GRAPPLING HISTORY FLASHBACK…It’s December 2, 2000 North American Grappling Association (NAGA) North American Championships and after facing Randy “The Savage” Rowe in a historically violent grappling match, which ended in an unnecessary and potentially life threatening injury, I was left to deal with the lifelong physical battle, I was destined to win.
I wrote another blog about some of the Kipp Kollar and NAGA scandal involving this incident and it’s wonderful lesson of Forgiveness to those who try to strike you down here: www.yourstrategycoach.com/2013/05/14/forgiveness-and-healing-from-emotional-and-physical-scars-my-journey-to-become-a-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-black-belt
Back to my first appointment with the Surgeon who wanted to place a steel rod in my back back in January 2001…
“Your T-9 and T-10 vertabrae are shattered Mr. Cimins”
“You have numerous herniations and disk ruptures in your neck and lower back”
“You will need surgery and a steel bar”,
“You will never grapple or compete again”
“You could have easily been paralyzed or dead”
These were the words uttered by Back Surgeons, Pain Management Specialists and Chiropractors alike. All of my dreams of fighting professionally were suddenly ripped from me and I was in physical rehabilitation to learn to walk properly. Dragging my right leg behind me, I was unable to safely drive, so my father, Paul Cimins drove me to work for nearly 2 months. Like Bruce Lee’s life experience, I knew back in 2001, that my mind needed more development and my suffering’s purpose would be revealed. The key is to never accept temporary defeat as failure and refuse to let false evidence appearing real to terrorize you. Learn to lean into your fears and face them boldly and more bravely than you ever thought possible in life. I set out through pain and suffering to prove to the world that their faith and belief in God could overcome any challenge in life. If it wasn’t for my faith, I wouldn’t have made it through it all. God willing, I was able to compete on five separate occasions since this injury with years of physical therapy on my journey towards my Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I look forward to training for a lifetime with Nick Recanati and Xtreme Gracie and as many local friends of Grapplers Quest along the way as possible to fill in the training gaps.
Here was my first match back competing in December 2005 at the American International World Grappling Games in California
Back to the beginning.
Submission Grappling Tournaments were non-existent when I started training in martial arts back in 1994, the same year I graduated high school. Within two years of training at Rising Sun Martial Arts in Lyndhurst, New Jersey with Jerry Jones, Nick Recanati and Peter Tuccino, I was already helping seeking out “friendly academy challenge tournaments” and started co-hosting tournaments with other local academies towards the end of 1995. At Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, my friends and I used to have sparring matches in the College Dorm general area nicknamed “The Octagon” because of Glass windows were three quarters of an octagon and everyone could watch us. After getting in trouble for some injuries, we created America’s First Grappling Club Approved by a College in September 1995. The College brought their wrestling mat into an old racquetball court #2, who’s floor was damaged from a leaking ceiling. We didn’t care, this was OUR training center. Wrestlers, Kung Fu, Street Fighters, Judo and friends alike came to train in Mixed Martial Arts and at that time in my life, I was the instructor. In college, the one person who I helped introduce Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was Matt Stern, who went on to become a Black Belt under Master Renzo Gracie, one of the most challenging feats in the grappling world. Next time you see Matt Stern, please ask him about his first “roll” with Brian Cimins for a funny story.
Looking back, I’ve instructed some amazing young athletes who have far surpassed my Jiu Jitsu accolades and abilities by far, now I could take my kids to train under them. Some of my proudest students from those young Rising Sun days, where I would drive 5 hours every weekend to teach the children with Peter Tuccino on Fridays and Saturdays plus Private Lessons included a 5-year-old, Mike Trasso (www.MichaelTrasso.com), a 7-Year-Old Fabian Rojas (now a BJJ Black Belt instructor) and David Recanati. There were students of ours that went on to become Ivy League Doctors, Lawyers, Inventors, Scientists, Public Speakers, Community Organizers, Charity Volunteers and even Grappling Tournament Promoters.
I enjoyed learning from the fighters and MMA coaches, but I more enjoyed my time teaching the children with “Mr. T”, aka Shihan Peter A. Tuccino, who helped me develop my confidence in public speaking since I stepped in his doors back in June 1994. I watched that man along with the wise and loyal friends and instructors he brings around him transform lives of thousands of people. Teaching someone martial arts is helping them develop the mind, body and spirit and I was lucky to have found three great instructors who helped cultivate my lifelong passion of martial arts, along with the strong mind to face life’s many challenges. Thank you to all of the instructors who helped me along my Quest in Martial Arts and Spiritual Warriorship. God Bless and protect you and all of the amazing people you’ve positively affected in life. #NeverGiveUp and remember that “FEAR is usually an illusion surviving only in your mind 99% of the time” – Brian Cimins of YourStrategyCoach.com and Founder of Grapplers Quest Worldwide at: GrapplersQuest.com