With the BJJ World Championship only one week away there are a lot of hungry competitors hoping to become the next BJJ World Champion. Amongst this group of hopefuls is Rob Wood. Determined, Dedicated, & Hard Working, Rob Wood is a purple belt and upcoming MMA fighter out of Team Lovato. In this interview we introduce you to this upcoming grappler who hopes to make a big impact in the grappling and MMA scene. Sky is defiantly the limit for this guy.
1. First I would like to start off by saying thank for the interview. How is everything going with your training as of late?
Rob: Training has been going good. Everyone at the gym is training really hard for the World Championship, so the energy and intensity has stepped it up a notch.
2. So how did you get involved in BJJ?
Rob: I got started shortly after graduating high school. I was always very active in sports, especially wrestling, so I was looking for a way to stay competitive in something and found BJJ. At first I really just wanted to fight MMA but luckily at Lovato's they don’t allow you to fight until you have your purple belt. Once I started competing in tournaments across the U.S I was hooked.
3. Speaking of your instructor, how has your instructor Rafael Lovato influenced your growth in the sport?
Rob: Training under Rafael Lovato Jr. has been incredible. He is the best American BJJ fighter and one of the best in the world so I get to learn from the best. I have developed quickly into a good BJJ fighter because of training and learning from him.
4. In you experience what sets training at Lovato's academy apart from the rest?
Rob: Lovato's Academy is by far the best gym in Oklahoma and I would say its one of the best gyms in this part of the country. Not only are the students awesome but we get to have world class instructors come in to teach us all the time. For example this week we have Shogun's Muay Thai trainer, Mauricio Veio, and one of the best BJJ fighters ever Xande Ribeiro on the mats at Lovato's to help for the Worlds training and my training partner's, James Head, UFC debut on June 11th in Vancouver.
5. What motivates you to compete and train as much as you do?
Rob: Its simple I train hard to be the best someday whether that be in BJJ or MMA. Also, training is way for me to stay healthy and keep my life on a positive track.
6. Through your progression have you experienced any doubt?
Rob: Doubted myself? Never! I try to keep negative thoughts out of my head as much as possible but yes there have been moments when I’ve questioned myself. I just try to keep reminding myself that everything that happens for a reason and adversity will only make me stronger.
7. What is the biggest lesson you've learned through your growth in the sport?
Rob: The great thing about BJJ and MMA is that your never done learning. The sports are continually evolving so you can learn and create different techniques everyday.
8. Just recently you had your 1st MMA fight. How has the transition been and do you have any future goals in the sport?
Rob: The training for the fight was rough, mainly because my main training partner was James Head. Needless to say I was the nail and he was the hammer for my whole training camp, but I was grateful to be able to train with an elite MMA fighter like James. All the hard work paid off and I managed to get through the fight without getting hit so I was alright with that. I plan on making my pro debut in July or august and continue to train hard and see where that road takes me.
9. Finally do you have any advice for people just starting off in BJJ hoping to grow in the sport?
Rob: Be Patient! The great thing about BJJ is that you can make it your own. You can create your own style of how you play the game but you must learn the basics of the sport first.
10. Any shout outs before we wrap up?
Rob: I want to give big thanks to all my training partners and fellow students at Lovato’s BJJ, because they make training fun for me. Also, I want to thank my coaches Rafael Lovato Jr. and James Head. Oh and can’t forget the woman who believes and supports everything I do. Love ya Mom!
11. Well that wraps things up, thanks for your time and best wishes with everything.
Rob: Thanks, Monta.