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Dan Darden: Keep showing up, don't quit, and you'll eventually find yourself in a good position from time to time.

One of the best parts about running a company serving jiu-jitsu players is the incredible stories we hear from our customers.

We love Dan's story because from being a fan, he is now training and enjoying BJJ. 

Gold BJJ- Dan Darden

Dan Darden

Austin, TX. Blue Belt.

Why did you first get into jiu-jitsu?

A few years back I was heavily into triathlons. I experienced a pretty bad bike crash during one of my races and ended up having bouts of vertigo for months after. I couldn't train safely so I sat around.

While I was recovering I put on about 30 or 40 lbs, I was way out of shape and pretty down about it. That's when I heard a guy at work talking about all the benefits of Jiu Jitsu. I was already a big fan of MMA and submission grappling so I decided to give it a try.

What has been the biggest obstacle in your journey and how have you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle has been figuring out my training schedule. I got the bug really bad when I started and wanted to train all the time. My body just wasn't able to do what my mind wanted.

Particularly early on I overdid it. As I've gotten more experience and learned how to train smarter, I'm able to maximize mat time and minimize the pounding on my body.

Tell us about your best (or worst) submission story.

I'm still early in my Jiu Jitsu journey so I've been submitted a ton. The worst ones for me are when I think I'm in a completely dominant position and then I can't breathe or some limb is bending unnaturally. You can't stop what you don't even know is happening.

Share one piece of advice you have for our community.

I have two big pieces of advice for new people. One, your coach and team have to be right for you. Try multiple gyms and talk to people before you sign up anywhere full time. Make sure their goals align with your own.

Two, the beginning is hard so don't get discouraged. When you're in those horrible, claustrophobic positions and can't move or catch your breath, hang in there. You're getting better just by experiencing that. Keep showing up, don't quit, and you'll eventually find yourself in a good position from time to time.

That's when it gets really fun.

You can find Dan on Instagram at @dan_darden.