Michael, Mike, coach, or professor as most of us call him is a father of 4, friend to many, and badass jiujitsu coach. I've trained under some really cool people Like 10th Planet's Kendell Madden the same time frame he was training Shane Carwin for the Brock Lesnar UFC heavyweight title bout or James Sisco, former kickboxing world champion and martial arts hall of famer.
Mike is right up on par with these dudes and anybody that wanted world class grappling training from a real jiujitsu blackbelt, will do good under Mike. His students are always killers at competitions and usually take home the W.
Mike helped me a lot outside of Jiujitsu. When I was my grandmother's caregiver during the daytime and struggled to work / make ends meet. Mike got me a job throwing newspaper's at night so I could take care of my grandma in the daytime.
Here is his summarized story in his own words -
"September being Childhood Cancer Awareness month, I sit back and think of my journey.
I first started in 1999 in Lynbrook Long Island. I moved there to go to Nassau Community College. I started my first class with Matt "The Terror" Serra. At the time he lived Rodrigo Gracie. I thought it was soo cool... I was in awe of him. About 1.5-2 later I moved... that's when I met Rogerio "Tatu" Taborda... He is my mentor..my professor. He awarded me black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. During those years... I trained Sambo and Muay Thai Kickboxing under my friend James Simrell... another amazing grappler, and striker...also an amazing friend and Jeweler... we used to laugh about how the man who would choke us unconscious and punch us in the face would go home and make beautiful fine pieces of jewelry at night.
As the years go by I have my family... still training and very happy...my daughter.. my first born gets diagnosed with Brain cancer... I stopped training and dedicate my time to be with my daughter and family. After about 7 months in the hospital we are back home ans chemo is starting. I need a job that would be flexible.. with the support of my wife at the time she suggest open a school. That was the birth of School of Combat Arts. After the death of my daughter we decide to move...we moved to florida.. Now living in florida our team is still going strong... we have a small school and I meet some amazing friends and students. But life throws some curve balls and it's never easy... Divorce... sucks and is sad.. but luckily for me I have some amazing friends who support me and who are always there. I am so grateful for the people that I have met and to those that I have lost through this journey so far... even if we don't see each other everyday... or anymore... I still love and care about you. You helped mold me into the person and helped grow this thing that I have dedicated my life to. "
If you're ever in Northwest Florida and want to train, go give Mike a visit at The School of Combat Arts in Niceville. Fight.TV salutes you Mike and your love of jiujitsu!