Geoff Nicholson, A Man Who Loves Jiu-Jitsu
Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art style that can benefit all kids of people. Since Gracie Barra San Clemente opened its doors in 2008, hundreds of families from south orange county have atteded our classes looking for a safe and welcoming environment, where they could learn self defense while embracing a healthier lifestyle. For some of them, the practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become an essencial part of their routines as due to its stress relieving and fitness benefits.
This week we had a chance to interview with one one of our most dedicated students and great friend Geoff Nicholson. Geoff is a purple belt and has been doing Jiu-Jitsu for 6 years. He not only practices Jiu-Jitsu, but has also become a successful entrepreneur running his business called Pacific Silk with his family. Geoff talks frequently how BJJ has positivelly afftected his personal life and career.
Let’s dive into his world and see what he has to say.
- How old are you? 42
- What is your professional background? Owner of a wholesale neckwear and accessories company, Pacific Silk.
- For how long have you lived in San Clemente? 9 years
- Tell us about your business, how did you get involved in this industry? I started working for one of the largest neckwear manufacturers back in 1998 and had a wonderful experience with them. By 2001, my industry was going through some big changes. With a combination of some luck and a lot of ignorance, my brother-in-law and I decided that it was time to go out and start our own neckwear company. I am very happy to say that we made the right decision. After 12 years in business and plenty of personal sacrifices, we have established a client base of over 600 retailers throughout the entire country.
- For how long have you been practicing Jiu-Jitsu? About 6 years.
- What is your rank? Purple Belt.
- Martial Arts is very popular among children but you clearly see benefits for yourself, why do you think adults should practice Martial Arts? I think the Martial Arts are really one of the few ways a person can be pushed to their limits physically as well as mentally. It instills confidence and promotes discipline and self-control. These are qualities of a good and happy person. In Jiu-Jitsu there is no such thing as a FINISH LINE; there are only STARTING LINES. Every new stripe, every new belt and every class is a new starting line.
- You have other hobbies such as surfing but still make Jiu-Jitsu an important part of your day to day routine, why is that? If you would have told me 6 years ago that I would one day find another hobby or activity that I loved as much as surfing, I would have said you were crazy. Yet it has happened. The Jiu-Jitsu way of life has somehow fit perfectly into my surfing lifestyle. I have always been a big fan of logic and strategy, and when you really think about it, Jiu-Jitsu is the perfect combination of logic and strategy. A physical chess match as they say. Every grip has a logical purpose; every offensive and defensive position has a logical action or counter action. The irony is, this simple logic is almost useless unless you have a strategy to go with it. Just as a mousetrap is useless without the cheese. The cheese is our strategy and the trap is our technique. There is also of course the physical fitness benefits of Jiu-Jitsu, but the physical benefits act more as a by-product of everything else Jiu-Jitsu has to offer.
- What are some of the lessons you learned on the mats that you were able to apply to business or life? There is a wise saying that goes something like this, “Those who are easily embarrassed are rarely good at anything.” How true that is!! If you are one who is easily embarrassed or fear losing, then Jiu-Jitsu is not your sport. Jiu-Jitsu has personally taught me to NOT fear losing, but to fear NOT trying. I try to apply that every day at work.
- If you could start your Jiu-Jitsu journey all over, what would you have done differently? I wish I would have started a lot sooner!!
- According to Professor Flavio Almeida, you are a fast learning, easy going, yet super tough fighter who is able to find a good balance between ambition and patience on the mats, do you see yourself that way? If so, how did you embrace such mind-set? That is very nice of Professor Flavio to say. I think the foundation for my mind-set is GRATITUDE. Without gratitude, there is no balance. I’m very grateful every time I come to class and get to learn and train with great people.
“In Jiu-Jitsu, there is no such thing as finish lines; only starting lines.” – Geoff Nicholson