Its funny how one small act leads to bigger and better things. I remember watching the movie “The Butterfly Effect” a few years ago, if you never seen it you should watch it.
When I watched that movie I was blown away, not because of the acting in it because let’s face it Ashton Kutcher isn’t the best actor, I’ve seen better acting in porn.
The theme of the movie is that what you do now, doesn’t matter how big or small it is, will have a lasting impact on your life.
It’s a little difficult for me to explain so the best thing for me to do is to give an example from my own life.
I started training on August 1st, 2001, that was the first day that I walked on the mats and had my first official grappling class. My first class was taught by my longtime friend and mentor Marc Laimon.
At that point in time I had no intentions of becoming a professional MMA fighter, I just wanted to have fun and learn something new.
After my first class I was blown away by how much fun I had, how much I learned and how much more I had to learn while I watched some of the higher belts train. They were doing moves I couldn’t understand and I wanted to know what they knew.
That day right after class I signed up for a year contract at the J-Sect academy. At that time the gym was run by John Lewis but he had Marc Laimon teach a good amount of the classes. I remember coming to the gym to train as much as I could and to be honest I sucked.
I mean I had some natural skills because I was athletic and fairly strong for my size but other than that I wasn’t very good. I remember getting submitted left and right by this 15-year-old kid named Sim Go. Even though he was 15 he didn’t look a day over 12 and still to this day he doesn’t look over 16-years-old, he’s 25 now.
I trained as much as I could but frankly it was frustrating going against bigger and better guys. A few times I thought about quitting but I told myself that “I signed a year contract, if I don’t see improvements within a year then I could quit. But at the very least I had to train for the year, I mean I was paying for it anyways.”
Well slowly but surely I started to get better at grappling and I even won some tournaments and beat some people that I probably shouldn’t have beaten at that point in time.
Fast forward a few years, John Lewis and Marc Laimon had a falling out and they decided to part ways. John stayed to run J-Sect and Marc left and opened up his own gym, the now world famous Cobra Kai Jiu-Jitsu.
When Laimon left to open his own gym I ended up leaving with him, as much as I loved John Lewis I always felt that Marc was “my coach” and he modeled my game to what it is now.
Anyways, when Laimon opened his own gym he asked me if I would teach the kids class until he found an instructor. I told him that I would and the next thing that I knew I was “the instructor”. I loved teaching the kids class and I learned a lot from those kids, probably more than they learned from me.
While teaching at the gym I met my current girlfriend there. We’ve been together for over 6 years and now we have a son together, a dog and a house. Looking back I would have never had the career that I had if I had not stepped on those mats years ago to train.
Not only that, but besides my career I wouldn’t have my personal life either. I would have never met my girlfriend or had my son. I would probably be single living in an apartment or still at home. When I stepped on those mats over 10 years ago I never imagined my life turning out like this but I’m glad that it did.
“The Ulysses Gomez Experiment” is a weekly ProMMAnow.com blog series written by world top 10 ranked flyweight Ulysses Gomez as he prepares for his Dec. 2 fight at Tachi Palace Fights 11. “The Ulysses Gomez Experiment” is part of our ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry.