each week Jiu-jitsu Times brings you a short profile of a bjj black belt.
This week Jiu-jitsu Times features Bjj Black Belt Denis Kang.
In addition to being a Bjj black belt, Denis is Professional MMA fighter with over 50 fights all over the globe including Russia, Japan, Korea, USA.
* In my 1st bjj class with Professor Marcus Soares 19 years ago, Denis was the author’s training partner.
You never know how long the friendships you make in bjj will last!
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us how and why you got started in bjj?
Denis Kang: Since I can remember I have had a fascination for fighting, from martial arts to street-fights to wrestling and boxing.
I trained Judo and Karate as a kid, a few seasons of wrestling in HS, then in 1995 I saw the UFC and fell in love with it.
It was instant fascination and obsession. So I started training in Hapkido which was the closest thing I could find to BJJ back then.
Eventually a Brazilian Black Belt moved to Vancouver and I just had to make the change.
This coach was Marcus Soares of the Carlson Gracie Academy, who went on to mentor me throughout my career as a fighter and Martial Artist.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Who have been the biggest influences on your jiu-jitsu and what did you learn from each of your professors?
Denis Kang: Definitely Marcus Soares for his strong top pressure and guard passing style.
His approach fit really well with my natural athleticism and aggression.
Ricardo Liborio was my coach at ATT and he really also had a strong influence in me, refining my style and showing me new techniques.
Firaz Zahabi at Tristar is one of the best cornerman/strategist/technician I have ever worked with, really bringing my MMA game to an advanced level.
Howard Davis Jr also at ATT, for improving my boxing and giving me great advice as a fighter and person.
Last but not least Conrad Pla from Tristar who was my boxing and kickboxing coach and really taught me how to put more power in my punches.
Jiu-jitsu Times: What some of the favorite academies that you have trained jiu-jitsu?
Denis Kang: The best place that I trained BJJ is with Marcus Soares in my formative years from 97 to about 2003.
Also the Carlson Gracie Academy in Rio and the Gordo Academy in Barra.
I now coach at KTB academy in Vancouver.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you give some advice for students of jiu-jitsu that worked for you in your training?
Denis Kang: You need to become a true student of the game.
Meaning that BJJ is a very detail oriented and technical sport.
It`s important to always be researching new details, strategies, positions and just new ways to improve your moves.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you talk about your philosophy of brazilian jiu-jitsu – training and life?
Denis Kang: When you train BJJ, and you spar competitively regularly, you are putting yourself in adversity and actively finding solutions strategically and technically.
This is parallel to real life for when you have obstacles of varying severity and you need to find a way around it. In that way BJJ is teaches you to deal with life strategically and efficiently.
Now, if you add competing to this the benefits increase even more, because of the added pressure that you are forced to deal with.
I can honestly tell you that as a young man of 19yrs old, my confidence and poise increased dramatically as a result of winning my first few BJJ competitions.
So BJJ is a great physical and therapeutic tool to better yourself.
Jiu-jitsu Times: Who is your favorite bjj fighter?
Denis Kang: Leozinho Vieira is my fave fighter of all times, and actively competing is Rodolfo Viera (no relations to Leo)
Jiu-jitsu Times: Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that most Jiu-jitsu Times readers would not know?
Denis Kang: I`m obsessed with combat sports in general so I watch and study fights constantly, and I`m also big into reading comics and sci-fi.
Contact Denis Kang:
I can be contacted on twitter at @kangfighter, I`m currently teaching at KTB gym 68 east 2nd ave ( 2nd floor), Vancouver BC.