“Do what you love. Love what you do.”
If you’ve trained at Diego Bispo Academy for any amount of time you’ve heard the name “JQ.” At 6’4 and 245lbs of ankle reaping, half guard sweeping mass, he’s hard to miss. Although many of his teammates, who have succumb to the four-finger mat tap under his doing, will claim JQ must hail from the hidden city of Wakanda, his skill and ability are not derived from a special heart-shaped herb.
Instead Je’Quan Williamson believes in simply showing up and training hard, and leaving the rest to sort itself out. And that’s what he’s been doing for the last three years, showing up at DBA and working hard. Now a well-decorated blue belt, JQ originally stumbled into Brazilian jiu jitsu while attending a class to improve his striking.
Professor Diego Bispo was giving another student a private lesson and later invited JQ to try rolling. Having prior experience in MMA, judo, wrestling, boxing, and Muay Thai, JQ took professor Diego up on his invite, and immediately had his eyes opened, “He straight folded me!” From that point JQ was hooked.
As a white belt full of ambition and ignited passion, JQ set his sights high and committed to a goal of becoming a world champion. This might seem over the top or even cliché; however, when your professor is a two-time world champion himself at least you know you’re in good hands. It wasn’t even a year before JQ found himself at the World Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship standing on the podium with a bronze medal hugging his chest.
The goal remains alive this year as JQ heads off to Worlds again. Now a confident and competent blue belt with double gold medals from IBJJF Atlanta, his enthusiasm is strongly backed. If you ask him the keys to his past success, it comes down to consistency. He recognizes how difficult this can be, “Life events happen, but you have to show up, focus on technique and have it become muscle-memory.”
Additional challenge comes in the form of larger opponents. As an ultra-heavyweight competitor there is no maximum upper limit, which means he often faces opponents who grossly outweigh him. To offset these larger opponents’ weight advantage JQ relies on swift and aggressive takedowns and a “smash and pass” approach to his game.
To continue his preparation for Worlds, JQ headed to California a little early where he is training two-a-days at the Carlson Gracie Academy in Temecula. Focusing on take downs and “go-to” sweeps he carries with him the advice to never give up.
Thursday, May 31st is competition day and you can count on one thing, as JQ calmly warms up, lightly stretching and listening to his favorite tunes, he’ll be focused on all the work, blood, sweat, and everything he put into his training. This is how he will accomplish the goal. “There’s going to be rough patches and bright spots, you have to endure either way.” Whether he comes out on top or not, it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself embraced by victory.