Ryan Johnson, MD: “Since my first visit, I knew that I had found a home”
Dr. Ryan Johnson is one of our purple belts at the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Here is what he has to say about training at our school:
I came to Rochester, MN, as a physician to complete a medical residency in anesthesiology. Since I was 8 years old, I have been involved in martial arts, training in a variety of disciplines for many years (with multiple rankings and a black belt), and I began looking for a martial arts school at which to train. I have always found the martial arts to be a great outlet for the stress and anxiety that comes with a difficult profession, and feel it helps me to better focus and have more energy in all aspects of my life, from work to personal endeavors.
I visited each training facility in the area I could find, with none offering exactly for that which I was looking. I then called a school in Minneapolis (over an hour away), and they recommended Mario Roberto’s academy. As it turns out, people frequently travel long distances to train with Mario, and he was only a few blocks away from where I worked! Interestingly, Mario was also a medical doctor from Brazil, but stopped practicing medicine to devote his life to his passion of training and teaching the martial arts.
Since my first visit to Mario Roberto Jiu jitsu Academy, I knew that I had found my home. Mario Roberto is by far the most technical and knowledgeable fighter with which I have trained. He has been a black belt in Brazilian Jiu jitsu for many years (a rare find in the Midwest). He has competed at the top level and won against well known fighters. He has also trained competitors who have done well in tournaments ranging from local competitions, to PRIDE, to the UFC. He has never been content, however, to rest on his laurels and is constantly improving both is own abilities and that of those around him. His devotion to his student’s progression in the martial arts and life in general is unmatched; it is his number one priority inside and outside the gym.
In spite of his accomplishments and ability, Mario is both humble and unassuming, qualities which are refreshing and admirable but have not helped with the marketing of his Jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts academy. In spite of this, his classes have grown substantially by word of mouth and the high recommendations of those who know him (and multiple schools from other states have joined his association to add his knowledge to their training programs).
Class size itself is perfect for a good mix of competition with training partners and individual attention from Mario. The atmosphere is one of support and collegiality, with everyone working to improve their own skills and those of their friends at the gym. Everyone is helpful, friendly, and no large egos can be found. The technique and skill at the academy is superior to any location I have seen, sometimes going unrecognized by the humility of Mario and his students. The atmosphere is informal, but the respect among students and instructor is genuine. If you are interested in dramatically increasing your martial arts skills and self-defense abilities while getting in good physical condition, this is THE place to train.
Unfortunately, I no longer train with Mario as I have finished residency and moved a long distance away (this was my biggest regret about completing my medical training). However, Mario’s influence on me in the last three years has been remarkable and long-lasting, much improving my technical abilities, my conditioning, and my overall physical and mental health. Each time I am close to Rochester, I never miss an opportunity to train with Mario if only for a few days. He is no longer only my Jiu jitsu instructor, but my friend as well.