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The Garra Cronicles – Issue 3 “Jeremy Umphries”

In The Garra Cronicles | on November 10, 2017
Name - Jeremy Umphries
BJJ Rank - Black Belt
Country of Origin - Memphis Tennessee, USA.

Q1 - How long have you been training Jiu Jitsu?

I have been training Jiu Jitsu for about 17 years.

Q2 - What brought you to Australia and how did you find out about Garra BJJ

We (my wife and I) came to Australia for an adventure and to experience living in another country. I knew about Garra from Master Octavio Couto who I trained under and it is same coach Prof. Eduardo had when he was young in Brazil so he recommended to come here to Garra.

"Garra BJJ encompasses loyalty, camaraderie, friendliness, knowledge, and respect"



Q3 - You trained with some big names in the business and at some gyms with impressive reputation, how does Garra compare in your opinion?

From my experience while training at Garra. I can most definitely say that Garra is one of, if not the best place I have ever trained. Garra encompasses the main qualities that I was looking for in a Jiu Jitsu academy. These qualities are as follows: Loyalty, camaraderie, friendly, knowledge, and respect.

Q4 - A lot beginners have a hard time accepting pure Jiu Jitsu techniques and often choose strength and power to force the position which at best brings short term victory. In your mind ,what is your suggestion to help change this mindset.

When talking about technique vs strength and the applications of both , it seems to go full circle in many ways. That being said, there are many situations to which technique combined with strength becomes quite efficacious.

I think it’s important to recognise the qualities of each virtue. Strength is not just raw power, it can also be stamina, speed and agility. But all of these qualities of strength become useless if it is not applied with technique.

Technique isn’t just ones knowledge of Jiu Jitsu submissions, sweeps, takedowns, positioning and movementation 😉. Technique is also and most importantly the ability of adaptation and use of strategy in each given situation.

When trying to explain this to a beginner they will only understand this with the amount of perspective that they have at that time. I think that it is important to keep reminding them of this as they are going through their journey.

“I would tell them that they can continue to fight fire with fire and have some success, but eventually that flame will burn out.” They will have better long-term success if they learn to use water. 🌊

Q5 – You have been a professional MMA fighter, competition in a number of organisations including Strikeforce where you won via RNC. How important was your Jiu Jitsu to your overall fighting style?

Jiu Jitsu was the most important aspect of my success in competing in MMA. The whole reason I even stepped inside the cage was to prove my Jiu Jitsu was effective in one of the most dangerous situations that I could apply it in. I still believe and will always teach the importance of self-defence that Jiu Jitsu provides inside and outside of the mat.

Q6 - You have an impressive wrestling background as well. What key elements of wrestling do you think best complement Jiu Jitsu?

Wrestling taught me many of the same things that Jiu Jitsu does. Wrestling gave me the confidence and mindset to strive to be the best I can be. The key elements that compliment Jiu Jitsu is the takedowns, control, transitions and a solid base.

Q7 - What is your best memory from living and training in Australia?

I have so many great memories from my time here that I really can’t single out one time. I think what I will remember the most is how everyone was so supportive and friendly.

Q8 - You're heading back to the US soon. So what is next for Jeremy and what will you miss most about Australia?

My next chapter consists of me continuing to compete when I get home. I also plan on eventually opening my own Jiu Jitsu school, hopefully that will be in Colorado.

I think what I’ll miss most about Australia is my team here at Garra BJJ.

It has been great having you part of the team Jeremy and you will definitely be missed! All the best back in the US and I know that if anyone travels their they will have an open door and a rolling partner to call call on. Take care!

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