“Get to know your fellow Colorado BJJ students”
Student: Scott Ortiz
This week we get an opportunity to sit and spend some time with one of our best and brightest students, Scott Ortiz. Scott has been a huge help mainly out of the CBJJ Denver academy. Go to http://www.coloradobjj.com/mobile-home/denver-academy for address and schedule.
Which Colorado BJJ academy do you mainly train out of? Denver
What is your current BJJ belt rank? Purple
What do you do for a living? Director of Product Management for CSG Systems Inc. CSG outsources the large customer care & billing systems for Cable, DBS, and Telcom companies (e.g. Comcast).
Why do you train BJJ? I’m sure I had all sorts of reason when I first started (i.e. health, self defense, etc.). Now it’s just part my life and who I am.
Where did you begin your BJJ career? I started training with John Crouch, Alvin Robinson, and Griff up in Broomfield. I had to quit when my second daughter was born, but then we moved I found Colorado BJJ been there ever since.
What got you started in BJJ? I’ve always had an interest in martial arts watching Bruce Lee & Steven Segal movies. I trained Aikido for a while up in Ft. Collins when I was in college. Then I saw the early UFCs and Royce Gracie doing his thing and had to try BJJ.
How did you find Colorado BJJ? Web site, and walked in to the Evans gym to check it out.
Why do you continue to train at Colorado BJJ? I think the biggest reason is Professor Ruiz, and the tone he sets. I travel a fair amount and try to stop into other gyms to check out how other places do things. CO BJJ is a special place in that guys will come after you, tap you a few times, but then they take the time to break down what they did, why it worked, what you did wrong, etc. Everyone is very open and sharing with their game and knowledge of the sport. That is is something special. It’s a family environment and I cherish the brother & sisterhood.
Do you feel it’s important, in regards to self-defense, to learn BJJ? It definitely doesn’t hurt. Training gives a person a much deeper appreciation for what’s possible in a self-defense scenario. Having that knowledge and confidence changes the game.
What is your favorite thing about BJJ?
I continue to be amazed by the elegant simplicity of the game. Technique over physical attributes of size, strength, stamina, etc. There are times you hit that technique, your opponent knew you were going for that technique, but there was just too much leverage to stop it – and so it works. When that happens you know you’re practicing the right stuff…
Tell us about any moment of training, or something you witnessed at Colorado BJJ, that has stuck with you? Watching a 145lb-155lb guy tap out many bigger, stronger guys changes the way you think about things. I’ve seen that over and over again at our academy with our high ranking guys.
Tell us about any particular moment that has stuck with you involving your Professor? Professor Ruiz is great. His obsession for understanding how people learn, how to optimize an individual’s learning, and his strict attention to detail provides an eager learner with all they could ever hope for.
What is your favorite part of training at Colorado BJJ? Great people, we always have fun training.
Why would you recommend training at Colorado BJJ to someone? Good people, no jerks, common mind set of getting better at Jiu-Jitsu.
What do you think about BJJ as a sport? Great sport, well represented world wide. I’d love to see it as an Olympic sport to give credit to those competitors that attain the highest level.
Has BJJ helped you in any way, outside of the gym? If so, explain how? This last year I started my two daughters in BJJ. It’s been a great experience watching them learn and grow in the sport, and it has allowed us to develop a much deeper relationship which as been great.
What do you think about BJJ in regards to MMA? You’ve gotta have it in your arsenal. Even if it’s not your specialty you’d better know it’s there and how to address it.
Who is your favorite BJJ athlete? Why? There are many, but I think right now it’s Roger Gracie. As for my reasoning, his game is not flashy or complex. Most of the techniques he uses can be found in the beginner curriculum, but he executes them on the top guys in the world and they work as advertised. Which lends support to drilling and focusing on the most minute details.
What is your favorite BJJ submission? And why? Triangle choke. I’m a guard player and I have long legs so I’ve found this technique works well for me.
What would you think about the Olympics adding BJJ as an international sport? Just a matter of time.
Do you think adding BJJ as an Olympic sport will ever happen? If so and you were to compete, what country would you like to represent? I believe it will happen, and USA.
What do you think BJJ has added to your life? Lots – knowledge, health, friendships, confidence, it goes on and on…
How has BJJ helped you, health-wise? When I started I was an out of shape 230lb-er. I’m in much better shape now and tip the scales at about 190lb.
How do you feel after a training session of BJJ? Depends on who I trained with! No seriously, I always feel great after training. I don’t know why but there are those days where either your body, or for some other reason you just don’t feel like leaving the house to train. I’ve never had a day like that when I’ve made the decision to train and didn’t feel awesome after the fact.
Please list any medals, accomplishments, or tournaments you would like to share. I’ve won medals in several local tournaments, and hope to get to one of the big tournaments soon.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Still training, and continuing to learn how to teach youth and anyone wanting to learn Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense.
What advice would you give someone who is contemplating training BJJ? Don’t think or analyze it. Just commit to doing it for a year – period. After that amount of time, you’ll either be hooked or you will have gained some valuable tools for self-defense. Either way you will be better off for having done it.
Fell free to add anything you would like here: I’d just say thanks to Professor Ruiz for all his help and guidance, and thanks to all my teammates.
Thank you for your time Scott!