Van and I started teaching purely by accident. Shaolin would ask us to help out with a new student, “can you show him Americana”, and we gladly would. Americanas turned into how to get mount, which turned into how to pass the guard, and later why you have to pass in the first place. It was a puzzle, really.
Thinking back, we worked backwards. Thinking deeper and deeper, until we were forced to think on conceptual and strategical levels of the art. It’s more than just random techniques and moves. It’s more than just giving people a workout.
Eventually, we started covering classes for Shaolin while he was gone, and eventually became his assistant instructors and running classes and privates regularly.
Slowly venturing out, I was running a class for my huge friend and mentor Julio out of Omni Martial Arts in Astoria, and more recently took over the BJJ program in the world famous Cobans Muay Thai Camp. Alongside me, Van was running his own program in the UFC gym in soho.
Now, together with Marshall and Maurice, we are running and building Masterskya collectively and things are very different. We have more responsibility than ever.
Before, we would just teach one hour a day, and there were many other instructors and we were a small part of something big.
Now, together, we are building a team. A community. A camaraderie.
Although we are a tiny school in bushwick, Brooklyn, we are a team and a community of like minded, positive individuals. We came to the realization that the students deserve much more than just a sweat. Much more than weight loss and how to do an arm bar from the mount. Much more than a fun time rolling. They deserve the commitment from the instructors and peers to support one and other and grow together.
Come to class often. Help out around the studio. Grow it, help your fellow training partners. See how you can improve your own mental and physical health, because the more you improve, the more others around you will — but only if you pull them up alongside you.
Together we are something huge.
From the coaches at Masterskya, we thank you. Nothing goes unseen, and no good deed goes forgotten. See you on the mats 🙂