“Today, Revolution Interviews is interviewing Mark Pushinsky.  Mark is a very technical jiu-jitsu player and physical fitness resource.  Mark can be seen at the gym during the week Monday – Thursday and the occasional Sunday open mat.

1. Firstly, Thank you Mark for taking the time to talk with us today.  What rank are you in BJJ? I’m a purple belt.  I’ve been a purple belt for about a year and a half, but most days I feel like a white belt.

 2. How long have you been training in BJJ?  I started training in October of 2005.  I started training both Muay Thai and BJJ, but once my daughter was born in 2008 I had to simplify my life and gave up Muay Thai. 

3. What motivated you to begin your BJJ journey? Well, I’ve been in to sports and exercise since I was 13or 14.  I played football in high school and college and did all kinds of stuff to try and stay in shape after college.  One day, I was watching the UFC and said to myself…”self, you should go train somewhere…I bet that’s a good workout”.  Turns out it was a killer workout, especially doing them both back to back.  The funny thing is that it’s not the workout that keeps me coming back for all these years.  It’s the people and the mental side of it.

4.  We understand you played football for The College of William and Mary, how did BJJ affect your fitness level?  Honestly, it’s a completely different kind of fitness. Football requires very short duration, super high power output, and strength. BJJ is a much longer time duration and a much lower power output, but requires a lot of stamina, core strength, and the ability for fine motor control with a really high heart rate.   Is that too geeked out…..?  More simply, I think the fitness you get from BJJ is way better, more applicable to life, and something that you can sustain for years.

5.  Training in BJJ can be physically taxing, what advice can you offer new comers in regards to keeping up with the physical pace?

Three things.  Relax, Crossfit, and eat like an athlete….just not like Michael Phelps.  There is no doubt that BJJ is physically taxing, bu twhat tends to happen to new comers is that they are trying so hard to “beat” their training partner that they make it two or three times as hard and in the process don’t learn as much along the way.  So, relax learn, get your guard passed, get submitted.  It’s part of the process and no one is going to laugh at you for “losing”.  The other piece of advice is that if you really want to maximize your mat time and you, like me, can only train a couple of times a week, then you need to find another way to build your fitness level.  I started doing Crossfit almost the same time as I started BJJ and I’ll tell you that, in my opinion, it’s the best fitness program to couple with your training.  It’s specialty is in not specializing and preparing you for anything physically.   The last is about diet.  You may or may not be doing BJJ to be a world champion, you may not even compete, but you are still an athlete and you need to fuel yourself as such.  If you eat crap, you won’t have the same stamina, you won’t recover from training, you’ll get injured more, and you won’t be able to focus as well mentally.  Of course there are exceptions to this.  There are amazing guys at this gym who eat garbage, but I’ll bet they’d be even better if they ate clean.  You can put regular gas in a corvette and it will outrun a hyndai, but if you put high octane gas in it, it will go faster and the motor will last longer……get my meaning?

6. What is your favorite aspect of training in BJJ?  There are really two.  First,  the people.  This probably sounds kind of dorky, but the folks I train with are really some of my closest friends.  Outside of my immediate family and work people, I spend more time with them than anyone else and there is a certain trust and bond that you really must build with your training partners that is unique to that relationship.  Second, it’s the mental aspect.  BJJ is like a big puzzle.  It’s a 1 million piece puzzle that you are build face down, but a puzzle none the less.  I really enjoy learning how the pieces fit together and how to make them work for me.  It’s made me calmer, a better father/husband, and more effective at work.  For those two reasons, I plan on training until I die.

7.  Why do you train at Revolution BJJ?  What are your thoughts on the training regimen there?

Loyalty first off.  I started with Eric downtown and when my daughter was born began training with Andrew because it was closer to home. I’m committed to this team and don’t plan on training regularly anywhere else. Now if Andrew and Trey move any further away…..I may have to break down and go back to Eric’s school…..but I’d still be part of this team.  Second, I have no need to train anywhere else.  Sure I’d love to go around to other schools to roll with new folks, see different perspectives, and learn new things, but I have limited training time and I get what I need here.  I get growth, a great group of folks to train with, and the butt whooping we all need occasionally to keep us humble.