Guest Post by Gabrielli Benacquisto

Gabrielli Benacquisto is one of our youth students at Relson Gracie CT. At just 11 years old, he is highly motivated, focused, and skilled with respect to our sport. He loves to compete and has taken home many medals in the (almost) two years that he has been training with us. Here is a blog post he wrote about his experience:

My mom signed my brother and I up for BJJ and told us we had to stay with it one year before we could stop. At first it was a lot and I didn't think I would be any good.
I was only going for a short time before I got a [non-BJJ-related] concussion from my cousin. The Dr. told me I could not go to class for two weeks. That made me very upset. This is when I realized how much I enjoyed coming to class. That was a long two weeks but I couldn't stay away so I would come and take notes. When by Dr. cleared me that is when I realized I never want to stop.
BJJ has become an outlet for me. All the stress I have with my illness and anything else in my life when I come to class that all goes away. When I step off the mat those things are still there but they feel like things I can now deal with. BJJ taught me that nothing is ever out of reach. If you work hard enough and put 100 percent into something you get the result you want. This has taught me that this applies not only on the mat but in my life. BJJ taught me if I lose a match you do not give up. You go back and train harder and try again. The same goes for everything else in life. I will not always get what I want but if I stay with it and work I can always change the outcome.
BJJ has not only made me stronger physically, but mentally. It has not only taught me what I learn on the mat. I can apply the same values in my everyday life.

Thanks for helping with the blog, Gabe! Keep up the good work.