Marcus Johnson was approached by his high school wrestling coach and asked if he wanted to be on the varsity wrestling team. Not because of his athletic ability but because, as Marcus puts it, they needed a warm body to fill out the roster. This started a not-so-successful high school wrestling career, one in which Marcus went on a 0 and 30 streak. Then an old friend of Marcus's, a 6' 4" linebacker, began hitting on his girlfriend. When Marcus asked him to stop, like in a scene out of a movie, the linebacker picked the 106" wrestler up, slammed him into a locker and after dangling him for a moment, put Marcus back on the ground, hit him once, and walked away. This embarrassing moment mortified Marcus and he decided then and there that something needed to change. Marcus found a BJJ school online and after getting beat up by a girl, he realized BJJ was legit and he was hooked.
However, Marcus's journey from a 16-year-old White Belt to a young man who recently earned his Black Belt was not a continuous one. During his college years, Marcus's priorities changed and Jiu Jitsu was no longer at the top of the list. After he turned 21 Marcus became a bartender and began enjoying the nightlife that comes with working in that industry. While Jiu Jitsu didn't fully leave his life, he only trained a handful of times over a 3 year period.
After returning home from school and working for his father Marcus wasn't happy with the direction his life was taking. He reflected upon his past and came to the realization that he was at his happiest when he was training and dedicating himself to Jiu Jitsu. Marcus decided to return to Jiu Jitsu and wanted to become the best he could be. He decided he needed to train with the best people possible and began training and working at the world-famous Marcelo Garcia Jiu Jitsu in New York City. There he achieved the rank of a 4 stripe Brown Belt and then COVID hit, once again putting his training on hold. Life took Marcus out of NYC and he needed to find another place to train and also a new job. Marcus is now training with and working for another legend in the sport of JIu Jitsu, JT Torres. Marcus is the GM for the beautiful new Essential BJJ in White Planes, New york.
Surrounding himself with the best over the past several years has paid off for Marcus and he is now a newly promoted Black Belt under JT Torres. He isn't sure exactly what the future holds for him but he does know that working with the best in the world and learning whatever he can from them both on and off the mats will have a positive impact on his life no matter what direction it takes.