Name: Trey Pratt
Hometown: Montrose, CO
Sport: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)
Social Media: IG @just_trey_bjj
1. Why did I first choose my sport?
Joe Rogan’s early podcasts made me want to start BJJ. The way he talked about how much fun it was and how it could shape your body and mind inspired me to start.
2. Why do I continue to play my sport?
I continue BJJ because there’s always something to learn or perfect. When you think you have everything figured out in grappling or life Jiu Jitsu has a way of revealing your shortcomings if you’re paying attention.
3. If I could achieve anything I wished for in my sport, what would it be?
My ultimate dream is to achieve a Black Belt in BJJ & open an academy of my own. I enjoy coaching all age levels but I have a passion for coaching kids and teens. I also want my academy to start a foreign exchange program with Brazilian/Latin American kids who do BJJ so that both North and South American kids have a chance to exchange culture, learn languages & make connections that could improve their grappling and lives significantly.
4. What are the physical things I do really well in my sport?
Most people struggle with staying calm under pressure and with the endurance aspect of grappling. This has always been something that I have taken pride in focusing on in my journey. When someone is trying to choke you, you’re breathing hard, your muscles are tired and you want to give up; these are the moments where you can decide how to live. Submit, fight out of it calmly or go to sleep. When confronted with those options in those circumstances, I try my best to fight calmly until I get out or submit by tapping out and thanking my opponent for pushing me to my limits.
5. What are the mental things I do really well in my sport?
Mentally I approach Jiu Jitsu as a way to improve as a martial artist but if it’s not spilling into my “real life” in a positive way I reflect. It’s awesome to train your body but if you are allowing your mind to wander freely and you allow your emotions to control you, you’re missing the whole point of BJJ and martial arts in general.
6. How physically fit/strong do I need to be for my sport?
This is a tricky question in BJJ. At the highest levels of competition if you’re equally skilled, size plays a major factor. But Jiu Jitsu in Japanese means “the gentle art” so IN THEORY when done correctly a smaller person can beat a larger person. The first person I idolized in BJJ was Marcello Garcia who’s 150lbs but would beat men who were 280lbs through technique and leverage.
7. What skills and attributes do the best athletes have in my sport?
The best skill you can possess is a passion for your improvement and the improvement of everyone you train with. If you’re constantly learning and helping those around you learn, you will grow as a person. Knowing how to learn and learning how to teach sets the best people apart.
8. What do I need to do to make sure I’m physically prepared for my sport?
Physically, BJJ is hard. It’s grappling. It’s controlling people. It’s chokes, arm locks and leg locks. But the hardest thing is letting your own ego go. When you’re being held down and someone is bending you arm or choking you; you’ll have to tap out (10’s of thousands of times in your life) and realize that you made mistakes. You have to be humble enough to tap or submit to a training partner, hungry enough to want to try again and humble enough to realize when you’re getting caught because you’re not thinking and you’re trying to be a bull in a china shop while doing “the gentle art”
9. How many hours of sleep do I need each night?
I think it depends. Recovery is important but being disciplined and waking up early is import to success so if you want both you either have to make time to sleep or make time to work. That’s the balance we all struggle with.
10. How do I make sure I get a sound night’s sleep?
I like taking a small amount of CBD before I jump into a hot shower. By the time I dry off and jump in bed I’m usually out like a light.
11. How do I know if my recovery is working?
I judge my recovery based on my understanding of my body. I know when my back is sore or that my hands need a rest because I worked them too hard. If I need the day off I’ll do a lighter exercise like cycling or walking my dogs.
12. What about sport brings me the most joy?
The thing that brings me the most joy in BJJ is watching young kids, both boys and girls, grow as humans by doing Jiu Jitsu. Seeing a tiny 4 year old human learn to do an arm bar or choke is beyond amazing. But hearing stories about them resolving conflicts at school with only their words or reading emails from their teachers about how they have evolved into a natural leader in the class who helps their classmates be kinder and gentler. I know it sounds weird but when a kid CAN fight but understands themselves enough that they would never bully someone or allow someone to be bullied in their presence you improve the world a little bit. We call these kids “sheep dogs” because they aren’t there to to hunt the wolves of the world but when the untrained are being picked on by the “wolves” of the world BJJ kids step up as sheep dogs and use their training to fend of the wolves or go get help without ever needing to fight them.
13. How important is achieving my sporting goals to me?
Achieving goals is very important to me but ultimately I want to be able to live the kind of life that I would be proud of as I die. If I never win a world championship but I am happy, teaching the sport I love and surrounded by positive people I won at life. A world championship would just be an amazing day of expressing myself to my fullest but losing also has its lessons if your ego is small enough to absorb it.
14. Where does confidence come from?
Confidence comes from being fit, enjoying life, being honest & from loving yourself fully. BJJ can make you more confident in many ways though. Once you’ve learned how to stop someone from punching you and controlling them on the ground without hurting either of you; asking for a better job or asking a person to go on a date become easier because you know you can have your own back 100%
15. What am I going to change tomorrow to make me better than I was today?
I don’t like to look at how I can “change” tomorrow. The past and the future don’t exist anymore or yet. Improve yourself today. Instead of wasting time planning tomorrow for 15 minutes, meditate, work out or find another way to improve in that moment
BJJ is an amazing sport. Most gyms have boys, girls, men and women who train at the gym. The age range for BJJ is typically 4 years old to your late 90’s (I’m dead serious google Hilo Gracie for starters). It’s a WONDERFUL way to make friends and to get in the best shape you’ve ever been in. All while learning an effective way to keep you and your family safe!