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Athlete


I am athlete and coach and believe strongly that anyone can become an athlete. I live in pursuit of optimal health and love to support others in their journey to do the same.

I enjoy coaching people and helping them improve their techniques of whichever sport we train. But what makes me really feel good is giving them the tools to become a healthier, stronger and more confident. If you’re interested in training with me, please read this section about me as an athlete and coach, then send me a message and we can schedule an intro session.

I have been coaching at Gracie Barra for a variety of clients and athletes for nearly a decade. From mothers with their children, to special force police officers, to amateur boxers, to MMA fighters, to those recovering from specific injuries, to people who just want to loose weight and get stronger in a fun and relaxed environment.  I’ve also offered self defence workshops and am a reoccurring coach at a my friend's very cool project called Queer Boxing Camp. This project brings the 'sweet science' of boxing to members of the LGBT community in a very affordable and accepting atmosphere.

It is never too late to find and nurture the athlete within everyone. I, myself was not a born athlete. I had the natural propensity but wasn't motivated until it became necessary.

As a child, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I probably would’ve said marine biologist or veterinary. Even when I fell in love with car racing and started competing, I hadn't realized athleticism was a integral part of motorsports. At the beginning of my career, I relied on my natural abilities, reflexes and technical understanding of car racing to succeed. I wasn't worried of what I was eating or lack of physical fitness. Not surprisingly this made me overweight, some 35 lbs heavier than my current weight, which is usually 145-150 lbs. My lack of fitness eventually led to stupid mistakes which affected my nerves and performance on the track.

I had to get in better shape but I had never played sports growing up; except taking swimming lessons and a few swimming competitions that my mom dragged me to. I also had one failed attempt at American football which resulted me getting the crap beaten out of my scrawny 8 year old ass. Obviously, I never returned to that. Most Mexican kids play football (soccer to you Canadians & Americans) since they’re tiny but I never did.

The only thing I knew about sports was racing and running (since it was an innate motion of my body already), so I started running. I had no idea about nutrition or strength & conditioning training, so I began to run. My parents live up in a steep hill in Mexico City, which I began running and could barley make it a mile. But I was determined and began adding a bit more distance and speed every day. I started to loose weight until I was slim again.

Feeling lighter and fitter in general made me regain my focus in racing but I knew I needed something else to outperform my competitors because by that time I was racing Formula 3 and the competition was a lot tougher. I started playing soccer and joined some teams in fairly competitive leagues in Mexico. We even became champions. I kept playing soccer through out university and even a bit here in Canada recreationally.

One of my father's clients who was a former world champion boxer from the 50s or 60s. He noticed the photographs and newspapers about my racing in my father's office and he suggested that I try training with him. He believed that boxing would help improve my reaction times, coordination, peripheral vision, core, neck and shoulder strength. It did that and much more.

 

Like most Mexicans, I had always watched boxing but it wasn’t until I started practicing it that I learned many things about myself. Firstly that I had natural athletic ability and that if I had've started boxing around the same time I started racing I probably would’ve gone into boxing professionally. I also found in boxing a perfect tool to improve my racing and have since become obsessed with the technicalities of boxing. Particularly as a small guy, I focus on the techniques and efficient movement and punching rather than generating power through brute force. I take a similar approach in my style of driving.

Training with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, NAGA 2013 grappling champion and MMA fighter Filip Matos

Two of my younger students

The last 6 to 7 years I've grown to appreciate the value of strength and conditioning. I got into CrossFit and weightlifting through one of my very best friends and most influential people in my life. She’s one of the original Crossfitters not only in Vancouver but all of Canada. I always thought that I was in pretty good shape, specially for a racer and a boxer but it wasn’t until I started Crossfiting with my friend that I got a huge reality check. The room for improvement of the human body is almost limitless. Since then I’ve been doing Crossfit as much as I can mostly because I have to find a perfect balance of the way I train to become the fittest racer I can be. I highly recommend CrossFit regardless of your the level of fitness since all movements and workouts in CrossFit are scalable depending on individual capabilities. It makes for such a fulfilling sport to practice as you are always competing against yourself.

Sumo Deadlift High Pulls mid WOD are a recipe for funny faces

Around the same time I got into CrossFit, I was also introduced to Brazilian jiujitsu and Muay Thai. I have been with Gracie Barra (one of the most famous and successful Brazilian jiujitsu academies in the world) throughout my training. Although racing remains my priority but it’s great to combine some olympic lifting, crossfit, kickboxing, boxing, jiujitsu and lots of mobility work to keep my self as sharp and healthy as possible and become a well-rounded coach for my clients.

It has become a priority for me to live a clean life for my own benefit and as a competitive advantage. I may not have the connections or financial resources at this point that many of my competitors in racing have; but I try to tip the scales in my favour by choosing to live a sober, smoke and drug free life. But I am no prude and I have no judgement or issue with people choosing whatever feels right for them and makes them happy.

Being physically fit and strong translates to a vast number of improvements in your overall life and makes you realize that as a human, we can always push for more and ask more from our minds, bodies, relationships and life in general.

I believe that being coached and trained by people who are competitive and will extract the best of you as an athlete. I continue to trained with high level Crossfitters, amateur and former world champion boxers, Pan-am and World champion jiujitsukas and wonderful athletes in the making.

 

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