Alan’s Journey to Black Belt
School owner and instructor, Alan Stockman, began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1997 while living in Fortaleza, Brazil. He traveled extensively throughout Brazil, training and competing in the cities of Fortaleza, Teresina, Natal, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Porto Alegre. After almost 4 years in Brazil, he returned home with a wealth of BJJ experience.
After arriving back in the States, he continued training BJJ all over the US, earning his Black Belt after 13 ½ years of hard but rewarding work. In this time, he also successfully competed in BJJ Gi and No-Gi tournaments and MMA. He was one of the founders of the Michiana Fight League (MFL) in South Bend, Indiana, where he co-promoted over 2 dozen mixed martial arts shows. He was the primary matchmaker for these and assisted matchmaking with many other Midwest promotions as well. Alan worked closely with fighters from the Bulldog Fight Team, based out of Osceola, Indiana, helping to manage fighters and to promote their careers, seeing 2 of them eventually reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Alan says that while he is a fan of MMA, his love is with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he will always focus his energy on ground fighting and teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as self-defense.
Before training BJJ, Alan was an avid cyclist. He competed all over the United States. One of the things that he valued about cycling was the amount of time and dedication it took to properly prepare oneself to compete at a high level and be successful.
“You could not go out there and fake it. Either you were ready or you were not- there was no lying on the bike,” he said. “We measured heart rates, calories, wattage output, speed, distances ridden, pedaling cadences, bike weight down to the ounce and we rode around with little computers to keep track of all of this. We had coaches and mentors that would teach you how to eat, how to ride more efficiently, how to handle your bike, strategy, mechanics that would keep everything working and that would have you fitted on these high-tech machines down to the millimeter… cycling was a complete science and was a great way to challenge yourself! When I found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I found a lot of the same things in it that had drawn me into cycling before. Instead of grinding out 2-3 hour daily rides we were hammering out techniques on the mat, trying to maximize our efficiency and movement, training our muscle memory and our minds as well. The strategy and tactics in BJJ however, are at a level that I have never seen in any other sport. It never ceases to amaze me how BJJ can stimulate your mind day in day out. So BJJ to me is the complete mind and body experience. Like cycling, I aim to keep myself in peak condition yet I am always able to challenge myself mentally. Every day, no matter who I train with, whether it be a seasoned Black Belt or a first-day White Belt, I am able to challenge myself and grow."
“Another thing I love about the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the way people transform after training and it doesn’t take that long. Physically, they lose weight, tone up, become more flexible, and as a result, they have more energy, are much happier, and become more confident. And they are learning how to defend themselves! Martial Arts is very clichéd in that it promotes discipline, confidence, and so on but it does all of this time and time again. So, every day I get to present and teach this great art of BJJ and I get to see how each person benefits from it. I see this in adults, I see it in children, in guys, and in girls. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone, it doesn’t care about age or gender. It can benefit absolutely everyone!” says Alan.