We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Sierra and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
The value of suffering is something most people would avoid embracing. However in Jiu Jitsu, through training we are taught how to push through the suffering, not shy away from it.

We train a martial art that uses leverage and technique to control and submit our opponents. Through this training we are put into uncomfortable positions that slowly build up our tolerance to uncomfortable and suffering positions.

In short, Jiu Jitsu helps you suffer and mastering the art of suffering is so important in today’s world. There’s a lot of stress and suffering in every individual’s life, there’s no exception to that. Training Jiu Jitsu has taught me to value “suffering”, understanding it’s going to get better as long as I keep doing my best.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that has literally changed my life. Before I started training I was 205 lbs and suffered from social anxiety. At first I thought learning Jiu Jitsu would help me be more confident. I assumed that learning how to beat people up was the goal, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The first thing I learned was humility, this in itself was a bit overwhelming since I had fooled myself into thinking size and brute strength was enough. I was manhandled by smaller men, women and even some teenagers. At that moment I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu, here I was getting smashed and quitting… and I ABSOLUTELY loved it. Sure I was losing all the time, but eventually my panic under pressure got controlled.

I went from anxiety in my everyday life, to having the ability to breath and control my panic in any situation. I’ve lost over 60 lbs and of course I gained the ability to defend myself, but the physical health benefits are more of a positive side effect of the mental health benefits I get from training Jiu Jitsu.

Training Jiu Jitsu is amazing for your overall health. Life changing stuff.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We took our oldest daughter to Meow Wolf and it was mind blowing! If you like good food then hit up south Denver, they have some amazing food trucks, tacos for days!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The saying “It takes a village” is true on so many levels, and maybe a little bit more true in our little story. First and foremost we’d like to shoutout God. Without him none of this is a possibility. We’d also like to shoutout our family, they have sacrificed so much in our pursuit of this dream, not only are they our motivation, but they are our purpose.

Last but not least we’d like to thank Professor Tony Basile for his mentorship, Grayson Construction for their amazing efforts in building our school and all of our students for trusting us to lead them down this amazing journey.

Website: www.NEJiuJitsu.com

Instagram: @NEJiuJitsu

Facebook: @NewEraJiuJitsu

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