My name is Nick Mavrick. I am 41 years old and have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 9 years. For much of that time, I took it for granted. I didn't honor the commitment. I was streaky. I worked for 20 years as a bartender and that took a serious bite out of the time and energy that I could devote to jiu jitsu. It also took some of my soul. I went back to school when my kids were literally babies and I became a nutritionist last year. Now, I work in a Naturopathic Medical clinic where I get to help dozens and dozens of people regain their health, their well being, and (in some cases) their sense of self-worth. I haven't quite finished school (I have one more lecture in my LAST full semester, my thesis, and a Senior Seminar). In retiring from tending bar and going to work in a clinic as (more or less) a paid intern, I took about an 80% reduction in income. I am also the father of two amazing little Jiu Jiteras, ages 5 and 7. They have been training for well over a year. Our family is a fixture at our gym and this is why the owner, Professor Eliot Marshall (of UFC fame) and GM Professor Ian Leiberman have GRACIOUSLY comped our dues for 5 of the last 6 or 7 months. My free gym time runs out in 2 days and I CANNOT ask for not one more free month for me and my daughters. I am afraid that we are going to slip into the periphery and without any hope of a major upswing in income for the next year or so, watch our skills and our connection to the sport and to the community fade away. I just got my purple belt in March after 7 years as a blue belt and finally, FINALLY my consistency and a new approach really started to pay off and I am afraid to miss any time and start to slide back.
I have been preparing for the worst. I've been looking around for where I might find some open mats...but I just want to train with my team; with my family. I don't want them to feel obligated to keep supporting me in this way. I love my gym. I love my jiu jitsu family, but I cannot ask them to do this for me.
I have seen this scholarship advertised before, but I never thought that it was for someone like me (or us): poor competition record, old guy, not much of a future or potential for fame or notoriety in the sport. As a matter of fact, as I sit here I can think of a couple of teammates that I think deserve this more than I do. It sure is worth a shot, though. I sure do appreciate the opportunity to try. So thank you.