" Make sure you're doing what you love. Dont live your one life making money to pay bills to keep living a life you don't love. Many live this way, thinking of excuses to say to people as to why they can't follow thier dreams. Don't be that person! " Nicholas Bohli
We had a chance to catch up with Nicholas Bohli, a tough as nails BJJ purple belt who trains at AOJ under the famous Mendes brothers and reps VHTS all the way!
So Nicholas tell us a little about yourself, age, BJJ rank, where do you train and why did you start training?
I'm 24 years old and I am a purple belt competitor and coach under the Mendes Brothers at Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy. I always liked martial arts when I was a kid. I just never knew it was jiu jitsu that I wanted to do until I saw how dominant it was in the UFC. The first time I felt it, I knew it was something that I had to learn.
So you train at AOJ under the Mendes bros. tell us a how that started?
I actually started my training in Baltimore with a small team. I realized that if I wanted to be a world champion, I needed to train with the best. The best in my weight division at the black belt was Gui Mendes and his brother, Rafa Mendes, was the best at the weight division above. So my wife and I packed up after I graduated college and drove to Costa Mesa, CA. Now I'm here! And what a life changing journey it has been...
Do you have a favorite submission or sweep?
My favorite submission is a One-handed Rear Naked Choke from Crucifix and my favorite sweep is the Overhead Sweep from De La Riva Guard.
Do you have a Kriptonite submission or sweep (that submission that you're always caugt in)
I hope I dont have any of those... Hahaha. Maybe my training partners would know. I train hard and try not to keep falling down the same holes.
Favoirte training partner aka "nemesis"? (the one who knows your game)
I love rolling with guys of all ranks and sizes. There are a lot of different style at AOJ from guys that have moved from all over the world to train here. I like to experience as many of those styles as I can. I think that prepares you better for competition. But my friend and rooster weight world champion training partner, Taku Ishii is always one of my first matches to start the training day. He's a modern day samurai.
Yoga, strength training, swimming, running? What do you to besides BJJ, either just for fun or to better your BJJ?
In terms of supplementary training for BJJ... I think strength training and and taking care of your body after practice (stretching, foam rolling etc.) are things that can let you train harder and stay injury free. But jiu jitsu, by itself, does a good job of molding the body in a healthy way. If you want to get good at something, you need to do more of that thing.
Most of the coaches train all day at AOJ from drilling in the morning and competition class afterwards. Then teaching the kids classes and training again at night. So there's little time for much else during the week. But we enjoy the occasional barbeque on the weekends to relax!
What's your favorite music to pump you before a comp?
Wu-Tang Clan! Again and again, baby. Haha. Any good hip-hop... old school or new. The Roots, Mos Def, Jay-Z, OutKast to name a few.
You're spondored by VHTS, tell me what's great about them and what things do you like/love?
I've been part of the VHTS team even before I came to California to train at AOJ. Gi Tak, the founder, has supported me so much on my journey, through my ups and downs. I can't thank him enough.
Gi has a unique approach to design that I've never seen in any other gi and apparel company. For a while, a lot of companies were trying to copy other big BJJ gi brands. But Gi wanted to do something bold, something that strayed from the beaten path. And people love his company for that. I'm excited to be trying out the new G1 gi thats dropping soon! (now avialable for purchase!)
Any last words of wisdom?
The mind breaks way before the body does. And it's my job to train and compete until that no longer applies to me.
Don't forget to keep up with Nicholas on Facebook and Instagram!! @nickbohli