October 26th 2016
Name – Matt Enzor
Nickname – Smash
Weight – Heaveyweight
Team – Team Link
Where are you from ?
I am from Ashford, Connecticut.
How long have you been training in Jiu Jitsu ?
I have been training for about 3 and a half years at Team Link in Enfield CT.
How did you get into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ?
I got into BJJ as a way to help strengthen by lower back. I was diagnosed with degenerated disk disease and had to stop power lifting. My doctor told me that this may be a good way to help my lower back and stay in shape.
Can you tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
I don’t have a nickname in the sport but my call sign was Smash in the military due to my love for the Hulk.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew Jiu Jitsu was the art and lifestyle you wanted to pursue ?
I don’t know if there was a specific moment. I just loved how detailed the art was and that each time I step foot on the mat I am going to learn something new.
When you decided to train and compete in Jiu Jitsu what was the reaction where your family and friends supportive ?
My son started training BJJ before I did and I saw how it was and figured I would give it a shot. My family really didn’t know much about it. Many thought BJJ was the UFC.
What is your current record ?
I don’t know my record but I know I have lost a little more than I have won.
What is your favorite submission to use in competition ?
I wanted to learn a submission that wasn’t one of the handful of common ones so I went with the Omoplata.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
I am so inspired by my son. He is able to do things at his age that I was never able to do. It amazes me some of the things he can do.
What team do you train with ?
I train with Team Link out of Enfield but I have also trained at our Ludlow, MA and Danielson, CT Link facilities. My son and I have also cross trained at Combat Fitness and Sports in Enumclaw, WA while we were on vacation.
Where and how do you like to dictate the pace of a fight ?
Being on the ground is what we do best.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter to me means something more than just winning and losing or getting tapped out during training. It is a way to look at your life, the closeness within the BJJ community, a way to bring what you learned and apply it to other aspects of your life and use what you have learned in other sports you may play or coach.
What weight do you compete at ?
I started as a super heavyweight and I currently compete at the heavyweight division. I am considering dropping more weight and becoming light heavyweight.
What separates you from other fighters and competitors ?
I think I am different because I’m not a medal chaser and I could care less about winning medals. I just like to learn and I will learn about myself once I compete against other people I never train with. I just want to get better. I will learn if I win or lose.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
At this point, where I am at, it doesn’t matter.
Who has been your toughest fight or opponent to date ?
Once I start competing more I will have a better answer for that but for now, anyone during a no gi competition.
What is your mindset going into a competition ?
My mindset is not to play the other persons game. I play mine and if they start to play theirs. I will do what I can to have them make the mistake of turning it into my game.
Who are you fighting next ?
I don’t know.
What holes or weaknesses do you look to exploit in your opponents ?
One thing I recognize in a heavyweight division is that it starts as a strength match. Both men pushing and pulling each other to test their strength. I use to do that but now I just act weak in order to have the match go my way.
What promotions will you be competing for in 2017 ?
I will see what’s in store for the 2017 season.
What do you want people to remember you for at the end of your Jiu Jitsu career ?
I want to be remembered as a person who loved the art and always wanted to learn more.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
My favorite quote…Don’t turn your head while things are bad then ask for help when things get worse.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in Jiu Jitsu so far ?
My biggest accomplishment to date is competing after a two and a half year break and taking 1st in my Gi division as a blue belt.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My instructor, coach and friend, Brian American who I also served with in the military.
Who do you think has had the biggest impact on Jiu Jitsu as a sport ?
I would have to say Rickson Gracie. I love how he is trying to get people out of the mindset of sport BJJ and back to the self-defense aspect of BJJ. Which has to do with things like pulling guard or 50/50 type stuff. At least this is from what I have read.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
My fighting style is a work in progress. I used mostly strength to beat many of my partners or competitors. I realized that as a blue belt. There needs to be more technique involved which is where I am focusing more of my game.
What drives or motivates you to step on the mats and compete ?
Watching my son compete makes me want to work harder and understand the art more. Just in case he asks me questions about a technique. I would like to help him.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I would say that I come off wrong sometimes. Being in the military for 18 years, I began talking a certain way with a certain tone that is hard to get rid of since I don’t notice it is there. So if I try to explain something, some people think something is wrong with me or I am a mean person.
When you are not training and competing what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
I love being a substitute teacher. I get the joy of teaching but not having to plan out anything. I also enjoy fishing, being outdoors and enjoying the times with my son.
What advice can you give to young fighters and those looking to get into the sport ?
Don’t get frustrated with yourself. Never think that you’re not good enough because things don’t go your way. Not everyone can be undefeated and losing is apart of learning. Just say it wasn’t your day and get back to work. It’s the art that makes you a winner and the determination that makes is all happen.
What do you think you would be doing today if you had not started training and competing in Jiu Jitsu ?
I don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t training BJJ. Since my disks in my back keep me from lifting heavy weights. I would probably still find a way to stay in shape but a little bit leaner.
What gets you mentally prepared to step on the mats and compete ?
I honestly go into any competition with an attitude of whatever. I don’t over think anything or look at my opponent as if he is any different from any other person. The match will go the way it should whether I win or lose.
Where do you see Jiu Jitsu as a sport in 5 years ?
I see the sport of BJJ becoming something great. So many places are still unaware of what the art is and others think that it is the UFC. Movies don’t help any either. Once they start making movies about BJJ and not just karate, kung fu or MMA, people will know what an amazing art BJJ really is.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
I really hope I am still healthy and able to compete. Belts and stripes don’t matter to me and if they come, great. If not then it’s whatever. It won’t affect my focus of wanting to be better than I was yesterday.
What do you think can change to make Jiu Jitsu better as a sport ?
I would love to see the whole pulling or jumping guard taken away. BJJ was based on of self-defense. I realize that it is also a sport but every fight doesn’t start sitting down. Use a takedown.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
I know that people will think I have no clue what I am talking about but I like Brock Lesner. Yes, he used PEDs but he was an National champion wrestler before any of this. I love any fighter who started learning any art at a young age and progressed.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to ?
So many people. I would have to give a huge shout out to Brian American. My coach. I really wish I listened to you all those years ago about training but I am glad I finally listened. I also need to thank him for all his work with my son in making him as good as he is today. My main training partner Matt Goulet. He is a big guy with great technique and if it wasn’t for him, I might not of progressed as well as I have. There is Marco, Tony, Eric, Brian, Ryan, John, Joe, Ron, the entire Team Link family, pretty much every person I have every rolled with. Matt Bessette for being a great person to my son. The people from AK for making amazing Gi’s that me and my son love. Fighting for Autism, Future Fighterz, Jeff Hougland from Combat Fitness for allowing me and my son to come train anytime we are in the area. Anyone who has supported me and my son’s journey. My family and of course my son. Nick…Hurricane, you are the one that makes all this worth it. You are the one that makes me push myself. You are the reason why I work so hard. When I win, it is all for you.