How much do you remember your first day of Brazilian jiu-jitsu? If it was anything like mine, you flopped around on the floor like a fish out of water and got absolutely dismantled by a 4-stripe white belt who was fifty pounds lighter than you.
On the other hand, if you were anything like 10-year-old Sergio Guajardo, you tapped out the top fighter in your class.
Some of you may be familiar with Sergio. The Jiu-Jitsu Times posted a video of him about a week ago. If you missed it, check it out below:
Inverted triangle to kimura. Just amazing moves by @subtlepepper
Posted by Jiu Jitsu Legacy on Sunday, November 26, 2017
This weekend, we had the opportunity to sit down with Sergio’s father, Lorenzo, and talk about his son.
The interview took place over Facebook PM and has been edited slightly for brevity and clarity.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times: Can you start out by telling us about your son? How old is he, what got him interested in BJJ, how long has he trained, and how often does he train?
Lorenzo Guajardo: Sergio is 10 years old and has been doing BJJ for a little over three years. His older sister was into martial arts and Sergio used to come with us when she trained. I tried to get him into Karate and Kuk Soon Won but he didn’t seem to like it as he would learn the forms but got bored easy.
One day, we went to a new gym for my daughter to train at and Sergio asked to try out a BJJ class that was in the same gym. I agreed and the coach let Sergio give it a try. About a half hour later, the coach came up to me and asked how long Sergio had been doing BJJ. I answered that this was his first time, and the coach just looked amazed and told me that Sergio had choked out two of his best students. That was when we got him enrolled in it full time…he was 7 at the time.
…the coach came up to me and asked how long Sergio had been doing BJJ. I answered that this was his first time, and the coach just looked amazed and told me that Sergio had choked out two of his best students.
He trains weekly (three times a week) at Ohana Academy in San Antonio and as much as possible at 10th Planet in Austin, Texas.
JJT: So, he’s just a BJJ prodigy, huh?
LG: You know, he just seems to get it and adapts so quickly. I truly think it comes from his mother’s side of the family, as she is from Turkey and that is where wrestling started. Sergio just has tons of natural ability and is very athletic. BJJ just seems to come to him, and he loves it above all other sports.
Sergio is exceptional at baseball and basketball, but we could never make the practices due to tournaments. He always wanted to go to BJJ tourneys over his baseball and basketball games. The coach would let him play even if he did not make practice because he was so good, but it got old quickly with the parents complained that we did not go to practice, so we have stopped trying other sports for now.
JJT: What is the biggest tournament he has done so far?
LG: Well, I think he is most proud of the Battle for the Ages, which he won in 2016. It was a grueling absolute tourney and he won his age group and the lightweight tourney. He also won the IBJJF Nationals in Las Vegas this year so that was big as well.
JJT: Does he win most of the tournaments he competes in?
LG: He does actually. It is pretty rare that he loses against opponents that are his weight and age. Most of the times that he has lost, it was against bigger and older kids.
JJT: Does he have any BJJ heroes? Garry Tonon, Gordon Ryan, or Nicky Ryan perhaps?
LG: Weird thing is, Sergio doesn’t like to watch BJJ or the UFC. If he is not competing, then he is not interested, so I don’t even think he knows who those amazing competitors are. He has met some titans in the sport like Eddie Bravo, Royler Gracie, and Bruno Malfacine but he is more impressed with kids closer to his age like Cole Abate, Jacob Impok Harris, and Mona Bailey.
All photos by Lorenzo Guajardo. Used with permission.