Gunnar Nelson is an MMA legend, currently competing in the UFC welterweight division.
He is also a very skilled Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete, who earned his black belt from none other than Renzo Gracie.
But did you know that Gunnar Nelson is also one of the fastest promoted people in the history of Jiu-Jitsu?
He got his black belt in just 4 years of training!
Yes, that’s right. Nelson shared the story behind it in a recent El Segundo Podcast episode with Craig Jones:
I got it after ADCC 2009…
I went back to New York and then I got my black belt from Renzo [Gracie].
nd then, I think I was training for about 4 years, I’d say… 3 years, like, didn’t leave the mats. I think it’s been about 4 years [in total].
But really it’s about the time you spend on the mats, it’s not the years.
Of course, things are different for Nelson nowadays, as he doesn’t have the energy nor the time to dedicate himself as much:
I think that, for the first two years, I was literally just in the gym. Back when I could…
Now I’m 35 and I get an hour in there [and that’s it].
There are a lot of young guys in the gym, asking you to roll and then asking you again.
And you’re like, dude. I have 3 kids, been training for 2 hours… I don’t think I can get up in the morning!