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Embracing the Jiu-jitsu Challenge | Interview with M5’s Tim Fuller

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I’ve had a great time this week chatting with M5ers who have participated on our M5 Rock and Jiu-jitus programs.  We’re all getting very excited for our May 3 customer appreciation event and birthday party.  Today I spoke with Tim Fuller an Account advocate in our Rochester office about his experiences with the Jiu-jitsu program.  He helped me understand how the program helped him, not only with learning, but also with overall wellness.

Why did you join the jiu-jitsu program?

I’m always looking for a new challenge.  I like to get involved in as many thing as possible and I love finding new and interesting hobbies.  I also like to do things with my co-workers outside of work and didn’t want to miss the chance to build friendships with them.

Were you someone who exercised regularly before?

Yes.  A few months before the Jiu-jitsu program started, I got really interested in improving my overall health and started eating right and working out.  The program was a great extension of what I had already started doing.

Had you ever participated in martial arts before?

No. But, I boxed for a few years.

What did you expect to learn from it?

I went in just wanting to learn as much as possible.  Since I was already trying to get healthier and increase my general wellness, I was looking forward to a new way to push myself.

Were you afraid if injury or embarrassment?

No.  I don’t get embarrassed easily and I wasn’t worried at all about getting hurt.  Actually, I did hurt my ankle doing something unrelated to Jiu-jitsu.  It has made it kind of tough to spar, but I’m working through it.

What was the most difficult thing about the program?

The warm ups.  They are killer.  No matter if you go twice a week or four times, the warm ups are tough.  The trainers really mix it up and its 20 solid minutes of mostly cardio work.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned most is that I need to pay attention to the smallest things.  Once I started doing that, I found that I was learning things without even realizing it or being conscious of being told.  The trainer might casually mention to someone that you need to “make sure you are raising your leg when doing this escape.”  I might have only heard it in passing, but somehow I could pick it up and remember.  Once I was in the mindset to learn, I was just able to do it.

What, if anything, did you learn about your co-workers?

It was interesting to know that everyone had a different learning style and everyone interacted with the trainers differently.  I need to see exactly how to do every little thing, but some others could just hear the instructions and do it.

I also got to know people that I wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with at work.  I’ve become close to people that I would probably have never spoken to otherwise.

Did you experience any physical changes?

Yes.  As I mentioned, I started working out and eating better before the program, and I have lost 45 pounds in the last year.  My strength and flexibility have increased tremendously.  The weight lifting I did outside of the program certainly contributed, but I credit Jiu-jitsu with the flexibility improvement.  You have to be able to contort just to escape.

Would you participate in something like this again?

Yes.  I’m sticking with it and I have no plans to stop doing Jiu-jitsu.

What do programs like this tell you about M5?

When people hear that I am doing a company sponsored martial art, they are really surprised at first.  A lot of companies say they care about employee wellness and learning, but few actually sponsor programs and promote them.  M5 is different because there is action behind the words.  They really want everyone to get together and learn something difficult, build a solid team and have fun.  Participating in the program has improved my outlook in the office, improved my relationships with co-works and ultimately led to a better experience for our clients.      I enjoy going to work and I know that the company is looking out for all of us.  I probably never would have done this without M5.

What else should we know?

Because of Dan’s passion (Dan Hoffman, President and General Manger) for the Jiu-jitsu program as well as M5 Rock, I’ve become even more interested in taking on other new things outside of work.  Knowing that I can learn Jiu-jitsu makes me more confident that I can learn other things that I may have never tried before.  I’ve always tried to learn something new, but now I am ready to push myself.