Recently returned from a triumphant tour of New York, which saw him win two Gold Medals, KnuckleUp Brazilian Jiu Jitsu standout Parker Graham recently shared with me what attracts him to the Arte Suave.
What I love about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that it develops your mind as well as your body. It is the only sport that truly conforms to the practitioner’s strengths and weaknesses. There is no specific body type that you have to have in order to be successful. What allows you to succeed is hard work, determination, and the will to train whenever possible without excuses.
Although just 16, Parker has already competed in over 600 matches.
Competing is important because it allows you to test yourself and your technique. It exposes your mistakes and lets you see your hard work pay off. Competing is the most important thing in my life. There is nothing better than waking up the day of a competition knowing I get to reap the rewards of all of my hard work, sweat, and hours in the gym.
Parker’s instructor, the great Master Ricardo Murgel, has been training his young American protégé for over eight years.
Parker started training with me when he was just a little shy of eight years old. I can tell you this: in 58 years of being involved in martial arts, I have never seen greater commitment than the commitment Parker and his family have to Jiu Jitsu. The whole family is involved; his sister, his father, his mother, himself. Over last eight years, I’ve seen him grow from a young kid to a young man and develop some really amazing skills in Jiu Jitsu and have at a young age an already amazing career.
He has one of the most impressive competitive records for someone of his age that I know of anywhere in the world. He already has over 600 matches. That’s an unbelievable number for any level. I don’t know many black belts that have that many matches. His titles speak for themselves. He’s won the NAGA many times both in the Gi and No Gi divisions and he usually wins by submission.
Parker Graham will be traveling with Master Murgel to Brazil to train and compete. He is the first of the Master’s students from KnuckleUp to be afforded this high honor. If you would like to help support his international training, visit his Gofundme campaign.