By Matthew F (Age 12)
Since I was six, I have been doing Jiu-Jitsu and throughout that time I have met many talented and well respected people. For the past two years I have been doing my training under Matt Jubera who has been a huge inspiration for a lot of people including myself. In my interview with him, we talked about many things including his upbringing, aspirations and accomplishments.
The very first question I asked professor was, “How old were you when you first started martial arts?” His response was, “I was in 4th grade and my mom did Judo when she was an FBI agent, that’s where the interest really started.” From there, he started doing Tae Kwon Do in the 4th grade even though he wished that he had been in Judo. After that I asked him, “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?” He said, “There was no career in Jiu-Jitsu at that time in Michigan, so I was very into software and wanted to be a programmer and do software development.” He really liked it back then and still to this day enjoys it. Professor was programming video games in high school and was very good at it. That is what he’d be doing if he wasn’t doing jiu-jitsu as a profession instead. Professor didn’t start to do wrestling until the 8th grade and formally Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu until he was 18, and he said there was no one who had a black belt in jiu-jitsu in Michigan. He said, “the highest belt was a purple belt,” then after all that we started to go into who his biggest influence was. Xande Ribiero is the biggest influence of his career, but there have also been several mentors along the way that he got a lot of tips and tricks from, like Korbett Miller and Amal Easton. Most schools didn’t have kids programs at the time. Korbett Miller showed him how to run the school the right way, out in Kirkland Washington. Xande and Saulo Ribiero are the biggest influences as far as actual BJJ goes. He won several tournaments starting when he was a white belt at 18, but the bigger ones with the best competitors in the world, started in the WORLDS in 2003 when he made it to the quarter finals. The biggest win, was as a purple belt at the 2006 Pan Am tournament and he knew that he could hang with the best people. After all of his success including being a black belt with two stripes, he started to work on opening a gym of his own. I then asked what his absolute favorite thing about jiu-jitsu was, he said his favorite thing about it is that, “you always keep improving, it’s human chess and you have to think and use your mind and your body. Every day is different and it required 100% focus or else you can’t grow.” He includes that it’s meditative and he enjoys teaching young kids. “These kids are athletic and have great minds and I get to work with them at their age, teaching work ethic, self defense and building confidence” he explains. He gets to be apart of a great community that is looking to grow. If there was an offside chance that he couldn’t teach jiu-jitsu he would love to do computer programing and software developing.
Although it seems like he might have done it all, there are still things he wants to accomplish, There are people like Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia that he always wanted to train with. Beyond that, it’s all coaching goals and helping the youth program grow up to be great.
After this interview I understand a lot more about the hard work that goes into jiu-jitsu. Not only that, but Professor Matt Jubera is a very good and well rounded jiu-jitsu fighter, coach and person, and I think a lot of people should look up to him like I do.