I started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in early 2006 under Miguel Tinajero of Texas Punishment Crew, who was then a blue belt.1 An internship in the summer of 2007 sent me to Lincoln, Nebraska where I trained in Japanese Jujitsu with Conan Schafer and company at Roseberry’s Martial Arts Center. They are a bunch of incredibly humble practitioners, and now run the popular “The Jiu-Jitsu Fighter” blog.2 When I returned to McAllen in August 2007, Pat Hardy, Royce Gracie’s first black belt and founder of Texas Punishment Crew, visited for a seminar and awarded me my blue belt.3 In all, I had my white belt for about 18 months.
From August 2007 until October 2008 – barring summer ’08, which I spent traveling and training in various locations throughout the Southwest – I continued to train with Miguel Tinajero at McAllen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and compete under the aegis of Texas Punishment Crew. That November, I moved to Austin and, following the advice of Jason Ebarb (of Texas Punishment Crew), signed up at Relson Gracie Austin.4 Run by Relson black belts Phil Cardella and Richard Giberson, and brown belt Christy Thomas, their academy was where I hung my hat for nearly a year. October 2009, I moved to South Korea and began training at Action-Reaction Jiu-Jitsu (액션리액션 주짓수).5 Classes were taught by a brown belt named Sung-Shil Kang (강성실), who received his black belt from Rubens Charles “Cobrinha” Maciel while I was there. Between October 2010 and March 2011, I split my time evenly between Miguel Tinajero’s McAllen Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and Carlos Diego Ferriera’s school in Mission.6 Sometime in the beginning of March, I moved to Austin on an impulse decision and returned to Relson Gracie Austin. In June 2011, I decided to follow Donald Park, a David Adiv / Royler Gracie black belt, in his attempt to create something unique in the Jiu-Jitsu World. In late March 2012, and still with the belief I had a few more years worth of labor ahead of me, I received my purple belt from Donald Park. In all, I had my blue belt for about four years and seven months.
I have had my purple belt since March 26th, 2012. That brings me up to date. I am still a student of Donald Park. Gracie Humaitá Austin is my banner.