|Posted by Mark Figula on January 10, 2011 at 10:28 PM|
By Mark Figula, The Mouth of MMA Senior Editor
His hand raised above his head. His opponent's head down, wondering where he went wrong. It's a common occurance for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu phenom, JT Torres. Starting out at a Northern New Jersey academy, JT quickly progressed through the ranks and eventually found himself with Team Lloyd Irvin. In 2010, JT became the first non-Brazialin to medal in the black belt lightweight division at the Brazilian Nationals. Make no mistake about it, every day JT trains is a day closer to his becoming a name amongst the all time BJJ greats. If you want to peer into the mind of a young champ, look no further than the following words...
The Mouth of MMA: What originally got you into BJJ?
JT Torres: A combination of me getting cut from my high school basketball team freshman year and my father advising I do something to keep me in shape after I got cut, is what lead me into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The Mouth of MMA: You took to the sport very quickly. Do you think there is a mindset that's made you able to learn the way you do, or do you feel it has more to do with different people having different things they are natural at?
JT Torres: I took to the sport quickly because of my mindset. I like to think I have a champion mindset and not a cupcake mindset like a lot of people have. From the first day I started training, I took it seriously. I payed attention in class, I drilled the techniques, I trained hard with anyone and I put all my love into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
The Mouth of MMA: What prompted the move to Lloyd Irvin's team?
JT Torres: What made me go to Team Lloyd Irvin is that the whole team is basically based on champion mindset and, as you already know, I am all about that. Team Lloyd Irvin has a strong competition team and has a training room full of champions and that's what I needed to surround myself with If I wanted to become a champion myself. So, that's why I moved over to Team Lloyd Irvin.
The Mouth of MMA: Where in your progression through the BJJ belts do you feel you started to formulate your own unique game?
JT Torres: I would say at purple belt is when I really began to piece together my own unique game. I really started to expand my firepower and open my mind.
The Mouth of MMA: Did (or do you) you ever feel you were (are) hitting frustrating points in your development?
JT Torres: Well of course any athlete that is training hard will experience times of frustration in their development. Every day can't be a perfect day of training or learning. I have had this frustration and I know I will get it again. It's only natural and if you're not getting frustrated sometimes, you are not training hard enough.
"It's only natural and if you're not getting frustrated sometimes, you are not training hard enough."
The Mouth of MMA: Of any submission you can get, which one do you get the most stoked about when you sink it?
JT Torres: The Bow and Arrow Choke. When I hit that submission, it feels like a million bucks!
The Mouth of MMA: What's your most memorable match in competition?
JT Torres: My most Memorable match was when I fought Lucas Lepri in the Brazilian Nationals. We had to fight to get into the medal rounds, so obviously only one of us was going to have the chance to win that tournament. It was a huge match.
The Mouth of MMA: Who do you most look up to in the sport?
JT Torres: I really look up to my instructor Master, Lloyd Irvin, Dustin "Clean" Denes, and Bill Cooper. These guys are all great names in the world of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and on top of that, they are all American.
The Mouth of MMA: Any advice for BJJ students just starting out?
JT Torres: My advice would be to really pay attention to the details that your instructor shows you and also drill drill drill drill.
The Mouth of MMA: Do you look at MMA as a possible career path in the future?
JT Torres: Yes for sure. I love MMA, but right now my main focus is becoming Black Belt World Champion. Once I attain that, I will look to venture into the world of MMA.
Check out JT's "fighting game plan" at: www.jttorresgameplan.com.
Mark "The Ezequiel" Figula is the biggest wuss to ever enter a cage... the most spindly chickenass dude to ever tap out at NAGA... the boy who was told that the pen is mightier than the sword... and thus he writes. Check out his home page of scribblings at www.markfigula.com.