(l t r) Stephen Kamphuis w/ Prof Fabricio

What initially inspired you to get involved with martial arts and particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
The boxing gym I was training in closed down , the Judo dogo was sold, I tried Hapkido and did not find it suitable. Then I had heard their was a Jiu Jitsu school down the road . I had never heard of BJJ and assumed it was Japanese Ju Jitsu. I thought with a back ground  in Judo and Boxing maybe it would be a good sport for me.
Share with us the beginnings of your academy/gym. Who was/is the primary teacher and how large a student body was there?
My Instructor in BJJ is Anthony Lange from Australia , but with Team mates like Anthony Persoh and Elvis Sinosic they also had a great influence on me.  In Brazil my Instructor is Master Fabricio. I started with just one student Archie Celebre, and even when he turned up on the wrong day we trained.
What were the major hurdles of starting an academy/gym and do those same challenges exist today or have they been replaced with new ones?
I think many people find BJJ just to hard for them, they prefer a non contact sport or martial art such as non - sparring kickboxing . Rent costs and the initial set up takes a long time to recoup. It takes time to build a core group of students.
What keeps you inspired after so many years?
My students , my friend BJJ / Judo Black Belt John Baylon, the enjoyment that comes from teaching kids, seeing students develop and grow in BJJ and life and the desire to keep competing.
What advice do you have for other academy/gyms just starting out?
Start small and do not expect it to be an overnight success. Make sure your heart is in it, you must enjoy teaching and sharing information with others. Most importantly make sure you enjoy every class you teach, others will also.

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