You may or may not have heard the name Kyle Watson in your time around the mats. You might even have had the pleasure of training with him at some point. This guy is as friendly as they come, loves to teach, and he has never met a stranger. He has just about done it all, from season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter to this year’s Europeans. Although he travels all over the world he still has plenty of time for his academy. Watson is the head instructor at his gym Watson Martial Arts in St Louis Mo. He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Jack McVicker and Wellington “Megaton” Diaz. Watson also holds a red/black belt in Jeet Kune Do also under McVicker. To top that off he has over 8 years of experience in Muay Thai Kickboxing under Ryan Blackorby. At only 35 years old, he’s certainly worked his butt off to get where he is.
The Ultimate Fighter was an experience he looks back on and is very thankful for it, although the week he got home he would have never said that to anyone. Watson says, “Living in a house with people that want to beat you up wasn’t at all comfortable”. It’s hard not to be thankful for it since this is when his career skyrocketed. He left the show only losing the match before the finals and by winning 3 of his matches by rear naked choke. Although he loved the training that came with MMA, he doesn’t miss preparing for the fights. Unlike his feelings towards fighting in the cage, he really looks forward to all of the Jiu Jitsu competitions he has competed in. His passion is and always will be with BJJ, he spoke of his training with McVicker on how he is the toughest rolling partner he’s ever had and that he was geared more towards competitors, hence all his success on the mats. Megaton, however, was a little different he had a very hardcore and old school way of teaching that only the most seasoned of professors are familiar with. He came off sometimes as mean and closed off but once you got to know him and learn how to take his jokes, he was just one of the guys. Even though their styles are different both their ways of teaching works very well together.
His personal life isn’t that much different than most fighters. His difference is his wife Laura, he refers to her as his biggest supporter and his rock and without her he wouldn’t be able to do half of what he has done. She sits down with him and the decide together which tournaments he is going to compete in and is always there in his corner to support him. Working as an ER nurse her job, as you could imagine, can be very stressful. Then you add that your husband is a fighter, it can make it a whole lot worse. He spends at least 6 days a week at his academy but never hears a complaint from Mrs. Laura. Now they are expecting their first rugrat things will surely start to slow down a little. The little one is expected to fill their home around mid to late October and I suspect will be headlining a IBJJF worlds competition soon there after.
I can write all day on this man’s career, most of which you can find on Google. What you won’t find is his love for his community and animals that drives him to do the things he does. He believes that his students are not just a paycheck, they are his family. He prides himself on being the one they come to when they need help. His pet choices are a little different than most. His furry family includes, 2 Pug dogs named Brian and Stewie, a Boston terrier named Quagmire, and a pot belly pig named Meg. (notice a trend there??) His most recent event included every passion of his. The Arm-bar-bq fund raiser for Gateway Pet Guardians was a huge success. Watson and his crew managed to draw in 96 people and raise 2100 dollars which aided in rescuing 29 animals that otherwise would have not made it. Watson is planning to make this an annual event so he can continue to raise money for those in need.
From one end of the world to the other, Watson has been there. Doing what most have only dream of achieving. This won’t be the last time you hear the name, I can guarantee that. If you would like an opportunity to train with him, he is hosting a black belt camp September 11th and 12th at his academy in St. Louis Mo. The cost is $65 for 1 day or $100 for both. He currently has 10 highly talented black belts signed up to help with the event and it is open to all belt levels. So if you will be in the area please come in and learn from some of the best!
For additional information and to register for his black belt camp feel free to check out his school on Facebook.