One year ago today marked one of the most significant milestones of my life as an athlete, a teacher and as a person. A day that I would cry like a little girl in front of many of the people I admire and love.
Roughly 12 years ago I began the journey of a lifetime under the guidance of my brother Steve Hargett, a combat veteran who was training at the time to be a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter. On November 21 of 2019, he would award me my black belt inside the academy we built together. I still get goosebumps reliving that moment.
From hot and humid Muay Thai gyms in the streets of Bangkok to Portugal in the winter time for the IBJJF European championships, this roller coaster of a ride has taken me from the highest of highs to absolute tears. Ultimately I became stronger through it all and learned about myself in ways only fighting can teach. I learned that success is for dreamers who are willing to pay the price and that limitations are for quitters with no imagination. You can always pick yourself back up and keep going no matter what, one day it will be worth it all.
Something I never predicted was that this road would lead me to be surrounded by people of great character who would change me for the better. The influence of these amazing and selfless people led to Team Hargett and Six Blades Jiu Jitsu La Quinta two programs started in the Coachella Valley that share the aim of uniting strong men and women to build stronger communities all over the world.
As a young man I desired all the fame and fortune that the world would give me. But the day I received my black belt came the understanding that no money in the world could buy what Jiu Jitsu has taught me or replace the people that are in my life because of this beautiful and deadly art. There is so much to life and this world but it is all meaningless if you don’t care for others. The fulfillment and meaning that comes with serving a purpose greater than yourself will be rife with challenge while simultaneously filled with endless joy as you will share the successes of many others. While the journey will be lonely at times, just know that lonely champions do not exist!