Before I Started Jiu-Jitsu, I Used To Be A Bad Person... Now I Give Back To My Community! | Miko Hytonen's BJJ Story

    Submission Shark Community | Instagram: @chokes_and_more

    Miko Hytönen Jiu-Jitsu

    Full Name: Miko Hytonen

    Age: 39

    Belt Colour: Purple

    Professor: Santeri Lilius and Aron Adamko

    Short Term Goals: Train every day and keep myself healthy.

    Submission Shark: 

    It's amazing to see how much of an impact Jiu-Jitsu has made for Miko Hytonen. He's such a positive person now it's hard to believe that he was once a bad person. The energy he has and positive vibes he brings to his BJJ community is something to be adored and his ability to teach potentially life-saving skills is an impressive talent developed over many years of hard work and dedication to the art. Anyone can change for the better thanks to this art and Miko is a great example of this.

    In this article, we discuss how beneficial this martial art is for mental health, becoming the best version of yourself, how to use your passions to teach others and more! Make sure to check out his instructional videos throughout this article and follow his Instagram page @chokes_and_more for some of the best BJJ content. His energy is contagious and will leave you with a smile!

    How long have you been doing jiu-jitsu for?

    I have been doing jiu-jitsu for about 7 years.

    Where do you train out of?

    I train at Lilius & Barnatt martial arts in Torremolinos Southern Spain

    Do you prefer gi or no-gi?

    I love both equally much. I started my martial arts journey when I was 4 years old by wrestling so no-gi was much easier for me to adapt in early in my career. Nowadays I focus more on GI training.  At the moment I am playing a lot with lapel stuff and I love it. And my training partners hate it! hahaha


    Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than jiu-jitsu?

    Miko Hytonen Jiu-Jitsu Promotion

    Yes of course. Overall this sport is more than just getting in the gym and train. This is a lifestyle and long term commitment. Eat healthily, be a good man and help others.

    Miko Hytonen and His BJJ Professor

    I am so thankful that I have the privilege to train with this level BossMan every day. Sweating daily with absolute badass, my Professor @santerililius

    What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that applies to everyday life?

    If you want to achieve something you must be able to commit working hard for your goals. Respect others. The more you push yourself the better you eventually feel.

    How often do you train?

    I train jiu-jitsu about 6-10 times/ week. I usually train 5-6 times in our gym and then I teach 2-4 private sessions/week. And on top of that, I run maybe 2 times a week and bicycle about 100km per week.


    What made you want to start training?

    I wanted to make sure to be able to defend myself against in any situation- and when you do jiu-jitsu you never need to guess, you know!  Watching Rickson Gracie's document "Choke", that blew my mind- and I was sold in the instant.


    Do you plan on training your whole life?

    Yes. I love jiu-jitsu and my whole lifestyle. This made me the man I am today and I couldn't see any other options than to keep on training.

    What’s it about jiu-jitsu that makes it so addicting?

    I think there are multiple reasons for that.

    Firstly:  The community is amazing. When you have the courage to come to train 

    people in the gym welcome you with open arms.

    Secondly: This art challenges your body and mind far beyond expectations- which makes it truly addictive.

    Third: You feel the difference what it does to your body and mind. You will get mentally strong and gain natural confidence.

    What has jiu-jitsu done for your physical health?

    Miko Hytonen

    I am now in the best shape of my life because of jiu-jitsu. And I feel stronger every day!

    Of course, to be honest, you can`t avoid injuries in this sport- but it is part of the game. Best way to avoid injuries is to maintain your physique by stretching and getting massage regularly if you train a lot. Usually, I try to stretch at least 3 times a week and massage about twice a month or sometimes even once a week.

    Has jiu-jitsu benefited your mental health?

    Absolutely. Back in the day, I was a depressed and lazy human being. Now I am strong mentally and can stay really calm in extremely stressful situations because of this beautiful art.

    Depressed & Out Of Shape My Buddy Chris Giannelli Told Me... | Louie Moreno's BJJ Story

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    "It has made me more confident mentally, physically I feel like I am 25 being mobile and agile also in the best shape of my life, Spiritually never quit attitude" - Louie Moreno 

    If you could restart your jiu-jitsu journey, would you do anything differently?

    I don't think so, Because in jiu-jitsu there are no shortcuts. If you want to become good you need to train a lot and put your heart into it.

    What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?

    Come to see one training and you will see what the atmosphere is like and that we all are just normal people, and we are there to help each other to get better. We train to dominate aggressive attacker by controlling them against their will and keeping yourself calm in the dangerous and stressful situations.

    The sport gives you the tools to defend yourself and your loved ones, and often without throwing a single punch. Your size doesn`t matter much. A girl of 55kg who knows her jiu-jitsu is able to defend herself against an untrained 80kg man by her technique and ground fighting.

    I Honestly Wish I Knew How To Defend Myself That Night... | Sundi's Jiu-Jitsu Story

    Submission Shark:

    Learning how to defend yourself is an important lesson for anyone. You never know when you will need to use those tools to potentially save your life or the life of a loved one. Having the confidence and peace of mind of knowing you can be safe on your own is a tremendous perk to have. Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts have empowered millions of people to live a life without fear. Here's a story of someone that preserved through a terrible experience and proved that past victims can find their form of happiness once again.

    Click the image above to learn more about Sundi Bear's BJJ Story!

    Do you have any aspirations in jiu-jitsu?

    I want to make my living by jiu-jitsu somehow from the near future on.

    I love teaching and helping others in their BJJ journey. 


    My dream is to train, teach and change lives for better with this art.

    I once had this dream where we lived in a big ranch and I had training facilities in there with a program for kids+teens with challenges in their life. Call me a dreamer but I really want to change the world to a better place through jiu-jitsu.

    What’s your favourite move?

    That is changing regularly, but at this point, I am totally hooked with lapel attack in any form.



    At the moment my favourite is baseball choke from bottom half-guard using opponents lapel.

    This stuff puts people to sleep! hahaha

    If you didn’t discover jiu-jitsu, where do you think you’d be now?

    With my hand on my heart, I can say that I probably would be dead or in jail without jiu-jitsu.

    Sunset Lost At Sea

    I was "lost at sea" before I found this amazing art.

    Would you like to see the sport become more mainstream?

    Yes, I would, but not by the cost of its' efficiency. We should always remember the roots and value of its' heritage.

    Vale Tudo and self-defence was the beginning of BJJ back in the day. Jiu-jitsu is growing constantly and that is a really great thing!  If I could choose this would be mandatory for all the kids in schools.

    Have any of your training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?

    Training Partners Miko Hytonen BJJ Friends

    Every one of them in their own way. My training partners during the years have been one of the most important supports by pushing me further not only for myself- but for also for their benefit. When I grow together with the sport, so will they. This is why I have such a great passion for teaching, it's kind of the give and get rule that applies here! I love to drill and train with partners who give feedback to me also (how technique feels etc.)



    When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of jiu-jitsu that you had trouble getting?

    Not to go full force all the time. Just learning to relax while been trying to choke somebody or being choked. You feel much heavier when you learn to relax while rolling.

    If you could roll with any practitioner, dead or alive, who would it be?

    Probably Marcelo Garcia or Chuck Norris! hahaha, actually Chuck is a 3rd Degree black belt in jiu-jitsu also!

    What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?

    Miko Hytonen Jiu-Jitsu Good Vibes!

    I want to see what this sport of jiu-jitsu does to people when they just don`t quit. I want to encourage people to become the best version of themselves.

    Was there a difficult moment in your life where jiu-jitsu helped you get through it? If so, please explain.

    Basically, since the day I started Jiu-Jitsu it carried a heavy role in my road of becoming the guy I have chosen to be today- What can I say? It has been with me through thick and thin, and now it's time to "give back to the community". Whatever happens, I will always have my path, my life, my Jiu-Jitsu. 

    What was it liking learning from such high-level practitioners early on in your journey? Did they push you to advance and become better at the art faster?

    It was amazing. And that is still the foundation of my jiu-jitsu. Really strong basics and classic badass training in our garage gym with no warm water for 4 years. My first teachers were Marek Kosteczko and Jasse Junkkari, both Demian Maia black belts and overall super tough guys. We also did lots of self-defence- and extremely hard training every day.
    That was exactly the beginning that I needed. In that way, I am a little crazy because I want to push my body to the limits while training, it calms my mind. I was training about 3,5 years really hard before getting my blue belt. In that way Gaijin Academia de Jiu-jitsu was traditional but that also coaches way to push you even more.

    Have you seen personal growth in any of the students in your academy? If so, in what way?

    All the time. I have seen it so many times when some individual come to train for the first time, unshaped, depressed, and low self-esteem. And realize that we are there for them, to change everything. 
    They get in better shape, start to smile, and start to realize that now they can walk with head up high because of jiu-jitsu and it truly blows my mind daily.  

    You mentioned that BJJ changed everything for you, in what way did this happen?

    Before I started Jiu-Jitsu I used to be a bad person. I was a liar and a criminal.
    I lost everything because of that. I was lost in the big sea and my very first training I felt I`ve finally found my place in this world, and it felt incredibly relieving. 
    Jiu-Jitsu made the man I am today and I am really thankful and best way to show that is to spread the art and keep training and helping others.

    Do you believe jiu-jitsu can help bring people together and create a more common understanding between people? have you seen this in your academy?

    Absolutely, this art connects people from all aspects of life. That is one unique feature of this art. In jiu-jitsu gym there is no race, gender or politics only desire to come better and help others to do the same.
    BJJ Team
    I see it every day. Jiu-Jitsu gym is a really rare place in this crazy world that is not infected with anything else than love for this art and hard work.

    What is it about tattoos that you like? Which ones do you have?

    Tattoos for me are memories of a certain place, moment or feeling.
    It is a way to express myself. 
    Miko Hytonen
    I have many tattoos, but most important ones are dedicated to my daughter, Mila.

    What was your first thought when you got promoted to blue belt?

    Miko Hytonen Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt

    I got my blue belt after 3.5 years of hard work so that night I was just realizing that 1 step of 4 steps have now done. I just wanted to train more!
    There are only 4 times in your whole career when there will be a new colour belt in your waist so embrace those moments, a lot of work is crystallized for those moments.

    Do you feel more pressure to perform and lead by example now that you are a purple belt?

    Miko Hytönen BJJ

    Not so much. I have been teaching and helping others since I was a white belt so this just feels so natural for me that there is no pressure at all. 

    Your instructional videos are very clear and well done. What inspired you to start creating these videos?

    I want to share my jiu-jitsu obsession and passion for art with everyone and hopefully, inspire others. I want to encourage others, and share good vibes!

    What would you like to say to everyone that's supported you on your journey?

    Thank you so much- without you people I wouldn't be me now! I promise to be worth it. Jiu Jitsu never dies and I love you all!

    When the journey is over, how would you like to be remembered?

    Miko Hytonen

    An inspiring guy who had crazy jiu-jitsu style and even when 95 still hard to submit. hahaha


    And maybe I will someday have my ranch and people will remember the place and what it did to people.


    Tips for all to learn faster:

    Recap things you learned in class by the internet (youtube) and make notes right after training. For example, today you were training armbar from closed guard. When you get home and have some time on the same day watch armbar(similar to what you trained) technique videos from internet and recap the training in your head. Focus on details. This will make a difference. 
    Miko Hytonen Jiu-Jitsu
    Pay the price and you will get good. I don't give a shit if win or lose in training. I am there to make myself and others better. 
    Miko Hytonen Jiu-Jitsu

    We are a family. We have the same goal, we are trying to become better versions of ourselves every day. 
    And if the time comes, we jiu-jitsu pirates will be ready. 
    Miko Hytonen BJJ Family

    Love you all and remember to be proud, this is the hardest martial art in the world.
    Submission Shark Articles


    • Brian

      Hi Miko do you need to compete to get better , I’m 54 now just started so not sure if I need to or not to progress

    • Kwaku

      Total respect for this guy , Judo did the same for my life , and I’ve added jiu jistu to it !

    • Jukka Karppinen

      Miko ♠️
      ❤️ You Mano 🔥
      💪 Respect 🤟

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