Hey Kristian first of all mate congratulations on the recent success of your latest instructional dvd, and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to have a chat with us here at Open Guard.
Kristian would you like to take a little bit of time to introduce yourself to our Australian readers, tell us about your journey so far and your plans for the future.
Sure. My name is Kristian Woodmansee. I currently reside in San Diego, California where I train full time at Atos HQ under Andre Galvao. I wear a brown belt, I love teaching, and I live the true Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle.
With such a busy schedule with training, competing and coaching how to do you plan out your week and keep yourself motivated to compete at the highest level?
I am a huge mental fighter, I think jiu jitsu itself is easy but staying focused and positive is the challenging part. For me I have to live mentally in a balanced and happy environment, that is where I thrive. I always plan my goals for individual days for the next week when it comes to training and teaching. I find small goals on the mat build my confidence and gives me momentum. For teaching I am always prepared with lesson plans so the students are getting the best I have to offer, I take instructing very seriously. When everything falls into place is when I become focused and ready for compeition.
What type of training if any do you do off the Mat that either is directly for your jiu Jitsu or just personal enjoyment?
If I am off the mat I am either eating or sleeping. I havent had much free time the past couple of years in terms of doing something non jiu jitsu related. I like to keep myself busy so I stay focused. You wont see me doing something that doesnt directly contribute to getting better at jiu jitsu, on or off the mat.
A lot of people have their idols, who they base their game of, if you have anyone in particular who do you model the foundations of your game?
I have many idols, a majority of which I am proud to say are my teammates, but I dont model myself or want to be like anyone else. I see people do certain things and it does impact me in a way that I may want to incorporate it into my game, but everything is my own. I dont want people to watch me fight and see someone else, I want them to see me. If I had to list idols it would be Liera Jr, Rolando Samson, JT, and the list goes on. Everyone here impacts me in a positive way, it is an amazing family.
Apart from those mentioned above who are your biggest influences both locally and internationally?
My family back home hands down are my biggest influence. I have an amazing support system, my three brothers are all successful in life in so many ways and it inspires me a lot. They talk about making a difference in the world and I am just wrestling a bunch of sweaty guys, it all makes sense to us though. My mom and Dad are super supportive as well. At first neither of them were a fan of what I was doing but now my Dad wont shut up about it. Feels great and I strive to make them all proud.
When you first started training BJJ too now how have you seen the sport as a whole grow and in particularly the competition scene?
A lot has changed, I have been training for 8 years and a I see a lot has changed. I personally think the sport needs a lot more in ways but it is slowly evolving into what ever it will be which is awesome. Sport jiu jitsu is getting bigger by the year, more events are being created, prize money is being awarded, it is all a blessing.
You train under Professor Andre Galvao at ATOS HQ in San Diego, how did you find yourself here?
I have bounced around a bit in my career, all with the intent of bettering myself in the best ways possible so I changed academies a few times. For this specific situation I was actually living in Las Vegas training and teaching at Drysdales academy but things just weren’t working out. I told myself to not settle and acquire what I thought I needed to be the best in the world. I sat down with Andre at HQ before worlds in 2014 and at the end of the conversation it was beyond clear to me that I had to be here.
The growth of BJJ is phenomenal down here in Australia as it is worldwide, what do you put the growth of the sport and in particular the spectator side of the sport down to?
I think it is getting bigger and spreading because of technology. It is nothing new but it is just experiencing what everything else goes through in terms of exposure. You have events streaming live, techniques being shared on youtube, people traveling to share their jiu jitsu knowledge, it all adds up.
What would you tell someone who is sitting on the fence contemplating their first step into their own BJJ journey?
Jump. Jiu jitsu has changed my life and given me incredible experience that I use everyday to be happy.
What do you wish you were told when you first started your journey, and is there any advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you did and vice versa?
I feel very fortunate for the path I have had thus far, I don’t wish I changed anything because it’s just not who I am. I sometimes think what would be different if I came to Atos sooner, or if I marketed myself better earlier on but you live and learn. I would definitely tell people to stay open minded, be a sponge but stay humble when it comes to decision making, and always be happy.
On the advice front if you could go back to day one on the mats and tell anything to your white belt self what would it be and why?
“You are going to have the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. You will want to quit and be unsure at different forks in the roads but you make the right decisions.”
Other than the growth of your personal brand and your competition goals what can we expect next from Kristian Woodmansee?
I am going to focus on me for a bit and get back to basics in terms of my happiness. As I write this the current plan is to not compete any more as a brown belt and focus on training and giving back to my students. I am going to get back into MMA in my competition down time and continue to travel teaching seminars all over the world. When the time is right, make a big impact in the black belt division in IBJJF and I will be spending a lot of time getting ready for 2017 ADCC’s.
Anything else you would like to add mate?
Thanks for having me and not asking bad questions! Appreciate the support and your time. Thanks to my sponsors; Hyperfly, BreakBJJ, OCIndustries, 3Fu3l, UnscaredINC, Moskova, HookSweep, StrikeMVMNT, and KEENANonline. Come into Atos HQ some time and lets train!
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to have a chat with us here at Open Guard it’s a pleasure to have you with us. We look forward to your highly anticipated tour down under.