Exclusive Jonathan Burke Discusses Training Shaq And The Internet 2009: Parts Traveling

Exclusive Jonathan Burke Discusses Training Shaq and the Internet

One of the best parts about traveling around the country and training BJJ/ MMA has been the people I meet.
If someone had told me several years ago, before I began this new path in life that some of my very best friends in the world would be people who fight for a living, I would have implored you to find a new psychic. Growing up oft-bullied and shy of any conflict, my idea of a fighter was always a mean-spirited, most unfriendly sort. Somewhere along the line, though, I got the urge to get past my fears and dive into the very thing I had shied away from. I soon discovered that the people who train day in and day out leave it all on the mat and have learned a respect for one another that is hard to find in this day and age. So when I called Jonathan Burke, the owner of , and instructor to Shaquille O’Neal I shouldn’t have been surprised to find a most gregarious, well-spoken and friendly individual on the other end. Jonathan is a unique teacher out there in the BJJ community in that he’s recognized the need to remember the origins of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu he teaches, which is that it is, first and foremost, an art of self defense. In a world that has fully embraced the sport version of the art, some might find it surprising that a man who received his black belt from Royce Gracie, the man who kick-started the sport in the U.S., is conscious of this tradition. But anyone who knows Royce and has listened to him speak on the subject knows that Royce is very much a proponent of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as a practical self defense art first and foremost. To that end, Jonathan has been called on to teach Navy SEALs, Federal Air Marshals, Army Rangers, and a host of other agencies who potentially need to fight for their lives at various times. Over the years, Jonathan has developed a unique approach and broken the system into 6 discrete levels (also bearing the moniker D.E.T.A.I.N.). So when I read some negative commentary about Shaq’s April 27th Twitter, I looked into it and took pause. Shaq’s entry: I just got thru wrkn out Jon burkes Gracie orlando, 11049 w colonial blvd Wow what a wrkout,chuck lidell here I come gracieorlando.com I had to figure that a guy training for real with an instructor of Jonathan’s caliber was not likely to be deserving of the Internet forum/blogger crap getting heaped at him for what was likely an off-the-cuff, tongue in cheek comment. What better way to find out than to go ask though, right I caught up with Jon recently and here is what he had to say:
FightTicker.com: Recently a number of sports figures outside MMA have been making bold statements about doing something in the cage. It’s caused quite a backlash, but I think perhaps Shaq got caught up in that wrongly. What can you tell me about training with Shaq and his serious approach to learning the craft

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