My morning begins everyday with ‘Morning Motivation’. Whether its speeches by
historical figures, personal stories from famous athletes or business gurus, daily, I look for
something to inspire me, to motivate me, to stoke the flames of today. It’s easy to get
caught in the loop of monotony, doing the same routine over and over. I find the best way
to disturb the monotony is to feed yourself positive perspective and knowledge. Insert
Josh Hinger is one of the most inspirational
individuals I’ve come across. He’s a three
time No Gi World Champion, and all of
these came within the last three years
(2016,2017 & 2018). What’s more
impressive is he’s 37 years old. Take a
moment. Stop reading this for a minute. Absorb that.
He didn’t win his first World Championship until the age of 34, competing against the
likes of 18-29 yr olds. In BJJ, most 34 yr olds are competing in what is known as the
‘Master’s’ division which is their respective age group; Hinger is out there with the young
bucks putting on displays of dominance. More inspiring than his accolades to me, is his
pursuit of passion.
Josh isn’t just a grappler, he’s someone I would consider an intellectual. For sometime he
would write articles on a monthly basis for Flo Grappling. In the modern times, his
thoughts and gems are dropped on his Social Media accounts (@hingerbjj on IG and Josh
Hinger Bjj on FB). I’ve listened to him on many podcasts, read interviews, and watched
plenty of them on youtube. Its both a beautiful and a bizarre thing how much content is
out there on the internet to be absorbed. I respect Josh’s perspective, not only because he
is a multiple time world champion, but because of his will to get there. The sacrifices he
made in pursuit of his passion. He is human, he experiences the same setbacks we all do,
mentally and physically; while many ‘throw in the towel’ for the security of a normal life,
Josh swam against the current, against the odds and into the unknown.
I’m a self-dubbed ‘dream chaser’. I quit my job, sold my car, my video game systems and
turned down career opportunities in pursuit of my passion. Josh is a fellow dream chaser,
he started BJJ in 2003, had a few MMA fights while attending college and in 2008 took a
full year off from training to travel the world with the Peace Corps, arriving in the second
most isolated nation in the world (number 1 is North Korea) , Turkmenistan. Upon
arriving back in the U.S., Josh got a job teaching BJJ in Tucson, Arizona before heading to
Grad School in Indiana in 2011. Hinger would ultimately finish school with two Master’s
degrees, one in Central Eurasion Studies and the other in Public Affairs with a focus in
Finance. With graduation approaching, Josh received a career opportunity with the state
of Indiana which he ultimately turned down…Why sit in a cubicle laying out excel spread
sheets when you can be winning World Championships?
In 2013, Josh headed out to San Diego to train at Atos under Andre Galvao. With the
‘conventional’ life in his rear-view mirror, great things lay in the future of Josh Hinger.
I’ve known about Josh for quite some time. As a purple belt, I worked for Grapplers Quest
as a referee. I was afforded the opportunity to travel out to Las Vegas for the UFC Fan
Expo in 2010 where I was treated to some great match ups. One match in particular that
stood out to me was Josh vs Bill Cooper. At the time, Bill was one of the best (if not the
best) American grappler on the scene. Josh put on an incredible display, sweeping Cooper
with an electric chair, fighting for the back off a very near guard pass and having a Bill in
trouble with a Kimura attempt – it was a very entertaining match-up. I knew Josh had the
skill to make it ‘big’ in the world of BJJ. If you’re following the timeline, shortly after this
match, Josh would head out to Indiana to finish Grad School.
A few months back, one of my friend’s shot me a message about a Seminar Josh would be
doing somewhat locally (it was about 2 hrs away). I had all intent to go, and then I figured
‘screw it- let me see if I can host him at my academy and expose my students to his
knowledge and experience as well.’ So I reached out to Josh and we set a date and time
and the rest is history.
If you live locally, or somewhat locally, come on by Evolution Grappling Academy in
Beacon, NY. We’re 65 miles north of NYC, a 75 minute train ride from Grand Central. For
Tickets click ‘here’