We’d like to introduce you to Nathan Malloy, who we all know as the pint size ninja that reads on the ring, and gets to live with our instructor (and his step-dad) Pedro Sierra. Nathan is eleven years old and has been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for almost six years; he is a first degree orange belt and has competed upwards of ten times. He has taken first place on numerous occasions, and while he admits that he gets nervous for competitions he states that, “Once you get in it, you can’t get out, so you work through it.” (Pretty wise advice for the adults that are nervous to compete!) Nate’s favorite submission is the rear naked choke and his favorite position is the rear mount, he concedes that he succumbs to the triangle choke more than he would like (he has a tendency to escape to the wrong side.)
Watching the UFC is something that Nate does when he “doesn’t have anything better to do.” Chuck Lidell is his favorite fighter, and in his opinion, he’s almost as good as his hero, Chuck Norris. He’d like to earn his black belt, and says that he asks Pedro questions at home, but Pedro cheats at home, “He tickles and punches.” Nate candidly tells me how much he enjoys learning from his instructors (Camrann Pacheco, Rob Handley, and Ricky Bax,) but says that all men vacillate between being strict and fun, “which isn’t bad, it’s just the truth.” He has attended seminars with Grand Master Flavio Behring, and enjoys them a lot. Don’t expect any family secrets from Nate, he informed me that he won’t show his friends Jiu Jitsu, because he wants to know how to beat others up, not the other way around.
Nathan is the funniest eleven-year old that I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking with, albeit, he’s one of the funniest people I’ve met, period. He seems wise beyond his years and possesses a vocabulary that should shame most adults. He would like to go to MIT and wants to become an inventor when he’s older. He tells me that he’ll do whatever it takes to become an inventor and get into his dream school, including continuing to play the violin. Team sports and the like aren’t among his favorite things to do, but he loves to read (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Demonata,) plays video games, and listens to fantastic music (Zeppeling, Dragonforce, Tenacious D, and Black Sabbath.) All in all, he’s only eleven, but he reminds me of that hip/smart guy that you wanted to hang out with in high school.
Realistically he proclaims that he doesn’t know if he’ll compete in BJJ Competitions when he’s older, but he did share with me his personal motto for the sport, “First the head, then the heart; First ya think, then ya do. It’s like chess, you have to think about it before you move, “ I don’t know many people who can sum up the sport better.