I love to take time to talk to the high level athletes in Jiujitsu. I think it is important to hear them out and their thoughts, ideas, etc in reference the sport. I am grateful when one of them agrees to take the time to answer questions I have. In this interview, Tim Spriggs of Crazy 88 took time out of his schedule to do this interview. Not only is Tim an awesome athlete, but also an overall great person.
Can you start from the beginning and tell us what age you began training Jiu Jitsu? How did you hear about it?
I began training Jiu-Jitsu when I was sixteen years old. I was first introduced to jiu jitsu and mixed martial by the first season of the Ultimate Fighter.
How long have you been training year to date?
I’ve been training almost nine years.
What are your top three biggest accomplishments in your Jiu Jitsu career to date?
My three biggest accomplishments are: Winning World’s at Brown Belt, Getting third at Black Belt at world’s this year, and winning the Five Grappling Super League
If you had to chose one match that you’ve done so far that you think is your best which one was it and why?
My finals match at Brown Belt World’s last year. I threw my opponent, took his back, and bow and arrow choked him in less than a minute.
Can you tell me some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
I nearly died in a training accident when I was a purple belt and spent the week in a hospital bed. I had to juggle being a full-time college student while competing all over the country and the world. I also had to struggle financially like most full-time jiu-jitsu athletes do to follow their dreams of becoming a legend.
Do you have a bread and butter move? A go-to move when you train and compete?
I have certain moves that I do. I love doing the my signature Trainwreck throw. Double Leg and Bow and Arrow choke are also my go to techniques.
You do so well in competition. How do you physically and mentally prepare?
I have world class jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, and conditioning coaches at the academy. Every time I walk in the gym I go through the ringer. I push myself to physical and mental exhaustion. If I reach my breaking point that means I’ve done my job. I know going onto the mats that there is no one in the world that has worked harder than me. Sometimes after major competitions I have to hibernate to recover since I pushed myself so hard. Although my body will eventually fail, My mind will always be strong
What is one piece of advice you’d give to everyone training in this sport?
My one piece of advice to anyone training this sport is to go all in. If you’re dream is to be a world champion you have to be willing to suffer physically, mentally, financially, and in your relationship with family and friends to get to the top. From the outside looking in, pursuing jiujitsu as a professional sport is absurd. You spend all this time, energy, and MONEY to get a fake gold medal. You could go out there and put on the performance of a lifetime and get screwed by the refs because they’re friends/teammates with the guy you’re fighting or just because you’re American. And that means you have to wait a whole year to get the chance to do it again in the case of the World’s. You could be the best Jiu-Jitsu fighter in the world and still have to PAY to compete. The biggest tournament circuit treats it’s athletes like crap. But with all that being said, if you truly love this art, this sport, like me and a lot of other guys, you accept the bull **** and keep grinding for your chance to be the best in the world. It’s both a beautiful and troubling concept. But this is the life I chose.
What is your definition of success in terms of Jiujitsu?
For me success means winning big matches and important tournament, from the competitor aspect. As a pure martial artist it’s being able to defend yourself and loved ones with the skills you’ve studied. And as a coach, success for me is creating great competitors and knowledgeable practitioners.
How did it feel winning your most recent competition with Five Grappling?
I felt validation after winning the Five Grappling Super League. I always believed that I could beat anyone in the world. And taking home the belt proved it. I’m just happy to see all the sacrifice paid off. I was able to use everything I had drilled and focused on in my victories. That means more to me than the money, although $10,000 makes me feel pretty good too.
What is your plan for the future as far as goals?
For the future, I want to become a better martial artist and learn as much as I can. My goal since I started training has been to be the baddest man to ever walk the face of the earth. I think I’m well on my way to achieving that goal, but I still have a long way to go.