Brazilian Jiu-jitsu presents students with an enriching new world to discover. The techniques, pathways and opportunities are endless for one to accelerate. Intrigued, it’s no wonder one dives head first devoting their time to mastering the grappling system. Learning is essential to making the most of the experience something one fighter’s journey models.

Watching his dominating performance in grappling tournaments, curiosity arises in regards to Pedro Sauer Brown Belt, David Porter. His ability to technically control the fight and submitting his opponents at ease is a result of his dedication to the art. Surprisingly, all of these talents weren’t acquired overnight as it would be a ten year journey to arrive in the position he’s at today.

2004 marked the beginning of Porter’s infatuation with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. An aspiring mixed martial arts fighter, the grappling applicant was already an avid study practitioner in other combat sports disciplines. However it would be a series of events that would alter Porter’s philosophy taking his martial arts journey into a new direction.

“My training partners at the time were strikers and the little grappling we knew was all that we believed we needed, “Porter told The MMA Corner. “In the amateur leagues you can go far with great standup. But when I went pro in 2005 I lost for the first time ever to Matt Serra brown belt James Gabert for the Ring of Combat cruiser weight title. The fight made me rethink my previous strategy.”

Realizing the infinite possibilities, the humbling defeat courtesy of Gabert would inspire Porter to pursue learning the art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Aside from his passion for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu he was also committed to serving his country as a US Marine. Rising through ranks, everything seemed to be coming together for the Marine in his mission of building the “ultimate” grappling game plan. However as the lessons of BJJ teaches us there is always room for improvement something Porter would discover after receiving his purple belt.

“Although my ground game slowly got better I was still of the mindset that I needed to make things happen and impose my will when grappling,” Porter said. “However the true test came when I was now in advanced No-Gi and Purple belt Gi divisions. The holes in my game were highlighted to me in spectacular fashion. Training with Marines will make you tough and confident, but the technical aspect to my Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t on par.”

This missing technical component exposed major flaws in Porter’s BJJ fight design. As a result bad luck found its way back to Porter as he suffered countless defeats in gi and no-gi grappling competitions. Many opponents had gotten their hand raised against the Marine many of whom were a group of technical fighters from the Pedro Sauer academy of Virginia Beach.

Finding himself once again in a curious state, Porter was fascinated by the Pedro Sauer grappling fight system. So when his term with the USMC came to an end, the timing couldn’t be better to join a new academy, which he acquired at the Pedro Sauer School.

“The level of understanding that Master Sauer has of Jiu-Jitsu cannot be quantified by someone like myself, or most other practitioners,” said Porter. “If you showed him a maneuver that he didn’t know or hasn’t seen done a particular way, in a matter of moments he can break it down, tell what’s right and wrong about it, and come up with the escape/counter or way to improve it. With that, it’s so easy once you see his approach to hone your own craft under his guidance.”

Currently in the “Skill-to-Win” era of his voyage from the techniques to theories its effect has rubbed off on Porter significantly. Pedro Sauer’s philosophies cover three main principles which are coming to class to learn, working all positions, and also experiment with what works best for someone on a personal level. It is this strategy that has aided Porter’s progression to becoming a successful competitor and better understanding the true purpose martial arts serves to its client.

“When I compete, now it’s the time to see if what we’ve worked so hard on is true. It’s for that reason that I enjoy competing. Accolades be damned, it’s all for my personal development and to see what works against a fully resisting opponent without going to the bar and picking a fight.”

Motivation, productivity, health, and self-improvement are some of the rewards for simply learning something. It has been a long road for Porter molding him to become the man he is today. Yet through all the accolades and prestige, he remains humble as there is still much to discover and learn. Pushing the Pedro Sauer brand, competing, or even global exposure, Porter doesn’t want to leave no area untouched in his future aspirations. Why keep pushing, you ask? Because it is a never ending cycle of simply becoming one percent better.

“I’ve been a martial artist my whole life, but when I found Jiu-Jitsu something just made sense to me,” said Porter. “I don’t know what I’d be doing if I weren’t teaching daily and learning it. With it, I’ve become a better problem solver and citizen. The art has taught me to be courteous to my neighbor/opponent, how to respect those that have paved the way before me, and how to give to those that struggle to learn now.

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.