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My name is Kenneth. I grew up in Vista and Oceanside, eventually graduating from Vista High School in 2010. I graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 2014 with a degree in Economics and Statistics. After college I worked for several years in the financial technologies field in San Diego. I discovered during that time that I did not want to follow a career in business and spent much of my time shadowing or volunteering in various professions. I quit my job in 2016 and decided to travel the world, returning June 2017 to pursue my new found passion in becoming a medical doctor. Along the way I found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and it has had an insurmountable effect on my success in all aspects of my life.
One of the major reasons I fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is because it was one of the first times I have truly experienced real growth from nothing. From a young age, we are told the keys to success are forged through discipline, perseverance, self-confidence, and many other habitual tendencies. Often times the results of these and improvements in our journey are not tangible and hard to gauge. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu simplifies this. When you begin your Jiu-jitsu journey, you receive a white belt with no stripes. As your knowledge and skills develop, over time you will receive more and more stripes and eventually new color belts that recognize your growth in the art form. Through competition and training, you either win a match or lose, you get a submission or you don’t, you get submitted or you escape, you fall and get back up or you quit. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, like many things, can act as an allegory for life and demonstrate in a very tangible way the habits of success.
My Journey started right after college and it has helped reshape my mindset and give me the confidence to drastically change the direction of my life. I walked into Excel Jiu-Jitsu completely shy, little self-confidence, and despite having just received a college degree, I was directionless in my life looking for some sort of outlet that was going to give me focus. Over the years that I have been training, I have developed self-discipline, focus, patience, and many more characteristics that come from committing your time and energy to a goal.
The best thing I have received from Jiu-Jitsu is self-confidence, and that was forged through competition and hard training. Through the fire of competition, especially in a sport that is one on one, you learn a lot about yourself and what it takes to win by overcoming adversity. In a competition, it’s you vs someone else. Everyone is else can only watch with your coaches yelling coaching cues for you to follow. But it’s in these moments, when you may feel the weight of the world pushing down on you that you learn to push past the limits that your mind has set and realize you are capable of much more than you thought possible. You learn the rewards of discipline and truly understand that the battle is won before it is ever fought. And most importantly, you learn the ability to remain calm and composed under high pressure situations. All of these help forge and grow your self confidence in everything you do.
Most people avoid these type of situations, it’s our how we are bioengineered for survival by our mind telling us to avoid pain and seek pleasure. As a martial artist, we learn to become better than who we were yesterday and challenge ourselves. I believe everyone should do something in life that challenges them physically and mentally, because that is how you grow as a person. Jiu-Jitsu has helped me become who I am today and has given me the self-confidence to drop my career and life direction to pursue what I feel I was meant to do. If you are looking for a challenge, something to give you focus, an environment of discipline, or just to learn how to defend yourself, come give Jiu-Jitsu and martial arts a try at Excel Jiu-Jitsu.