Glen Mackenzie (Gracie Barra West Island)
We had the pleasure of interviewing a really nice Montreal BJJ figure. Get to know Glen and what he stands for. He is also well known as “Marrento”!
GP: Where do you train and for how long have you been training?
GM: I train Under Professor Bruno Fernandes at Gracie Barra Montreal. I also just opened my own academy Gracie Barra West Island 7 months ago, Its our fourth One around the island of montreal.
GP: Why did you start JiuJitsu and how did you find it?
GM: I’m sure people said this a million times but I remember watching UFC 1 with my friends. It blew my mind how Royce could control and dominate his opponents with such ease. Of course I didn’t pursue Jiu Jitsu until many years later, I was focused on my hockey back then. When I suffered a pretty serious knee injury in hockey and couldn’t really play anymore I had to find something to replace it. That’s when I made my move to Jiu Jitsu.
GP: What is your ultimate goal within this sport, this lifestyle?
GM: My goals in the sport have changed over the years, now I’m mainly focused on trying to spread the art to as many people as possible trough charity events and my academy. To me perfection will be training until the day I die….they’ll have to scrape me off the mats..
GP: What was your best experience during the years you have been training? competing?
GM: Man that’s a tough One, there’s been so many. I guess the best experiences funny enough have been off the mats while traveling to tournaments with my teammates. The bonds you create and the people you meet during those times are priceless. I’ll have to digress on the details of those trips though…lol
GP: What is the lowest low you ever felt and why? how did you get out of it?
GM: I haven’t really had that many lows in Jiu Jitsu…..except when I’ve gotten a major injury. When people ask me what’s the toughest part of the sport I always say it’s taking the time off to let your body heal properly. Of course having a hockey background I never do….you’ll often see me with some sort of duct tape on my body keeping my limbs together enough to roll…lol
GP: When you have a student or training partner that feels he is at a stagnating point, what do you tell him?
GM: From experience that seems to be the time when you’re about to break through to the next level! I just tell them to keep rolling and keep their mind open to trying new techniques. Getting past that hump is just a matter of mat time.
GP: When someone is in the street and ask you what do you do for sports or what is jiu jitsu about, what do you tell him, her or them?
GM: Man….this used to be so hard to explain to people 8 years ago but now with the growing of the Art due to UFC exposure even people who don’t follow martial arts seem to know what it is. Of course you’ll still have to people who say, “OOOO is that the Brazilian dancing thing!” ….now instead of trying to explain I say, “yes” and leave it at that..
GP: Have you ever had to use jiu jitsu outside of the mats?
GM: Unfortunately yes, mostly while I was working as a doorman though. The only thing I ever used was the standing Guillotine that we teach in our Gracie Barra Fundamentals class. Nothing sobers up an attacker quicker then a choke! Nobody gets hurt, they get the message, fights over…
GM: Yes the Fight for Charity is a showcase for us to bring all the martial arts schools together, compete in super fights and raise money for charity! The last few have been very successful and it’s starting to get some attention around the world. I’ve had a few people asking me to start some across the country and over seas so who knows how big these events will become. If we can raise money for a good cause while spreading the art in a positive manner I’m all for it!! If you’ve never been to One you’re missing out, they’re always lots of fun. We hold them in ball rooms so it’s kinda like a wedding meets a grappling tournament. There’s music, Ring girls, light shows the whole Nine yards. Of course we keep the price low so everyone can come enjoy it! I’m still keeping the details of the next One close to the cuff but we’re pretty excited to be pairing up with 5 Grappling to help promote the event and bring in more top level Grapplers! Stay tuned, the next One is coming soon…
GP: What do you tell people that try to rush, or pay attention to the belt color?
GM: If your only goal is about the color of your belt you won’t make it past Blue, it’s really a never ending art so the belts don’t mean a thing other than a symbol of how much time you’ve put into it. I tell new students it’s kinda like playing an instrument(guitar). A first you pick it up, everything sounds terrible…your fingers hurt. Next you start making some clear notes, then you start learning some cords, then put those cords together and you’re playing a song. Once you’ve learned all those basics of the instrument you continue and develop your own style of playing, always evolving. The funny thing is that at One point you’ll improve so much that you’ll forget about that first song you used to play and go back to it and start all over again. As I stated earlier Perfection is Training until the day you die, I firmly believe in that.
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