I came in contact with the Relson Gracie brown belt (under black belt Shane Agena) and founder of ATH Sports Nutrition founder Mr Stuart Kam via twitter through our mutual friend Eddie Kone and I thought it'd be interesting to see how he managed to combine a busy lifestyle living and working in Hawaii with training Gracie Jiujitsu. What resulted was an interview full of the Aloha spirit. I hope you enjoy it.
- Hello. Why don’t we start by you telling us a little about yourself?
I started ATH last year. I was tired of taking in a bunch of artificial sweeteners and products that weren't designed for grapplers. I started off mixing my own recovery shakes using organic ingredients then I started getting requests from training partners. From there it grew into an actual company.
- Are you currently working? Is that Full time / Part time?
ATH is my full time job.
- You also set aside time to practice a sport. Which sport(s)?
Other than BJJ, I cross train MMA and also surf.
I've been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since I was 15. I started training with a Relson Gracie black belt Shane Agena. I am a brown belt under Shane Agena.
- Have you competed much?
I competed a lot locally but would like to compete more nationally and internationally.
- Do you feel that you have to compete to get a black belt in combat sports / martial arts?
I don't feel you need to necessary compete to get a black belt but I think it definitely helps. The sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is different than the martial art.
- Do you follow any special diet? Do you use any dietary supplements?
I don't believe in special diets. I think your eating has to fuel your body and it has to be a life long commitment. I use the products that I developed. I am a firm believer in practice what you preach.
- How do you manage to fit your training around work, study and family time?
Training is part of the job so it's easy. It helps clear your mind and gives you break.
- What is the greatest thrill you have gotten out of practicing your sport?
Helping other guys learn a new technique and the camaraderie is probably the biggest thrills. Martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, etc. is a lifestyle. The biggest reward is the confidence and helping out other people.
- Give us your top tip for time-management (to fit exercise around life)
I only have one: Make it a priority, if you want to do it, you'll find a way.
- Now let’s balance that with what you consider the top time-thief.
I only have one: Facebook lol.
- Do you feel that there is a difference in style of jiu jitsu / grappling from academy to academy? What do you think is the reason behind that?
Yeah there's definitely a difference in styles. Different philosophy, training, athletic abilities, so many different variables.
- Similarly, do you feel that there is a difference in style of instruction from academy to academy?
Yeah, just like there's different styles of grappling there's different styles of instructions. For the most part, they are similar but there are differences. I think as we go longer there will be even more different styles of instruction.
- Why do you train?
If I don't, I feel like I'm slacking off. It's just part of life for me.
- How can we find out more?
Check us out at http://www.athsportsnutrition.com! We're also on all the social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
- Who inspires you in life and BJJ?
I take a little bit from everyone. Anyone that perseveres is inspiring. I always root for the underdog.
- Finally, do you have any regrets?
I'd like to thank Mr Stuart Kam for taking the time to talk to me and to Eddie for putting us in touch.
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
Proudly sponsored by Predator Fightwear: Built for the kill and Brutal TShirt: Made By Grapplers For Fighters