JiuJitsu Journey: Kenneth Brown

Kenneth Brown is a Black Belt under Master Mike Moses of Evolve Academy.

(Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Helio Gracie -> Rickson Gracie -> Pedro Sauer -> Mike Moses)

He started training just over 8 years ago and has made an amazing transformation in his life in more than one way

Not only is Kenneth a World Class competitor, having competed at the highest levels of the sport, he has lost over 100 lb after starting on his Jiu Jitsu Journey.

He is one of the most introspective and analytical Jiu Jitsu practitioners I’ve ever come across and have had the fortune to train with. The thought that comes to mind when working with Kenneth is that his depth of understanding of the art is on a whole different hemisphere, and you learn this quickly when you start talking to him.  What makes him special as an instructor is the uncanny ability break down his Jedi knowledge (and mind tricks) into digestible, meaningful bites for any level.

He is training and teaching full-time to spread his love of the art to as many people as possible. Most recently, he visited Senegal, Africa as part of the Lionheart Initiative which aims to establish permanent training centers/gyms in Africa to develop young adults into mixed martial artists and provide local children (specifically at-risk youth) a martial arts foundation.

Below, he shared his Jiu-Jitsu Journey with us and we are pleased to share it with you here at HEAVYWEIGHTBJJ.COM.


Collage

Interview

Question 1: Thank you for taking the time to interview with us and share highlights of your Jiu-Jitsu Journey.  Please share your Name any Nicknames, your current weight and favorite technique with our fans.

Answer: I’m Kenneth Brown.  I have a nickname that I plan to  overwrite it in the future. My current weight is 230 lb and my single favorite technique is the Ezekiel Choke.

Question 2: Why did you start training Jiu-Jitsu?

Answer: I actually started off training in Thai Boxing and it took a year before I finally gave Jiu-Jitsu a try. What finally pushed me over the edge and inspired my interest was a tournament. At the time, Evolve was organizing an event called Mission Submission and volunteers were requested. I spent the whole day running a table and watching matches. It was really great, and it inspired me like nothing else had. After that, I really wanted to learn the art.

Question 3: Are you an active competitor? If so, what is your last tournament and results?

Answer: Yeah, I love competing and I want to do it more often. My last tournament was the Atlanta Pro in 2016 and I earned a bronze medal but I wasn’t happy about it. One of my opponents was a no-show and I wanted that match.

Question 4: How often do you train ?

Answer: Every day in some way. I must always be moving forward and I take that commitment very seriously. Even when I can’t get into the gym, I do something.

Question 5: How does your training for competition differ from non-competition training? What is your overall training strategy?

Answer: The change is mostly on a psychological level. An upcoming competition means that there is a goal (to win) and a deadline. The conditions are set, and the preparation must be done. So every training session has more perceived value.

Question 6: What are your current training goals?

Answer: I’m all over the place. Two critical focuses, though, are wrestling and offensive sequences. Wrestling has been a weakness for a long time, and creating sequences just fascinates me. Sequences add another layer of science to the art, and the possibilities are limitless.

Question 7: Do you include Strength Training or other specialized programs in your training? How do you include it into your standard week?

Answer: Nowadays, my focus is on prehab. I want strength throughout full ranges of movement. And that’s been motivating me to add more strength training to my routine in addition to yoga.

I have a daily routine that must be done every day. Right now, it’s pretty light but I’m adding to it as I go. Almost everything is done in the morning as soon as I wake up, and then things that require more gym equipment are done later in any available window of time.

Question 8: What do you like most about BJJ?

Answer: It’s an ever-changing puzzle, filled with both simplicity and complexity. I love the fact that there will always be more problems to solve and ways to improve. Mastering the art will take a lifetime, and I’m up for the challenge.

Question 9: What do you dislike the most about BJJ? If so, what would you change?

There’s only one thing. It’s the debate about BJJ for self-defense vs. sport. I have no interest.

Question 10: Can you elaborate on your thoughts on the Self-Defense and Sport Jiu-Jitsu debate? That is, do you think training exclusively in Sports/competition-based Jiu-Jitsu will carry over as much as a Self-Defense focused curriculum? Please elaborate.

Answer: [Learning BJJ] depends on what your objective is.  For me, I’m not personally concerned enough about one person attacking me alone in the street. That’s not why I started Jiu Jitsu.  What inspired me was the sport. I love the challenge and how it pushes me to grow and improve myself; if you take it beyond the personal level though.

All gyms are different. They have different cultures, styles, environments, and I like that diversity. Self-defense, sport or whatever, all that matters is what happens when you put it to the test in the arena of your choosing (sport or street).


Question 11: How has Jiu-Jitsu changed your life?  What types of lessons have you learned on the mats that you have successfully brought into your personal life and the life of others?

Answer: First of all, almost everyone I spend significant amounts of time with, train. It has introduced me to a really incredible community of individuals. Every day I’m inspired to be better.

In addition to that, Jiu-jitsu has drastically changed my body composition. I look and feel different massively different than I did when I was over 300 pounds. Also it’s just incredible to have an art that allows me to express my mind and my body at the same time.


Question 12: What do you want your Jiu-Jitsu legacy to be?

Answer: Here’s a big one. I want to encourage more people to embrace the art because I know that they’ll benefit from it. In my lifetime, I want over a thousand people to be able to say that they wouldn’t have known what the art would give them if it hadn’t been for me.

Question 13: Where can people check out what you are doing? Are you involved in any special projects?

Answer: Of course. You can what I’m up to at KennethBrownBJJ. Right now, the focus is mainly on sequences. I’m slowly working on a putting as many offensive sequences as possible across the full spectrum of the art. I’m also the creator of BJJ Canvas.  I share my thoughts on techniques, nutrition, and competing there. Check it out!

Question 14: How can a general level Jiu-Jitsu practitioner get more out of their Journey? Any parting words of inspiration for BJJ enthusiasts?

Answer: Alright. Listen to this. There’s one thing that absolutely has to be done.

You have to take responsibility for your own growth.

Nothing matters more than what you do. And there’s a lot of little things that you can do like asking questions, keeping notes, and drilling more outside of class. That’s the tip of the iceberg.

Just focus on the small steps. Every little bit of progress matters.


In Closing

We look forward to hearing about Kenny’s future endeavors in competition and work to spread Jiu Jitsu worldwide!

Here are some of the takeaways we’ve learned:

Takeaway #1: Once again, JiuJitsu has amazing transformation affects on physical and mental health. This is more the rule than the exception!

Takeaway #2: Practicing JiuJitsu is challenging, complex, and rewarding. For those that keep showing up, the lessons you learn about yourself begin to happen on and off the mat in a productive, though-provoking, self-reflective way like nothing else.

Takeaway #3: People across the world are practicing JiuJitsu. Not just because it is the most comprehensive martial art, but it creates bonds, squashes egos, and challenges your physical, mental, and spiritual faculties.

What have you taken away from Kenneth’s story?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.  

Hopefully his story will inspire you to share your story with us!

Go to the Jiu-Jitsu Journey page, fill out the questionnaire, and we will do the rest! You can be featured in a future article, just like this one!

Share your journey and help spread Jiu-Jitsu worldwide!

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