Sampa Spotlight Series
Here at Sampa Jiu Jitsu in The city of Walnut, we are so happy and thankful that so many people have chosen to train with us. We would like to take some time and put the spotlight on some of the members of the Sampa Jiu Jitsu community in our Sampa BJJ Spotlight Series. This week, our Sampa Spotlight is on Alex Guerrero, a 26 year old who is a white belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. You can find Alex at the 7 am Glendora classes as well as the 7 pm Walnut classes. Alex started with Sampa Martial arts in January 2017 after a few of his friends referred him and has trained with us consistently for the past year.
Alex loves the friendship and comradery that he builds at Sampa BJJ as well as the confidence he gains from class and training. Though Sampa Jiu Jitsu Walnut is the only jiu jitsu academy he has been to, unlike regular gyms, he feels like Sampa BJJ builds more than just strength. Sampa Martial arts taught him specific skills and a sense of respect for his opponents. Additionally, Sampa and BJJ taught him humility. He remembers that when he first got his white on black belt promotion, he was very excited and was at the top of the world. Then, he attended a Sampa Sparathon and had this humbling experience:
“We did a Sparathon after and I lost literally all my matches. Like, I got flat out destroyed. I thought it was helpful because it humbled me. It let me know that I was just getting started and had so much more to learn. Jiujitsu is all about defeating your ego, being humble enough to tap out. That day my ego died.”
At Sampa BJJ, though there are times where the students must learn humility, the coaches and community always work to build up the confidence in our students as well. Recently, Alex fractured his foot in 3 places due to a skateboarding accident, but was still able to walk to the front of the room at a Sampa Martial arts graduation and accepted his green belt promotion. He was so proud of himself for this act and so was everyone at Sampa.
In the Sampa Walnut and Glendora community, no matter the age, rank, or skill, all participants are students when class starts. Sometimes, the toughest opponents are also the best training partners. Alex recalls that every now and then someone who’s a huge challenge for him when we roll will call him their favorite training partner and it’s a huge honor. He specially remembers different moments when other Sampa BJJ members like Gino Cabral and one of Sampa’s Muay Thai professor, Jon Tandoc, made comments identifying him as one of their training partners. These moments are especially rewarding for Alex.
As a white belt, people unfamiliar with Sampa Jiu Jitsu will often say that higher belts like to pick on lower belt students. Alex assures us that really couldn’t be further from the truth. “Higher belts like purple, blue, brown and even black are the most helpful people I’ve encountered since I signed up at Sampa. I’ve seen it several times where a higher belt student will restrain himself when rolling with a lower belt and even give advice to let his opponent know what he’s doing wrong and how to fix it mid-roll.
Adam Roybal helped me just a few weeks ago and taught me a better technique to execute a kimura on him while we were rolling.”
Alex loves being a part of the jiu jitsu community at Sampa and says that one of his favorite things lately is the hashtag “Jiu jitsu For Everyone” because it’s absolutely something he believes in. “It’s true, jiujitsu isn’t about age, race, gender or anything like that. The only things I think that a person should have when starting jiu jitsu is a positive attitude and patience. Even if you don’t have those things, they will come to you after a few weeks on the mats.”
If you would like to join our Sampa Martial arts community to train Brazillian Jiu Jistu, Muay Thai, Boxing, or bootcamp with us, call 626-977-1050 we serve the cities of Walnut, Diamond Bar, West Covina, Rowland Heights and La Puente.