Michael Liera Jr is one of the best purple belts in the world and has been collecting medals everywhere he has competed. The student of Andre Galvao talked with BJJEE.com about how he got started, his trainig regimen at Atos San Diego and his plans for 2013:
1. Hi Michael, can you please introduce yourself to the BJJ Community of Eastern Europe?
My name is Michael Liera Jr and I currently am a purple belt under Andre Galvao with team Atos. I am a 2x Pan American Champion, European Champion, World Champion in both gi and nogi, and 6x IBJJF American National Champion.
2. What’s your Jiu-Jitsu story?
I started Jiu Jitsu with my dad in 2006 when I was 12 years old. We were first invited to a Jiu Jitsu school by a friend and at the time we had no idea what it was our first impression was that it was karate. My dad and I both started that day and we have stuck with it ever since then!
3. At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted to dedicate your life to Jiu-jitsu? What are your other interest apart from Jiu-Jitsu. Do you have time to a have a normal social life with all the training and competing.
I immediately fell in love with the art, and became addicted to becoming better at it. I especially fell in love with the competing side of Jiu Jitsu right away, and I would say once I started competing at the IBJJF level I knew that this was not only going to be something that I would want to do for the rest of my life but also I would have to dedicate all of my time to if I wanted to be the best.
Before training Jiu Jitsu I enjoyed playing the guitar, skate boarding, and riding motorcycles, but ever since Jiu Jitsu took over my life I stopped everything else and just trained Jiu Jitsu. It’s even tough to maintain a social life outside of the gym because of the schedule we have at Atos, but I always make sure I have time to spend with my family and friends.
4. Have you competed/ Trained in Brazil yet?
In 2010 I placed 2nd at the Rio Open and I got to train at the original Gracie Humaita, but I have not been back since. I would like to compete in the Brazilian Nationals this year if I can get the funds to make the trip.
5. What is you training regimen like at Atos?
I arrive at Atos at 9am and I leave at 9pm. In this time my teammates and I train 2-3 times a day and we work out at Evolution Fitness at least 3 times a week. We also have at least one drilling session per day and we make sure to get good rest in between training sessions.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years I hope to have my black belt and competing at the top level. I also see myself still here in San Diego training with Professor Andre Galvao. After I retire is when I hope to open up my own school and raise champions for Atos!
7. Please tell us about the coaching style and personality of Professor Andre Galvao. What does he represent to you?
Professor Andre Galvao is honestly one of my favorite human beings. He is a role model for me both on and off the mats and he has changed my life style completely. When I first met him and started training with Atos he immediately showed me how to live as a professional athlete, but after hanging out with him for over a year and a half now he has truly shown me how to be a better person. He has given me more than I can ever repay! And he is also very dedicated as a coach to us at Atos.
8. You recently participated in the Jiu-Jitsu battle. What are your impressions from the whole experience, and the submission only format?
I really enjoyed competing at the Jiu Jitsu battle and I think the submission only format was perfect. All of the fights were very entertaining and I really hope Want Vs Need continues with these events.
9. If you want to thank somebody or sponsors, feel free
First of all I’d like to thank my family and friends for supporting me in the pursuit of my dreams! I’d also like to thank Professor Galvao, everyone at Atos, and everyone at EvolutionATR.com fitness I couldn’t have done anything with out them. And of course I’d like to thank my sponsors Shoyoroll and JiuJitsuFactory.com for all of their support. AND THANK YOU GOD!!!
10. Thanks Michael and all the best!
Thank you BJJEE.com for the great interview!
Michael Liera Jr.