Name: Phil Stenhouse
When did you start training: 2003
How did you first get interested in BJJ, and what led you to start training at GSW?
I had some friends that had started training when GSW moved into the city from Newlands and that pushed me to start. But it was also Matt, Geoff's brother who I worked with as a bouncer at the time. He used to go on and on about it and how effective it was as a martial art. He was right and the rest is history!
Can you share a memorable experience or achievement from your time training at the school?
This year is 20 years at GSW for me. Lots of characters have come and gone. There are many but Geoff getting his black belt from John and getting my own black belt.
How has BJJ impacted your life outside of the gym?
BJJ has massively influenced my work life and development around curriculum for operational safety in the police tactical world. BJJ is so practical and efficient. GSW specifically has influenced my coaching style. Personally I love the fitness and mental challenge BJJ offers, it helps balance life stress.
What advice would you give to someone new to BJJ or to our school?
When you are new, BJJ is daunting. But Chris Haueter has that great quote "It's not whos best, it's whos left" It's gonna be difficult sometimes but keep showing up even when you don't really want to. You'll get there eventually.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their BJJ?
Figure out your learning style. Turn up, get on the mats and practice. Do some strength and conditioning work, your body will thank you later
How do you balance your training and your daily life?
With a young family, time is a premium, but I'll try and get to a couple of classes a week.
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