We here at VHTS are very excited and happy to have this incredible athelte in our team of VHTS Ninjas, a humble, hardworking and very focused invidiual with whom we had the pleasure of speaking with. He had a lot to say about training, VHTS and the famours Marcelo Garcia, let's see what he had to say:
Name, age, bjj rank and years in BJJ
Mansher “Munch” Khera, 22 years old, brown belt under Marcelo Garcia and have been training since Summer of 2009.
How and why did you start your bjj journey?
It was the summer after I graduated high school and MMA was on the rise. I was interested in learning more about it in addition to that I enjoyed watching Pehlwani in India. I had a classmate who was training at a small MMA gym in Queens, I went to go check it out and it was pretty my history after that.
You're a common name in BJJ now because you're winning everything, talk to us a bit about what's it like to compete at a high leve, your biggest tournaments and your medals.
I think at this point in my career my biggest accomplishments would be that I’ve won NoGi worlds 4x twice in my weight and twice in absolute. I also medaled in Gi Worlds (Silver and Bronze) and Abu Dhabi Pro(Silver and Bronze). Medals I don’t really keep track of the total. The medals serve as a great souvenir to look back on of your accomplishments but I truly enjoy the feeling and rush after weeks of hard work getting your hand raised. The medal that I have my eyes on is Gi Worlds I’ve come close but fell short of my goal.
Do you change anything from when you're training on a daily basis to when you train for a tournament.
Yes, essentially I focus on picking up the intensity and doing less experimental moves. I also focus on specific situations in my mind. I.e. If I look at the clock and see its short time I will imagine that I have to score to win, or submit to win. I usually will sometimes drill more before big tournaments. I don’t like drilling but will do more drilling than usually prior to tournaments to make sure my key moves are on point. Also I’ll usually try to train extra rounds after class with anyone if I don’t drill. Essentially I drill to get the feel of the move but I’ll roll extra and only focus on trying to get that specific move which I feel sometimes is more beneficial for me then drilling.
You train with the LEGEND Marcelo Garcia, what's it like? Did you start training with him from the start? What have you learned from him, besides amazing technique?
It’s surreal because people travel miles to train with him for a day and I see him everyday, he’s in my corner for fights, occasionally grab a bite to eat. It’s funny that once you get over all the things he’s accomplished and done for the sport he’s just a normal person with a unique and funny personality. He def is a great leader and role model for all of his students. He tries instill in my teammates and I, to be good people and represenators of not only the school but of ourselves. He’s cultivating a crop of great grappler but despite that he always finds a way to keep us all grounded and not feed too much into our successes. I started out training with him when I was 17 and I feel I def wouldn’t be the same man I am today without him. Not to say I would be necessarily worst off but I feel at this point in my life I’m def more focused, humble and have a better direction of what I want to accomplish in my life than most 22 year olds I def don’t think I would be this ahead of the curve if it wasn’t for training with MG and meeting the people that I have met. Essentially I have an avenue to practice my passion and learn tools that will help not only my BJJ career but any career that I seek after my BJJ career is over.
You're now a VHTS NINJA, why did you choose VHTS and what do you like about them over other BJJ companies?
I decide to go with VHTS because like myself its young and has potential to grow into something big. I liked their vision and the opportunity to help grow a new company and local brand. I like that I can be at the forefront of this company and potential be the face of it. When people think of NIKE they think Jordan. I want people to think of VHTS and think MUNCH. I feel that this brand was the best avenue to do that with.
Any advise you'd like to give to people starting out bjj, be it profesionally or as a hobby?
My advice would be to first just enjoy it and show up. The biggest hurdle I feel in the beginning is just showing up and don’t get discouraged if your not improving. 2nd I feel it’s always great to have goals to keep you focused on improving and enjoy breaking those milestones.
What's next for Munch?
I will be teaching a seminar in Ireland in January and be competing in Europeans. Focused on staying healthy and working towards being my best for 2015 Worlds.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Just like to say thank you to my instructors (MG, Paul Scheriner, Bernardo Faria), my good friend Henrique Rezende, my teammates, and my family. Also thanks to my sponsors check them out if you haven’t already: