Garrett Carnes has no legs and three children, but still made it to the gym for gi training this week. (What was that you were saying about being “too tired/busy/injured” to train?)
The Greensboro, North Carolina, veteran made it to the local news on January 3 for his inspiring transformation from wartime tragedy to inspiration using the jiu-jitsu lifestyle to rebuild more than just his body.
Once a hardcore marine with a “no excuses” attitude, Carnes’ jiu-jitsu journey technically began when he stepped on a roadside IED during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He describes using emergency measures to help stop his own bleeding in the immediately aftermath of the explosion, and the experience of losing both legs to his injuries, in the video below.
“One day you’re climbing mountains with a pack on your back, the next day you’re struggling to roll out of bed to use the rest room,” he told FOX 8 news, going on the credit his support system with aiding his recovery and keeping him out of self pity.
The explosion occurred in early 2012, but it wasn’t until 2018–when Carnes’ son became old enough to start training BJJ himself–that the veteran discovered a new combat brotherhood to join. He was on the mats himself training at Combat Fitness within a few weeks.
Hear the rest of the inspiring story in Carnes’ own words by clicking here.