordon I always try to learn as we go at it so it’s always a challenging multitasking. On top of that he’s an absolute savage in any position, so it’s constantly a fight. When training at NJRTC, head coach Reece Humphrey is a maniac. I walk in there and I’m surrounded by guys that don’t care about your feelings, don’t care if your hurt, bruised or feeling under the weather. They are there to break you mentally and physically; if your will is weak they will sniff you out. There is no Mercy in that wrestling room and I can honestly say I look forward to competing in there every single week.
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BJJ Fanatics: Any advice for someone who’s hesitant to compete? Do you think it’s a required practice in order to fully appreciate and experience BJJ?
Nick Rodriguez: If you’re a BJJ practitioner and have not competed then I promise, you have not experienced what Jiu Jitsu is all about. Training hard rounds is good, but fully imposing your will on an opponent is a completely different dynamic. Add hundreds of people in person & thousands watching online; The nerves are there and most people break under that pressure. Mat time and the experience competing is king.
One of Nick Rodriguez’ most challenging training partners and instructors is the ADCC Champion Gordon Ryan. Gordon Ryan has recently joined forces with BJJ Fanatics and shared his complete “System” of Guard Passing and you can get yours today! Don’t miss it!