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Cole Racho

Checkmat Black Belt

What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?

I attended my first class in 2010 while on vacation in Florida. After 20+ years training in striking arts, I wanted some quick lessons in BJJ to “round out my game”. An older and lighter student absolutely dominated me and I left feeling very confused but curious. I came back a month later for a whole week, thinking 7 days was surely enough time to get a good grasp on the discipline. I flew home and promptly found a school nearest to me.

What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?

Every one of life’s obstacles is just a puzzle waiting to be solved. Jiu-jitsu is exactly the same, but with more frequency and a better environment. If you don’t solve the puzzle today, then try tomorrow, or the day after. Just keep coming and your ability to problem solve (on and off the mats) gets better and better.

In a world that seems to be becoming more divided, you will not find a more diverse place than LEMA. We are all so different, but share the same difficult goals. This atmosphere promotes community.

Who is your inspiration and why?

While I do have favorite BJJ competitors and MMA fighters, I don’t have to look very far to find inspiration. My teammates at LEMA provide and amazing amount of motivation every day. At certain times many have battled health issues, adversity and difficult struggles in life, but they keep showing up. It’s really incredible to witness it firsthand.

What are some of your achievements?

As a business person, entrepreneur, athlete and martial artist I’ve had some success, but I’ve had a ton more failure. No one wants to talk about your failures, but they are the stepping stones to success.

I’m very proud of the relationships with the people in my life and my family is also a huge source of pride for me.

What is your favorite submission?

Any type of lapel choke, especially the bread cutter.

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