Visit Sport’s Joe and you’ll find that even close to twelve years after his initial 2008 match against Ryan Roberts, UFC veteran Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio still holds a spot in the top ten fastest submissions in UFC history.

This is no easy feat, so of course, neither is training with him. That said, training with Master Marcus is as rewarding as it is challenging. Training with him and the rest of his students, it’s easy to see why a UFC veteran like Master Marcus has so many wins and so little losses (all only ever lost by decision). His favorite phrase when sparring on the mat is saying “out of balance” before flipping you on your back like a turtle. One of his key strengths is his intense attention to detail, and he places a lot of emphasis on learning grips, keeping your balance, and properly distributing your weight. It’s a hellish workout for your core and will impress upon you why our center of gravity rules the art of jiu jitsu.


Another thing Master Marcus is well known for is crouching low to accumulate power. Staying close to his opponents and beneath them gives Master Marcus a great deal of leverage, and he often says that the worst thing a person can do against a grappler is get close to them.

But above all, what’s incredibly refreshing about working with one of the world’s fastest martial artists is the accountability and responsibility he teaches his students. Before coming to train at MAJJ, I had never had a jiu jitsu instructor teach me a proper foot lock. Because of this, I was incredibly nervous when going to a new gym. I didn’t know if the culture at the gyms I was visiting was too aggressive. Several times I worried about people who wanted to practice jiu jitsu as if their sparring partners didn’t have day jobs.


To this day, as someone who’s cautious by nature, I’m very wary of getting tangled up in joint locks, precisely because there are so many people who don’t practice jiu jitsu ethically, and can injure you in their selfishness.

But luckily, that’s not the case at MAJJ, and thanks to Master Marcus, I now know not only how to apply, but to defend against foot locks.

Being a decorated UFC veteran, Master Marcus has had his share of young men walking onto his mat wanting to be the next UFC champ without even the slightest idea about the positive philosophy behind martial arts.

So if you’re truly invested in the sport, make it a way of life. Fuel your day to day with the same philosophy with which you practice jiu jitsu. That of diligence, humility, and consideration for others. Your aim is to control the outcome of a situation, and control comes from self-discipline. And as with all change, the first step starts with you.

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