Some people know what they want from the very beginning. Our second degree black belt, Michael Cusi is no exception. After watching the UFC Night of Champions with Royce Gracie, where he discovered the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started at Roy Harris' academy in August 2000. Ten years later, he earned his black belt from Harris himself. Cusi shared with us that BJJ positively changed his life. He gained a stronger self-confidence, made a lot of valuable friendships, and he learned a special kind of discipline and hard work from training for competition. Because of the impact the sport made on Cusi, he always knew he wanted to continue helping others improve their lives through BJJ, just as it did for him. This pushed him to the decision of opening up his own academy. He opened a few actually! His schools are The Stronghold (4 schools in total all located in Southern California) one opened in 2007, another in 2011, 2013 and 2016. His BJJ academies are an affiliate of Cobrinha BJJ and a part of team Alliance. They mostly focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but they also offer classes for wrestling, self-defense, Muay Thai, and boxing.
After a 2-year layoff, Cusi competed in the Masters World and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam this year. He took silver in Masters World and he took home the gold in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, both in the lightweight division. Right now, Cusi is focusing on finishing the renovation of his headquarters Point Loma, San Diego location by January. He also plans to compete in the IBJJF Long Beach Open in November and No-Gi Worlds in December
Follow Mike Cusi on Instragram @michaelcusi_jj
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