Submitted by one of our fans. If you have a story we want to hear it.
My name is Florentino Morales, 25yrs old. I have been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu close to 2 years, and this is my story. Since I was a kid I always very chubby and short. I got picked on a lot and never was good at any sport that I tried, until I started jiu-jitsu. I grew up in the projects and for the first 6 years of my life I was living with just my mom and most of the time my grandma was taking care of me because my mom had me at a very young age; 16 or 17. When I came to the states I knew no english or spanish, just my native indian language. I grew around gangbangers and drug addicts, but I never wanted to follow in their foot steps. I had no role model while I was growing up and my dad didn't come into my life until I was 7 years old. He should be videos of karate and other martial arts, but I was an obese kid and never was good at it or any other kind of sport. I was always too short, too weak, or too slow to be good at any sport. In 1998, I learned about Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I thought to myself, that I can do that since it looks smooth and cool. In my neighborhood there was no gym or academy nearby. I didn't get into until 2008. Jiu-jitsu has completely changed my life, I'm more fit, more confident, and has brought my sisters together since they too do jiu-jitsu. I also introduce jiu-jitsu to my cousin who was was going in the wrong path and he quickly fell in love with it. This year I competed in the Pan-Ams jiu-jitsu tournament, the second most prestigious tournament in our sport and I placed 3rd place. My hopes and dreams is to be a future multiple times world champion and an instructor. I want to have a school where kids can train for free and exercise so they can stay out of trouble and be fit and have a healthy life style. I want to build a academy in Mexico so that the poor kids can have something to do, I want to help them and change their lives for the better. I also hope to get some sponsorship because it's ver hard to pay for tournaments when I'm also living with my parents to help them pay bills.