Art and Me:
Like most artists, it’s hard for me to pinpoint when I started drawing. I am sure that most everyone draws as a kid. I kept drawing into high school, where it became a little more serious. I was able to get a scholarship to go to art school in my senior year, so in 2005 I started studying at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design majoring in Illustration. I graduated in December of 2008 and continued practicing on my own until early 2010. About that time I moved to Austin, Texas and spent about one year at The Art Department on a full scholarship. I left Austin in April of 2011 and moved to Berlin, Germany to work at SIXMOREVODKA Studio. Now I’m back in Colorado, freelancing, practicing and training Jiu-Jitsu every day.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Me:
In October of 2007, I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and immediately became 100% addicted. I was fortunate because my art teacher from high school was a brown belt (now a black belt) and was kind enough to start teaching me the art. I now train at Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with David Ruiz (3rd degree Rigan Machado black belt). While I was living in Austin, I trained with Phil Cardella (2nd degree Relson Gracie black belt) as well as occasional lessons from Donald Park (Gracie Humaita). When I moved to Berlin, I trained and taught at a small school affiliated with Hilti BJJ in Stockholm (BTT). In September 2011, I went to Athens, Greece and spent 10 days training with Brasa black belts Rodrigo “Comprido” Medieros and Felipe Costa. In October 2011, I visited the UK and spent some time with Nick Brooks (Roger Gracie black belt). Through seminars and private lessons I have had the opportunity to train in a lot of great places with a lot of great black belts.
After the traveling, and even though I still visit several gyms and attend as many seminars as possible, I am back in Colorado with my team. My Professor, Ben Lowry, and my Judo sensei Charlee Minkin own and operate The Sanctuary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness. I help teach the kids class, and teach some adult classes when Ben isn't able. I have no plans to move or change teams whatsoever, only to build our team and grow the local community!