JiuJitsu Journey: Rob Austin

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Rob Austin is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Purple Belt under Andre Quiles of Chekmat.

He also holds a 3rd degree Black Belt In Tae Kwon Do (TKD) under Mike Wegmann and Mark and Liz Beddow.  Rob is 32 and has been training BJJ for 8 years, is sponsored by Trap and Roll Soap Company.

He is an active competitor having won 1st place Master’s Blue Belt and Ultra Heavy No Gi at the Sport Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF) Worlds in 2014.

He currently trains Chute Boxe Academy in Arizona, Vision Martial Arts in Cary, NC. Rob also teaches out of Wiesbaden, Germany ot the MWR U.S. Army base, and Shogun Gym in Kaiserslautern.(www.shogun-gym.de), spreading Jiu-Jitsu across the globe.

Rob also hosts the Big Jiujitsu Show, a podcast that focuses on the normal BJJ practitioner.

Rob has shared his Jiu-Jitsu journey with us here at HEAVYWEIGHTBJJ.COM.

Question 1. Please share your Name, lineage and rank, current weight, and any nicknames with our fans.

Answer: Hi, I’m Rob Austin.  Some people call me “Smiley” and also “Lord Humongous”.

I am a Purple Belt under Andre Quiles (Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos GracieHelio GracieRolls GracieRomero Cavalcanti >Leonardo Vieira > Leandro Vieira > Andre Quiles)

Question 2. What is your single-favorite technique?

Answer: The Inverted Armbar.

Question 3. Why did you start training Jiu-Jitsu?

Answer: I started training BJJ after watching way too many Pride FC matches, and seeing Sakuraba and the Gracie’s beat people with grappling on the ground.  I was training Taekwondo at the time, and Brian Mingia came in and taught us some stuff from the ground.  I was instantly hooked and have been a student ever since.

Question 4. Are you an active competitor? If so, what is your last tournament and results?

Answer: I am an active competitor, I think that competition regardless of the results is what separates our art from a lot of others.  Last tournament I didn’t place, but it did point out a lot of holes in my game.

Question 5. How often do you train?

Answer: I train at the very least five days a week, some days I can get in two training sessions.  It all depends on work and life.

Question 6. How does your training for competition differ from non-competition training? What is your overall training strategy?

Answer: Usually I will try to put myself in the worse positions possible a few weeks out of the competition and work on escaping from bad position.  Then the week of the tournament I’ll go light from standing to make sure my takedowns are meshing well with my game and we take it from there.  I usually will focus a lot on cardio since that is the killer for all Heavyweight divisions.

Question 7. What are your current training goals?

Answer: Currently my training goals are to win my upcoming Pro MMA debut on October 2nd.  As well as continue to provide great leadership and training for my amazing students in Germany.


Question 8. Do you include Strength Training or other specialized programs in your training? How do you include it into your standard week?

Answer: Mainly cardio or body strength training, I don’t normally pick up weights for training.  Usually I’ll do some body strength or cardio at the end of class.  I don’t want to sacrifice technique because I’m tired, so I’ll work on it at the end.

Question 9. What do you like most about BJJ?

Answer: I really like how it’s easy to get along with people when you learn they do BJJ.  It also has really helped me stay calm and focused when stress arises.

Question 10. What do you dislike the most about BJJ? If so, what would you change?

Answer: Even though BJJ is supposed to get rid of the ego, there are still quite a few people out there who have an elitist attitude.

Being approachable is what this sport should be about, and the sport is not about me, it’s about you.  At the end of the day, if you’re more focused on yourself instead of your students, you need to reevaluate what you’re doing.

CAPSTONE 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: It has changed my life in a way that most things have not.  There is a certain portion of doing this sport that makes me get up every morning to train and make sure that I can go out and help my students.

It also has shown me that things that may seem terrible in life aren’t that bad.  When your hobbies include letting a person try to choke you unconscious, a lot of things don’t seem so tough anymore.

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

Answer: I’d love to have my own academy one day, it’s in the plans and I would love it to be somewhere that has all the resources a student would need to be successful.  I want to be able to get out there and interview more people and have them share their life experiences on the mat.

Question 13. Where can people check out what you are doing?

Answer: I host the Big Jiujitsu Show, a podcast that focuses on the normal BJJ practitioner as well as a few different big names that come in to talk.  One of my favorite episodes was with the great Kurt Osiander. Listen to it here.

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Question 14. How can a general level Jiu-Jitsu practitioner get more out of their Journey?

Answer: The best thing to do is to just roll.  The best way to get better at BJJ is to do more BJJ.  Keep an open mind as well, if you think you can’t learn from anyone then you aren’t going to get very far.

Question 15.  Any parting words of inspiration for BJJ enthusiasts?

Answer: People you encounter in every day life have a story, and you can learn something from everyone.  You are a small part of this community, but what you do each day has a big impact.  Treat others the way they should be treated, don’t use the art in a malicious way, and try to show kindness at least once a day.

In Closing

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

Here are some of the takeaways we’ve learned:

Takeaway #1: JiuJitsu is a life style.  People want others to enjoy the tangible and intangible qualities of the art and will work hard to spread that good fortune to others.

Takeaway #2: JiuJitsu gives you real life skills. There is a real benefit from having to deal with difficult, in-your-face challenges in rapid fashion. As Rob said, once your hobby includes somebody trying to strangle you, life doesn’t seem so tough.

Takeaway #3: People across the world are practicing JiuJitsu! But there is more work to do to spread the art and the benefits it can have on the quality of life of those who begin.

What have you taken away from Rob’s story?  

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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