When did you start training in martial arts, and can you tell me a little about your story:
My name is Luiz Saavedra, and I have been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since age 14. I grew up being raised by a single mom with no stable father figure in my life. My mother was always working and furthering her education and she though it would be good for me to participate in athletics. I played soccer for a very short time in elementary school, but I never cared for it. I played football later on and decided I didn’t like that either. I loved watching soccer and football on TV, but I didn’t enjoy it firsthand on the field. Going into high school I looked for something to do, so I wanted to give wrestling a try. My luck was cut short when I had my surgery on my arm. After 3 months of rehabilitation, or as I call it being a couch potato, I was still on watch and I couldn’t really do much work with my arm. I actually wouldn’t wrestle until my senior year in high school. Freshman year ended and I had nothing to do over the summer until one vacation my Uncle Jose came to me and asked me if I wanted to try going to a BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) with him. He and other 2 cousins of mine had been doing it for a while and they wanted me to get in on it. He told me it was somewhat similar to wrestling and I would like it. He was right, I went with him to a noon class and something in me clicked. For the rest of the summer I went to every class on the schedule. I went to every noon class and afternoon class, I could never get enough. What I love about it is that it’s different, it’s untraditional. For example, Karate forms have not changed for the thousand years since its development. I love the fact that BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) will never be written in stone. BJJ will constantly evolve. Martial arts has become so big that I got my younger cousin, little brother, my aunt and even my own mother training, and they love it just as much as I do.
What do you teach at Pura Vida BJJ & MMA and tell us about your expertise in it:
I have been a helping hand with the children’s classes long before I was officially made an instructor. In January of 2015 I received my blue belt and became an assistant instructor on the Pura Vida kid’s team. I like the science that is in every technique and I enjoy going through it step by step every time we practice it. The science in BJJ fascinates me. My coach sees it as a set of sheet music and turns it into a beautiful symphony of sounds, but I see it as a chemical reaction. If you add all the right elements to a move like you would the ingredients to a formula, you get a successful match result like when you get a good chemical reaction and you get a beautiful glow or a loud explosion. Its one thing to learn and another thing to teach BJJ. It’s a beautiful thing to teach what you love. But on the other hand I like to learn, and I always practice at what I need work on. I will also try to incorporate BJJ with anything. That’s what makes it much more interesting. Especially MMA. I train with the MMA team and learn new stuff there as well. It works for my style. The more I learn, the more I can teach to my students and watch them grow, just as Jake and Zak have done for me.