Gold in Nanaimo!
I was first exposed (my bjj game literally;) to ITT through recently competing against Shane at the UGF’s Washington State Grappling Championship. Although I’ve had some tournament success I was thoroughly bewildered at how easily he controlled the match through solid fundamentals and I was equally impressed with the success of the whole team. I could tell right away they were doing something different and came away knowing this wouldn’t be the last time we’d see each other. Although I live 5-6 hours away north of Seattle with multiple options to train I decided to get in touch with Robert to see if I could come for a visit and see what ITT was all about.
First impression, I was immediately taken back by his generosity. We had only met briefly at UGF and communicated through email yet he offered to provide transportation to and from the ferry, let me train at ITT and stay at his place! I admit I was a little apprehensive…who does this I thought? But this was something I couldn’t pass up.
Having had the opportunity to train at a number of clubs and academies including in California, I’ve been exposed to some world class talent and teaching. To my surprise that is what I found at ITT. Rarely is a Black Belt so willing to share everything he knows. From the start Robert seemed to withhold nothing and made it evident that he takes great pride in seeing his students take what they’ve learned from him and apply it even if it’s at his expense!
Robert has traveled extensively to train with some of the best over the years and has honed his craft…acquiring the skills few have. He adeptly sees the big picture, focusing on essential fundamentals and discarding techniques that rely on strength or work only at the lower levels. Through his cerebral approach he has a keen ability to break down and conceptualize the art, but more importantly he has the ability to communicate it clearly. From day one he trains the brand new beginner and the season practitioner alike with the same goal…to beat Black Belts and take each individual to their highest potential.
Traveling to train with Robert and the Island Top Team has been one of my best investments in BJJ to date and I can’t wait to get back there. If you love BJJ and you’re on the island you need to visit, if not you need to plan a trip!