Meet Nuno Ribeiro, he is a 42 year old husband, father of two, and a full time driver for the TTC(Toronto Transit Commision). He started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with us at Team DNA BJJ in Whitby in May of 2016.
What made you want to get into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how did you hear of Team DNA BJJ?
I initially started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a need to get healthy. I was 260 pounds and found it hard to breathe at times not to mention the inflammation and swelling in both my knees, one being worse than the other. I had no flexibility and found it hard to even just do the warm up. I sometimes had back spasms. Beside all these issues there might have been underlying health issues that were also of concern; such as the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. I had to go up the stairs one at a time and I felt way older than I actually was. All I could think of was not being able to walk my daughter down the aisle. I decided that I could no longer just sit and watch as my health got worse by the day. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. Something had to be done.
I believe everything happens for a reason; so when my son Diego saw a newspaper ad in the local paper about a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym opening up in Whitby, a light bulb went off. "DNA BJJ, Grand Opening". Diego asked if we could go so I called the phone number on the ad. On the other end of the line was a DNA BJJ member who explained to me that he was not the owner of the gym but just the contact person. He told me about Dainis Nguyen and Sarah Smith and about all their credentials and told me to check them out online. He said Dainis and Sarah are very easy going, down to earth people and that it was going to be a great place, a family oriented environment. I could sense by the excitement in his voice that it might be worth checking out. Diego had also been asking me for about a year to try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so I said let's go give it a try. Since my last name is Ribeiro I also thought it was cool that at the time Team DNA BJJ was affiliated with "Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu", it would have been cool to wear that Ribeiro patch on the back of my gi. I guess I'll just have to make my own Ribeiro patch.
What was the hardest thing you encountered on the mats while training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
I was a little bit nervous and unsure of what to expect but from the moment we walked in the door, we were made felt welcome by another family that was there. Initially, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was difficult. Everything hurt. I was sore after each and every training session. Looking back, perhaps the hardest things were getting started and the warm up; At the beginning, I could barely finish those warm ups. Those 20 minute cardio intensive warm ups that Professor Dainis put us through were really intense. Luckily for those interested in starting, the the warm up was changed to a much easier 10 minute routine. But I was there when it was tough, I had never been through a warm up so cardio intensive in my life.
What are some things that surprised you when you first started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
When I first started training BJJ(Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) despite the fact that it was very frustrating and overwhelming, I was very surprised at home addictive BJJ is. I couldn't wait for the next class. I was hungry for more. I was learning something new with every class; not just something new but something useful. I was learning something practical. To this day, I can't wait for the next class.
How has training at Team DNA BJJ impacted your family's life?
Training at Team DNA BJJ has been a blessing to my family. Initially, it was just our kids training, but it quickly became a family affair. Myself, my wife and our two kids currently train. Jiu-Jitsu has become a way of life for the Ribeiro family. Team DNA BJJ, for our family has promoted a healthy lifestyle, physically and mentally. We are in a happier mood as a result of training Jiu-Jitsu, especially myself. It helps us relieve stress that would otherwise be brought into our home. Team DNA BJJ helps my kids understand a sense of community which it promotes as well as good values. The kids are not only training to be good athletes, but good human beings as well. It has given our kids confidence in themselves which has helped them improve in other areas of their lives.
How would you describe the environment at Team DNA BJJ?
The environment at Team DNA BJJ is one big happy family inside and outside of the gym. Once you come for a trial, you won't want to leave. It is a very welcoming and relaxed environment. I feel everyone is very supportive of each others goals and achievements. I think DNA is very unique because there are a lot of families that train together and there a lot of females which I believe make it easier for anyone trying BJJ in a male dominated sport. The fact that Professor Dainis and Coach Sarah are actually involved in every class and their approach to teaching and attention to detail in every technique, breaking it down step by step, detail by detail, makes an environment where everyone is going to develop to their full potential.
What advice would you give someone who thinks they are: 1) Too old to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 2) Too out of shape to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 3) Don't have enough time to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
You're never too old to learn something new. Just try it, you will surprise yourself of what you are capable of doing. Jiu-Jitsu is a thing of beauty. If you follow the technique, it really is "The Gentle Art". Jiu-Jitsu can be trained at different intensities based on your ability, but anyone can do it at their own pace. As far as being out of shape? You don't need to be in shape to start Jiu-Jitsu, use it as a platform to get in shape; I am an example of that. People of all ages and abilities can do Jiu-Jitsu. There are a few members at DNA BJJ who are close to 60 years old and Jiu-Jitsu has gotten them in amazing shape, better then they were in their 30's they said. You make time for the things that you value in your life. If you value your health and want to live a long and healthy life, then you will find a way to fit it into your schedule. My wife and I both work full time, plus I commute all the way from Brooklin to Toronto for work, my two kids play competitive soccer 6 days a week with their games being in different cities every week, and the four of us still find the time to train Jiu-Jitsu, no excuses! It also helps that Team DNA BJJ offers classes 6 days a week, including noon and evening classes.
What are your future fitness and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu goals?
My future fitness goals are to day by day be a better version of me than I was yesterday. Eventually, I want to be under 200 pounds with a lower body fat percentage. I want to continue improving my flexibility and just lead a healthier lifestyle in general by making healthier options. Long term health is my goal. My BJJ goals are to earn a black belt one day, until then to enjoy the journey every step of the way by competing whenever I'm able and push myself outside my comfort zone. I want to lead by example for my kids and if I can motivate and encourage others along the way, that is great.
If you are located in Durham Region and are interested in enrolling your child (or yourself) in martial arts, come try a full week of free classes at DNA BJJ to see why we are right gym for your family.
Your child's first class will be an intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson with one of our instructors (usually Coach Sarah) where they will learn how to fall safely, fundamental movements, and to help them get comfortable in a new environment.
Does your child feel too intimidated to try a class? Check out our schedule and come watch one of our classes from our viewing area with your child to see what we are all about. We specialize in teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but also have a Judo and Wrestling program to complement it.
Contact us today to book your child's free intro to BJJ lesson and kickstart their 7 day trial, we are located in Whitby, close to HWY 401 and the Oshawa border.
If you are located in the Barrie area, check out Submission Arts Academy, they offer the same amazing benefits.
Enter your contact info on their website and receive a FREE 10 day trial: https://submissionartsacademy.com
You can also reach them by phone: (705) 722-5487 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org