Occupation: Plant Mechanic
Phil has been training at Legion 13 Perth Hills for 2 years and trains 2 times per week and more if he can depending on his work shifts. Phil, is an outstandingly committed to his training even though with a young family and work commitments he may not get to train as much as he wants. He makes every training session he does as productive as possible. Even collecting several gold medals in stacked master divisions weight and open in Perth BJJ competitions.
What brought you too Legion 13 & why Brazilian Jiu – Jitsu?
I was becoming very unfit physically and i was diagnosed with depression some time before i started at L13. I was on antidepressants and was seeing a physiologist whom told me i needed to do some regular exercise. So as most people would do i joined a gym, it didn’t work out. I was constantly finding reasons not to go even though i was locked into an expensive contract. It ended up being a giant waste of money, I wasn’t motivated to go and didn’t like being compared while there to the muscle bound guys (gym junkies). I’m 70 kg and about 175 cm nowhere near the biggest guy out there… anyway i still wanted to find something that i could do that I enjoyed. If for no other reason but to torment my at the time pregnant wife and 7 year old son for many years to come.
I didn’t want them to be left behind just because I couldn’t look after myself physically and mentally. Because i did some boxing as a teenager i decided to jump on the GOOGLE and look locally for clubs also due to my interest in martial arts I broadened my search to include that. Legion 13 Kalmunda (as it was back then) popped up with Brazillian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ for short. I didn’t really know what it was so watched a couple of youtube videos and read up on the history. L13 was offering a 3 lesson introductory offer with a free tshirt for $19. It was too good to pass up.
How was your first ever class?
For my first class I was scared and nervous. It was way out of my comfort zone and looked extremely physical. Apart from the sporadic gym sessions I hadn’t done anything physical in about 10 years. I met Mike the owner and head coach who introduced me to James a blue belt at the time. James took me through the warm up and into my first 5 minute roll (sparring) i was absolutely stuffed and gasping for breath before the 5 minutes was up. I think i had 2 more rolls that night, one being with Mike. After each roll I was given words of encouragement and tips for my next roll. James was given his Purple belt before the end of my first class. I went home and was as giddy as a school girl and apparently wouldn’t shut up about the class.
How has training at L13HILLS helped you?
Well as i mentioned before, when I started I was on antidepressants and seeing a crazy Doctor. I stopped my Dr sessions soon after joining and within 6 months was also off the antidepressant pills. A couple of days later my first daughter was born, 9 days after that my dad passed away. Christmas was a few weeks after that and then my sister passed away not too far into the new year. It was a very stressful 4 months but not once did i feel that i needed to go back on the pills. It has now been over 18 months since my last antidepressant pill and I also have a second daughter now.
L13Hills gives my mind a time out from the rest of the world even if only for 1-2 hours per week. This for me is enough for my brain to reboot and balance itself out. On top of this I am well on my way to getting the physical body that I had in my early 20’s (fit, healthy and toned). Outside of my physical and mental strength while at Jiu Jitsu, the same strengths continue into real life scenarios. It has made me think about the outcomes of my own actions or speech and has me thinking/deciding where I want things to go more efficiently and able to deal with pressure more calmly. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my wife, Mike, the other L13 coaches and all the members of L13Hills I don’t know if I would be around to tell my story and hopefully help somebody else get out of the same rut I was in.
How does it feel to be finally be in the coloured belts?
Getting my blue belt was a huge surprise but something I have been working towards and would earn in good time. It is a milestone not only in BJJ but in my progress mentally. It feels great to reach this milestone and wear a coloured belt around my waist.
Any advice for people just getting started or new to Jiu Jitsu?
I have 2 pieces of advice for those thinking about starting or just started. 1. Bite the proverbial bullet and get to a class….. then continue to come. We all have family, friends and work that at times stop us from getting to a class but we always return. 2. Learn to tap out, you cannot become a healthier version of yourself and yes better at BJJ if you are injured because you didn’t tap out.