:: Ambassador Spotlight :: Jiu Jitsu Athlete Gabriel Johnson.
"I knew I was created to be a champion."
Mentally tough, loyal as a way of life, JiuJitsu Athlete, husband, surfer & leader; meet FYC & Venture Pro Ambassador Gabriel.
Gabriel finds himself in a world of adventure and things are only getting started. As a full time sponsored JiuJitsu Athlete Gabriel has a dedicated fighting lifestyle and a love for curry. We catch up with Gabriel, a 6'4", 205 lb. heavyweight in Ecuador.
1) What is most challenging for you in JiuJitsu?
(GJ) I've always been the person who gives 100% of my energy and effort for competitive sports. JiuJitsu is a sport of effective technique over physical athleticism. Learning how to rely on technique and timing the use of power is key.
2) Who inspires you most?
(GJ) I am inspired by a great community of people; people who in the face of challenge disregard comfort and push forward to take hold of greatness, creativity, strength, and excellence. This community consists of several ordinary people, entrepreneurs, fighters, poets, yoga practitioners and champions; all being people who don't settle for the norm but take hold of life and live!
3) What has been your proudest moment in JiuJitsu?
(GJ) My proudest moment in JiuJitsu thus far is earning my purple belt. Even among JiuJitsu practitioners a very few small percent reach this achievement.
4) What advice would you give young JiuJitsu athletes?
(GJ) One of the greatest aspects of JiuJitsu isnt's any particular technique or move but the ability to remain calm and focused in any given situation. If you can learn to remain calm when in extremely uncomfortable positions, you conserve energy, your mind can focus better to defend or improve your circumstances and you are not overly tense and make bad decisions. This is the greatest lesson in JiuJitsu and self defense.
5) How much time is spent practicing?
(GJ) Everyone is different in their approach but I like to drill and practice JiuJitsu movements for an hour a day, usually 5 days a week and additionally train in classes or spar 5 days a week. So typically I spend about 2-3 hours a day practicing JiuJitsu.
6) What is your current belt?
(GJ) Purple belt. This signifies that I have a solid JiuJitsu foundation and beginning to get more into the advanced ideas and intricacies of the art.
7) What awards, medals and contest victories have your achieved?
(GJ) I am a 1x IBJJF American National Silver Medalist, 1x World Open Silver Medalist, 3x Regional Heavyweight Champion, 2x Regional Open Weight Absolute Champion, 1x Bronze Regional Heavy Weight.
8) What got you started in JiuJitsu?
(GJ) My brother had been doing JiuJitsu for a while and he thought I would I'd really like it. So I thought I would check it out. Little did I know as I walked in, that I was changing my life forever. I immediately fell in love, soon quit my job and began doing JiuJitsu full time.
9) Who pushes you to excel?
(GJ) Ever since I was a little kid I had an excitement and a stirring inside when I watched the Olympics and other high level professional sports championships. I knew I was created to be a champion, to be great and to excel. I see myself on top of the JiuJitsu world's greatest podium in the number one spot. Knowing I can get there motivates me to put in the hard work it takes to get there. I spend countless hours training, countless hours visualizing myself excelling; it's who I am now.
10) How long have you been married? Care to share a bit more about your relationship history?
(GJ) July 2017 marks our 10 year anniversary! I'm really proud to have reached this milestone in our marriage look forward to many more years and memories to come.
We met in college on a group camping trip and hit it off right away; becoming really good friends. Not too much later we began dating and the rest was history. We wanted to spend the rest of our lives adventuring the world together! And it has been just that ever since and only continues to get better.
11) What is your favorite food?
(GJ) I love food so much it's hard to pick a favorite but I would have to say curry is my favorite. Indian curry, Japanese curry, Thai curry, it doesn't matter, I just love curry!
12) What is your favorite movie?
(GJ) Although technically, Band of Brothers is not a movie, I watch it like a movie over and over again. It's very encouraging the way the soldiers face the most challenging and horrific scenarios and don't give in to fear or the crippling of despair but they band together and fight till the end.
13) What is your favorite surf spot?
(GJ) I've been to several surf spots around the world: South Africa, Japan, Florida, California and now Ecuador. I have to say while other places may have had a beautiful scenery and surf, Playas in Ecuador has been the most consistent and diverse surf in one spot than any other place I've been.
14) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
(GJ) In 5 years I see myself as a multi time JiuJitsu World Champion, owning and operating my own JiuJitsu and yoga studio as a black belt and certified yoga instructor; while living the adventure and surf lifestyle I'm currently living and loving.
15) What is one thing nobody may know about you that you would like to share about yourself? This can be anything such as you love the smell of fresh cut grass, you want to be an astronaut etc...
(GJ) I love learning languages. I'm fluent in speaking/reading/writing Japanese. I've studied Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Spanish and German. My goal is to be fluent in 5 languages within my lifetime.
16) What connects you to the FYC & Venture Pro Brands?
(GJ) I'm really proud to be a part of both the brand and the community of FYC! FYC is not only a creative brand with high quality apparel, but a community of Venture Pro's who are ocean minded, boarders and outdoors men & women! I like being a part of something real, something courageous, and something with endless possibilities!