Submission Shark Community | Instagram: @fordbros.jiujitsu @dj_bjj99
Brayden (Left) Michael (Right)
"Train hard, drill hard, become better, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Am I satisfied with myself? Nope, there's always room to improve." -David Ford Jr.
Brotherhoods are built on the mats but this brotherhood started with birth. This is a story about three brothers that persevered through personal problems and used jiu-jitsu as a tool to improve and grow. Philosophies about this art differ and it is important to see different points of view. It is interesting to see the brotherly dynamic the Ford Brothers bring to this community. This is a great read to understand the mindset of these hungry sharks on their path to becoming the best versions of themselves. Make sure you read the full article as you may see a special appearance from another Submission Shark Community member.
Michael Ford, Brayden Ford, David Ford Jr. (D.J)
Short Term Goals:
Michael: I'm working on strength training. Having a few physical obstacles have driven me to push myself harder than without them, but also helps me tap into my inner strength for the extra bumps forward. I dig deep, and I'm hoping to bring it all to surface soon. Better take downs and submissions.
Brayden: I'm practicing my technique, trying different strategic moves when rolling, drilling, training all together so I can hopefully be harder competition for my 2 older brothers and sister. (We kind of have an Alpha competition between us, ha)
David: I want to be a better person every day, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am always aiming to improve on at least something every day.
Tonight was a huge accomplishment for me, I earned my blue belt! I'm super excited about it, and I can't wait to accomplish more goals. From the beginning of my jiu-jitsu journey, I didn't know much and probably looked very silly on my first day but, everyone that was there throughout my journey to help me and patiently work with me, I am super thankful for because without the patience of them, I wouldn't have been able to learn as much as I have, so thank you, everyone,! And thank you, Coach Brandon, for always being patient, for always doing what you can to help me improve and for being a great mentor!
Can't thank my jiu-jitsu family enough for all they've done and helped out with, they're all great mentors as well, oss. And congratulations to Eric, Dan, Clayton, and Quintin on y'alls promotions, they were well deserved! Time to get back to training harder, and journey on! -David Ford Jr.
How long have you been doing jiu-jitsu for?
Michael: 3.5 years
Brayden: 3.5 years
David: Since March in 2015, a little over 3yrs.
Where do you train out of?
Do you prefer gi or no-gi?
David: In a self-defence manor, I prefer both equally because I believe that gi and no gi are both essential for defending yourself on the streets. But competition wise, I personally prefer gi.
Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than jiu-jitsu?
We received our yellow belts in Jiujitsu today! Thank you to all of our training partners and coaches who take the time to teach us. Thank you Coach Brandon @bwalker894 for always taking your time to teach us, and help us understand jiujitsu more and more each day we train.
Michael: Yes, they have been a strong family, very supportive, and have shown me how to persevere.
Brayden: Yes, I've got family with them, and I have more discipline and confidence in other areas of my life that I pursue.
What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that applies to everyday life?
Michael: I don't give up and when I make mistakes I have to fix them, just like when I have a flaw in my technique, I thrive on repetition to try to perfect it.
Brayden: Because my training makes me more aware of myself and my surroundings, I see people differently in life, deeper, I try to understand more about them, and I want to make a difference in people's lives.
David: I've learned a huge amount of self-control, and patience. Working different jobs, it's helped me slow down fast situations and have a more focused and problem-solving thought process.
How often do you train?
Michael and Brayden: Usually 4 days a week. More often when tournament time.
David: Normally train three times a week, I've been 'adulting' now, getting jobs and such, so that really put a hold on some of my training. But, I always stayed involved as much as possible. Now I am going to college, and I am able to train more now. I am definitely going to train four times a week now.
What made you want to start training?
Michael and Brayden: Our mother is a martial artist, grew up in Shotokan Karate, and wanted us to know the joy of martial arts, so she enrolled us into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after she researched our local options.
David: My mother trained Shotokan karate since she was 11 and I was always amazed by martial arts, just like my brothers, so she made a call to a friend and he mentioned jiujitsu to her, and she found Pure and put us in it, along with my sister as well.
Do you plan on training your whole life?
Michael and Brayden: Definitely.
David: Yes. It's a way of life.
What’s it about jiu-jitsu that makes it so addicting?
Michael: Feeling of accomplishment after each class, learning new techniques that are like pieces to a life long puzzle. I have to go to class to form that new piece if I miss class, I feel like a piece of the puzzle is missing.
Brayden: It's like air and food. Without air, you will suffocate. Without food, you would starve. Jiu-jitsu feeds me and because of it, I am always hungry.
David: I believe it's the fact that you can go into a place, where you find yourself with others just like you, training to sweat out negativity, to help each other grow or become better. To improve as a team and watch everyone build confidence. Plus the benefit of being healthy for all that sweating!
What has jiu-jitsu done for your physical health?
Michael: For 4 years I have been battling muscle atrophy, and bouts of paralysis and pain, interchanging, of my feet and knees, and have gone through many Drs visits, a couple of genetic tests, and am scheduled for more, as we still have no confirmed diagnosis. Meanwhile, for me. Jiu-jitsu has given me therapy, in many aspects, and hope, and encouragement that whatever this is, I'm not tapping out!
Brayden: I was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome when I was 4 years old, and my muscles would stay tense, but since my Jiu-jitsu training, I have become more relaxed, confident, control of my body, coordinated.
David: It's definitely made it better, my cardio is great, my immune system is better the more I train, and in defiantly stronger than before I trained.
Has jiu-jitsu benefited your mental health?
Michael: I'm much more focused.
Brayden: Positive mentality.
David: Yes, it has given me a clearer head. It has sharpened my focus, my confidence, patience, and my overall quick problem-solving abilities.
If you could restart your jiu-jitsu journey, would you do anything different?
Michael: No, I feel like I'm on a good track.
David: I would start at a younger age, and I would make sure when I did drills in the beginning, that I did them slower.
What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?
Michael: Jiu-jitsu has so much to offer anyone and everyone, and it is a personal journey.
Brayden: Jiu-jitsu will help you achieve your goals because you will awaken a better you from the inside each time you complete a class. Your jiu-jitsu training partners are family.
David: If you are truly wanting to clean your body, and your mind and make both healthier, I would at least try it. Jiujitsu isn't just a sport. It's an art, it's a lifestyle. It will 100% help lose weight, gain muscle, sweat out toxins. It will help you psychologically, and it will make you overall healthier everywhere.
Do you have any aspirations in jiu-jitsu?
Michael and Brayden: We would like to instruct others one day and share what we know.
David: I want to be a world champion someday, and I also want to own my own gym someday and teach to foster kids and kids without.
What’s your favourite move?
Brayden: Collar Choke
David: I have many I like, I really like Armbars and chokes, but lately I've been enjoying passing guard.
If you didn’t discover jiu jitsu, where do you think you’d be now?
Michael and Brayden: Training in Shotokan ( which we do on occasion)
David: I wouldn't be as dedicated to my goals.
Would you like to see the sport become more mainstream?
Michael and Brayden: Yes
David: Yes, anything that gets jiujitsu out there is great. I just hope it keeps it's authenticity as far as jiujitsu as a sport goes.
Have any of your training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?
Michael and Brayden: Yes, definitely. They are our backbone.
David: Yes, some of my training partners have been in there since my family started and they have pushed me, my brothers, and my sister to and pass our limits and continue to push us, and my girlfriend who also trains but is out due to injury, has pushed me also in and out of the gym.
Our first No-Gi of the year. It was a very great class, and lots of really awesome rolls! We're not just a team, we're a family, and we train to improve each other! -David Ford Jr.
When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of jiu jitsu that you had trouble getting?
Michael: I was overthinking the basic moves
Brayden: Same as Michael. Overthinking basic moves
David: I would say, learning to slow down, and creating a chain of moves to keep my options open.
What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?
Michael: I have been inspired, and I want to be like that, an example of not giving up on yourself or others.
Brayden: The fulfillment of meeting my goals, I hope to prove it can be done by anyone.
David: I feel good when others feel good, especially when I can be the one to make something click for them, or help them believe in themselves. That's probably to me the best part about training, is being an example, and being someone who helps others improve with you.
Most of the time if you're trying, you will fail, over, and over again. But, during that time of failure, is a very difficult mental test. Don't get discouraged if you fail. You can either accept it, and give up, or you can accept the fact that you failed and learn from it and create a learning experience out of it, and get back up, and prepare yourself to fight the war inside of you, against you that's your biggest enemy. The you that tells yourself you can't improve! Honestly, you can't deny failure, you do have to accept that it's there, because it is. If it wasn't there, how else would you know your weaknesses? You may fail some, but every time you do, if you're the type with a strong, positive, humble mind... You will always learn from your failures. So when you're knocked down, the fight isn't over... Just stand back up, and make your base stronger. Always give all you got! -David Ford Jr.
Is there any sibling rivalry between you two?
Michael and Brayden: We are competitive but we always have each other's back
David: It's great, we all have each other's backs, and we all puck each other up when one is down. They are my biggest motivation, I look up to them, and the way they train and I am very proud of my siblings. When it comes to rolling, we are competitive with each other, but in a healthy way. No egos or anything like that, we each roll harder with each other than everyone else, because we push each other harder than anyone else because we know (especially from daily obstacles) each other's limits, weaknesses and strengths. It makes training more intense but also, it makes it more fun.
Some of the toughest training partners. My siblings always try to tear my head off, it's awesome! We always push each other past our limits. -David Ford Jr.
For those that have been following our blogs, you may see a familiar face in the back. Amber has been a part of the community for a few weeks now and has quite an interesting story herself. Her thoughts on the art and her dedication should not be ignored. We asked her the same question and here is her response:
I think the title of this article says a lot about the type of person Amber is. From a loving mother to an amazing sister and member of the jiu jitsu community, her passion for the sport/art is one of the many reason why I believed she would fit perfectly into this community. For those that may worry about rolling while pregnant, make sure you read the full article as she explains... (Read More)
Explain the feeling you got when you received your yellow belt?
David: Very proud of my little brothers that aren't so little anymore and now kicking my butt on mats on a regular basis. Very proud of their skill, dedication, and their humble state of minds. If you've rolled with them, you know their jiujitsu is no joke. Always improving, on and off the mats. Ready to watch them dominate worlds someday! They always train their hardest and always push themselves past their limits no matter the circumstances, or obstacles. Got some new yellow belts on the mats now, very well earned and deserved!
Michael: honored, and encouraged
Has jiu-jitsu helped your relationship with your brother? and would you recommend other siblings train together?
Michael and Brayden: yes, you will push each other further than without having each other.
Do you practice holistic healing? and what got you interested in learning about it?
David: I definitely use it, and I believe in it to be very important. If your body is hurt, or sick, wouldn't you rather heal it at the root and not just some of it? Why not make it 100%? I feel that the whole body, such as the mind, the body, and even the spirit all need attention in order to be 100% healthy. Bad thoughts create negative vibes and hurt others. A sick body, obviously isn't good for you, and if you don't feed your soul God's word, you become hungry and empty. I became interested in it because I love anatomy, and some I plan on getting into the medical field so I can help as many people as possible!
This is a good read for the night, and for the day. I'm reading about 'Reflexology' which is an alternative medicine and holistic treatment. It's very interesting to learn about. But like the author of the book, I also like that saying that's in the picture I posted, "By the time you reach old age, you have the face you deserve." And I also like the part that's pointing out that, our bodies don't harm us, we harm it. Lot's of people including myself don't take care of our bodies like we should, whether it's emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual... our body and mind is our temple, and it's our transportation and many of other important things... yet we take better care of our cars, furniture or even shoes more than ourselves. Choosing materials over a healthy lifestyle, isn't living healthy, it's just dying slowly, and miserably. Just some food for thought.
What goes through your mind before a competition? Are you nervous, excited etc.?
What would you tell someone that wants to get better everyday but is having troubles finding the motivation to improve?
Thank you, Brayden, Michael and David for sharing your story and your thoughts on this amazing passion. I love how loyal you all are to each other and can depend on each other both on and off the mats. I think it's amazing how you guys bring a brotherly love but still keep that sibling rivalry. It is a great example of respect within martial arts where in battle it's competitive but as soon as it's over it's all love.
David, I believe you're a great example for your younger brothers and also any younger jiu jitsu practitioners. Your motivating words have gotten me fired up to reach my goals. Your selfless aspirations to share the art to ones that are less privileged is simply amazing. Kind souls like you deserve to be appreciated and acknowledged. Keep doing what you are doing, and don't let "adulting" stop you from reaching your goals and expressing yourself through your passion.
Michael your story of your muscle atrophy and your never give up attitude is something special. Something that many people can learn from. For me, jiu jitsu is a way for me to relieve my negative thoughts and I hope you continue to train as it seems to help you in similar ways. Keep fighting and never give up, your brothers, sister and the rest of the Submission Shark Community is with you!
Brayden, you said you wanted to make an impact in other people's lives? Well, you clearly already have with your siblings and in my life as well. It was great getting to know your thoughts on a passion we both share. Being tense is something we shared as well and I can relate with you how martial arts helped relieve it and allowed me to relax and be myself. You are on the right track and I am confident you are going to impact many other's lives.
It was incredible learning more about you guys and It was really cool for me to see others having similar thoughts as me on this beautiful art. I am very privileged to have you guys featured, much deserved. I think your family dynamic and mutual love for jiu jitsu is something special and I wish nothing but the best for all of you :)