Jesse “The Bulldog” Santos
Forget what you’ve heard; Krav Maga is not all about kicking people’s @$$es and getting ripped. I mean, punching your (padded) training partners in class is basically the most fun thing ever, but really, that’s not what Krav Maga is about about. You catch my drift?
Here’s what makes Krav Maga so amazing…
Krav Maga teaches you that you have the right, the ability, and the worthiness to fight for your own wellbeing.
It makes you reach beyond the limits of what you thought you were capable. Just ask Jesse…
Jesse rules. Here’s why.
Once upon a time, there was a dude named Jesse Santos who lived his life NOT as a badass. Hard to imagine, right? But it’s true! A couple of years ago, Jesse got fed up with feeling like crap about himself. He didn’t like how he felt, he didn’t like the way he looked, and he REALLY didn’t like not being able to do the things he wanted to do. Sucks, right?
But here’s the thing… Jesse was like, “Screw living a sucky life!”
At first, his plan for getting awesome was a little bit less developed than it is now. Like a lot of people, Jesse focused on just plain ol’ losing weight as his primary mission, as opposed to, say, becoming an international super-spy. His inner badass was just waking up… give him some time!
Jesse’s inner badass came busting out as soon as he saw Lions Krav Maga on Facebook!
OK, it didn’t happen exactly like that, but I like to think it did.
In real life, Jesse thought he’d check it out but still felt a little nervous… Jesse’s inner Bulldog looked a bit more like this at the time…
But, he took a chance (which we all know is pretty badass) and signed up for a trial Krav Maga class. And to be clear, taking a chance like this was no small thing for him. To say that Jesse is a little bit hard on himself is like saying that John Wick was only a little bit focused.
Plus, Jesse’s super shy. Growing up, if he had to speak to new people, Jesse would hide, and sometimes when he’d try to speak, he’d stutter. Jesse loves people and always wants to make new friends, but being shy made that difficult. He just doesn’t always see what we all see, which is a bummer, because, as I mentioned before, he rules.
He knew Krav Maga class would mean punching and sweating in front of strangers, but he assumed that all these strangers would look like this…
I mean, anyone would be terrified to walk into a new gym if they thought it would be full of GSP lookalikes!
But, Jesse’s a boss, so he didn’t let fear stop him. He recognized that it was time to be brave and to try.
At first, Jesse was quiet and nervous in class. He didn’t think he’d ever be able to do what his instructors were teaching. He didn’t think he’d make friends. But his instructors kept telling him to come back. The instructors at Lions Krav Maga seemed to really care about Jesse, so he kept coming back.
After a few classes, Jesse saw that his technique was improving. He was able to perform strikes that at first seemed impossible to him. He started taking pride in his body because of what it could do instead of just how it looked.
Also, he started making friends. You make friends pretty dang quickly when you’re only inches away from a person’s face, trusting each other not to actually hurt each other while learning to strike and defend. He met people with all sorts of bodies and backgrounds. He learned that Krav Maga was for everyone, not just “buff dudes,” and specifically, Krav Maga was for him. He stopped worrying about how his classmates saw him and instead filled his mind with how to be a good training partner. He cared about their progress as much as his own, and he improved rapidly.
In June, it was time to test for his first Practitioner Rank. He thought it was going to be the most physically difficult thing he ever attempted, and he was right. It was.
Weight loss? Trying to look a certain way? Those things didn’t matter anymore. What mattered to Jesse wasn’t becoming “less” by being smaller, it was time to become MORE! More confident. More empowered. More skilled.
These days, Jesse is training to be a Krav Maga instructor. He’s a happier, warmer, more fully realized person who will take those big chances and let himself become more than he ever thought possible. He’s refusing to let being shy stop him. He’s going for it.
Jesse fights for his dreams.
And if you know Jesse at all, you know that he’s gonna win.