About Me

Hi there.  My name is Mike Gorski (aka Big Mike).

Lots of folks say keeping a journal is a good way to help you reach your goals. I thought I’d try my hand at blogging in an effort to get better at Jiu Jitsu, and maybe help a few folks out along the way. I write about health, wellness, fitness, relationships and life in general, but mainly about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ for short).

I feel like the things I write about would be of interest to just about any BJJ practitioner, but as I'm over forty now and I tend to stick to what I know, you might find my posts of particular interest if you're an older grappler like myself... or maybe even if you just feel older.  In the words of Indiana Jones, "It ain't the years.  It's the mileage."

You may also find some of my material interesting if you're one of those do it yourself kinda folks.  You know who I'm talking about.  Maybe you go to class and learn from your instructor, but you also like to do your own research and development on the side, pouring through books and instructional videos and snapping some of those moves or strategies onto your existing game like legos.  Or maybe you don't have a school nearby and you just get together with a hand-full of buddies and roll, trying out whatever techniques you've picked up on your own.  Hey, I've been there.  You should feel right at home here.

I hope that some of my ideas and experiences will help ease your Jiu Jitsu journey, help you progress a little faster, reduce injuries, keep you healthy enough to stay on the mats, and maybe even help you squeeze just a tad more enjoyment out of Jiu Jitsu than before (if that were at all possible).

Where to start

If you're not really sure where to start you might consider checking the sidebar for my more popular posts. Or you can peruse the archives and see if anything tickles your fancy.

My Credentials

I've been practicing BJJ for over 20 years (and martial arts in general for over 30).  My credentials include:

  • BJJ Brown Belt (as of 12 June, 2021) under Dax Razzano, Bloomington, IN
  • 20+ years BJJ experience
  • 30+ years Martial Arts Experience
  • TKD Black Belt
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE), Certified Personal Trainer
  • BJJ Coach/Instructor at El Diablo Combatives, Montrose, CO

My Story

As a kid, I lived right next door to the neighborhood bully.  As a result, I got beat up on a regular basis like it was my job. In 1987 I saw Karate Kid, found a Tae Kwon Do school, and began my Martial Arts Journey.

Ten years later, I'd studied more martial arts, self defense, and "street-fighting" systems than I could count.  I picked up a black belt in Tae Kwon Do along the way, but never truly felt like I had found a reliable way to defend myself against bigger, stronger opponents.

Then in 1997 BJJ changed it all. For me, BJJ was everything I got into Martial Arts for in the first place, a truly reliable and effective way to train a little guy to beat a big guy. I was hooked! Since then I've been tied in knots by guys that I outweighed by over 80 lbs, and eventually learned to do the same to folks who outweighed me. Over the years, every time I began to feel like I knew it all, someone would come along and show me how little I still knew. The art of BJJ is so vast and so deep that there just doesn't seem to be an end to what you can learn.

In December, 2018 I finished up 20 years as a U.S. Navy Helicopter pilot and retired from active duty. Moving around every 2-3 years, combined with an often hectic operations and deployment cycle has certainly hampered my progress at times.  But thanks to the Navy, I've been able to live and train BJJ in a multitude of places all over the world. I've learned a wide variety of techniques from a wide variety of instructors. As such, I have a unique game cobbled together from bits and pieces I’ve taken from many great coaches.

As a Navy flight instructor I had to get very good at teaching physical skills and procedures. I feel like I've been able to use that experience to help me become a better Coach.

On several occasions I've been stationed in areas with no BJJ schools nearby, and started my own club. On other occasions, I was asked to coach at existing clubs.

I currently reside in sunny Montrose, Colorado.  I teach High School by day, and teach group BJJ classes at El Diablo Combatives at night. 

If you're ever in town and want to train, or if you have any questions, feel free to stop by the gym, or email me using the "Contact Me" form below.




Big Mike