Omar Aviles

How long have you been training?

On and off since 2008.

Why did you begin training?

I began training in martial arts before I’ve tried Jiu Jitsu. My dad began my training at the age of 3. This journey began back in SoCal, on the streets of Bell, CA. I grew up in the ghettos of Los Angeles. My dad wanted to insure I knew how to defend myself and after training years on and off in striking arts earned my second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Since then, I achieved my black belt, I moved onto others like kendo, judo, wrestling, Catch wrestling, and variations of kickboxing i.e Dutch, Savate, Muay, American. Naturally I lean more toward striking arts, but I conceded and realized I must advance in another art. So here I am, a white belt again.

What encourages you the most about your practice?

Smashing people and making it hell for them to submit me. I fight dirty, because fights are never fair. I like to think outside the box, “What would happen if I was on the street? What if I don’t have gloves? How can I take least damage? If I’m hit how can I make them pay with worse damage?” It’s the fighting spirit.

What challenges you the most?

I’m most challenged with the discipline it takes to make improvements in my BJJ after training for many years. Sometimes I’d rather roll than drill but I know I need to drill to improve.

How have you evolved as a result of it?

I’ve become more disciplined in other areas of my life as a result of practicing BJJ.

What is something that you learned about BJJ that was unexpected?

I did not except BJJ to be as much as a mental game as it is physical.