MYMMANEWS Grappler Spotlight: Jordan Shepler- Competition Travels
Growth and development through competing assures positive results whatever goals one desires to achieve. The goal may not be reached immediately but with time and a never give up attitude hard work always has a way of paying off.
Five years of rigorous training and competition for Alvarez BJJ brown belt Jordan Shepler journey has brought him many achievements and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu traveling adventure few could ever experience. Bored with daily workouts at the local fitness gym Shepler needed a pastime to correlate with his active persona. It wouldn’t be long before he would discover Brazilian Jiu-jitsu where his endless journey of discovery would begin alongside his wife Natalia.
“Having a boxing background I didn’t know much about BJJ other than what I saw on TV, so I thought I would try it out and fell in love with the art immediately,” Shepler told MyMMANEWS. Since there are so many aspects to the game of jiu-jitsu, I never want to stop learning.”
Part of Shepler’s learning process was taking the lessons he learned on the mat and putting them to the test in competition against other grappling practitioners. One small competition try-out in the Lone Star state would soon expand taking him on a BJJ tournament tour across the globe testing his skills at the highest level vast of different competitors while accumulating many memorable experiences along the way.
“Going to new places is always exciting because from the moment I step foot at the airport, it’s going to be a great experience,” he said. “For example, when we arrived in Tokyo two years ago, the flight was already a few hours late so the airport was about to close. We didn’t know that the subways were also shut down for the day; luckily we got the last bus into the city. On the way we found the best noodle bowl stand under a bridge. We did make it to the hotel finally, but just all the little things that happen during trips are as memorable as being atop the podium.”
Sightseeing all over the world, the Alvarez BJJ representative widespread of traveling had its share of memorable moments. However there is prime reason he boards the plane in the first place and that is to compete making his training in the gym meaningful. Competing has without question brought this traveling competitor his share of highs and lows.
Shepler experienced many low points in his early tournament endeavors which put him in an uncertainty of his role as a competitor. This situation is a common occurrence for anyone chasing goals because after all there is no straight line to achieve success. Turning things in his favor, Shepler’s consistency allowed his to push through these mental hurdles finding himself on top of the podium placing Gold in many tournaments at the world and international level.
“Achieving success in jiu-jitsu is sometimes a rough road. The first year in blue belt was horrible for me. I think it was seven competitions in a row all across the country from the Houston Open to Pans to the Rio Open and everything in between in the first round. On the way back from Rio, we stopped in Nevada for the Vegas Open. I said to myself if I performed poorly there, it was time to hang it up for competition. Maybe it was the training in Rio but something clicked, and I took first in my weight and second in the open. From there on I set my training schedule to 10 times a week, Strength and Conditioning, and nutrition to perform at my best for every competition I entered.”
Life with a purpose one can never be bored pushing for contentment. Overcoming hardship, meeting new people, and traveling all over the world competition has played a positive role in changing Jordan Shepler’s life. Far from hanging up his competition Gi there are still many challenges and experiences out there to tackle in the world of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Shepler is looking forward to what the future holds which includes accomplishing goals outside of BJJ, spreading jiu-jitsu knowledge to others, and welcoming a future black belt world champion into the Shepler household.
“I am planning on attending physical therapy school next year once my bachelor’s degree is completed. When the schooling is done, I want to open a physical therapy practice and possibly have my own jiu-jitsu academy. Also my wife and I will be welcoming a future female black belt world champion into the world in September.”
Jordan Shepler’s Special Thanks: “I want to first thank my wife Natalia for being my biggest fan and pushing me constantly. My coach Daniel Alvarez for always believing, supporting, and traveling the world with me. Bruno & Rico Bastos for being great leaders and allowing me to be part of a great association. All of my teammates at Alvarez BJJ that share the mats with me daily. My parents for helping me out through school so I can complete my dreams. Mike Calimbas for taking amazing photos. Also I would like to thank my sponsor Hyperfly for recently adding me as a supported athlete based on my competition stats. A big Thank You Monta Wiley for getting this interview set up.”
You can visit and learn more about Alvarez BJJ at http://www.alvarezbjj.com/