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Matt Williamson in Salt Lake City - Ultimate Combat Training Center

Matt Williamson

I have been with the Ultimate Combat Training Center for six years now and have had the opportunity of teaching, mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and fitness Kickboxing.  I love what I do here, helping people to reach their goals by always pushing you harder than you thought you could go!  I love the Muay Thai striking and have become passionate about Brazilian Jiu-Jits (BJJ).  Growing up in a small town in Idaho, the closest I got to any martial arts was through wrestling.  My older brother wrestled and I looked up to him.  I wrestled from the time I was a toddler until I graduated high school. I have always been the black sheep of the family and have and older brother, sister and two brothers younger than me.  I was very small and bullied a lot because of my size, wrestling always got me out of bad situations. I had looked into the military a bit but if I was going to join I wanted the toughest, most challenging branch I could.  I joined the United States Marine Corps, just a year after graduating and it was my military training that first introduced me to a little BJJ and the MMA world.  After a deployment to Iraq in 2003, I moved to Salt Lake and started college, graduating with a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice.  I worked for nearly a decade in that field, working with juveniles in both secure facilities and community based programs.  I was able to get two certifications and became a head instructor at the facility for teaching how to use both verbal and physical skills to de-escalate many situations.  I came to the Ultimate Combat about 6 years ago after a co-worker convinced me to come check it out.  I took my first class from Mike Stidham and loved it!  The rest is history!  I love the benefits of martial arts, not only for the physical aspect but especially the emotional and mental aspect.  I enjoy problem solving and martial arts is exactly that.  Marines have a saying we use a lot, "adapt and overcome"  that is what martial arts is to me and especially what I have found in BJJ.  Constant changes and improvements in technique,  force you to adapt or fall behind.  I have met some of my closest friends working in this field and witnessed countless success stories and amazing transformations in people.  People sometimes ask why my heart rate monitor I wear in class says Hollywood?  The first thing you must understand about marines is the attention to detail and taking pride in appearance and uniform. My unit was selected to be part of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 and logistics were not the best as we were the first going in.  After 3 months of no showers and wearing the same uniform we were ordered to wash our gear and get haircuts.  Because I had no other uniform to change into, I used a pair of Iraqi Republican Guard pants and went shirtless with just my Kevlar vest and helmet on, carrying an M249 SAW (aka squad automatic weapon) or simple terms a machine gun.  I looked like someone straight out of a Vietnam movie and caught the attention of a Fox news reporter, who immediately stopped what he was doing, to interview me.  I told him no way Rick, I am not getting in trouble for this! I  was encouraged to go ahead with the interview by some of the higher ranking marines.  Long story short I did the interview, the story hit the news and I was all over it and in a lot of trouble.  In the end, I was only out of uniform, so after a good butt chewing from several people and a little damage to my ego, I didn't get into much trouble but I was nicknamed Hollywood for my 5 minutes of fame on the news.  There is more to the back story, and to much to tell here but if you ask me one day I am happy to fill you in on the details! Mean while, I would love to see you in class! I appreciate every opportunity to teach, learn and grow from everyone I can!  Adapt and overcome!  OSS!   

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