Instructor of the Month: Professor Patrick Jungnick
There are very few people in this world that care like Professor Patrick Jungnick. I remember one of my first interactions with him. I was getting smashed by a new student who was using all of his strength against me and there was nothing I could do as a smaller weaker person. Worried for my safety, Professor Patrick talked to the man about using technique instead of strength. I felt cared for. He made me feel safe by fostering a safe environment. In his class, taking care of your partner comes first. Next, he asks to always give your best, and never give up on yourself. Even when it’s hard, and it seems easy to give up and walk away, don’t. That’s the time when you need to hold out the most and face your problems. You are capable, you are enough. These are just some things I’ve learned from Professor Patrick.
He takes the time to help out students, whatever their struggle may be. For instance, we once spent a half an hour going over the bow and arrow choke over and over again until I repeatedly got it right. He would say, “do it again” over and over again. I never gave up, I never got frustrated, I never felt embarrassed. Professor Patrick is the kind of guy you feel comfortable around. You know that he is trying to help you in everything he does. That’s why we drilled one choke for so long. He didn’t give up on me. He easily could have stopped after I did it right the first time, but doing it over and over again really solidified the technique into my brain.
I’ve talked to him about my struggles. I’ve even cried to him, and when I felt ashamed of crying he consoled me by saying to never be ashamed of crying, it’s your bodies natural release. He told me that he cries too. We even cried together. After that night, we became friends. I trusted him. He told me that whenever I feel alone, or sad, he would be there for me. It honestly meant a lot to hear that. He truly cares about his students and it shows. Because of these reasons, Professor Patrick Jungnick is the instructor of the month.
He started Jiu Jitsu in 2009 in Great Falls, Montana while he was in the Air Force. He started because he watched a lot of MMA fights. More specifically, he started because of this tall skinny fighter named Carlos Condit who was submitting men much larger than him. After he saw him fight he knew he needed to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Once he started training, he started to change. His confidence, self-esteem, mental health, and physical health improved. He was always the kid that was picked on and people always wanted to start fights with him. Growing up he was an easy target because people knew that he didn’t have the courage to stand up for himself. He suffered from extreme anxiety/depression for many years and it wasn’t until he gained the confidence from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that things really started to turn around for him.
He says that Jiu Jitsu is his therapy session. It keeps him sane. If he were to go back 10 years he wouldn’t like the person he was looking at. Jiu Jitsu has changed him as a person and how he looks at life. His life has been heavily influenced by Easton Training Center. He states, “There are so many amazing individuals within the community. You learn so much by just listening and hearing their stories of struggle and success. It has given me the courage to be more open about my story.” Thus, he became empowered by Jiu Jitsu and the community that surrounds it. Therefore, his favorite part about Easton is the community. He calls it his family because people genuinely care about you. And he genuinely cares about everyone in the community.
When Professor Patrick received his black belt in February, he was so happy that he cried. It was so inspiring to see him so happy. He thanked all of his professors. Although he knew he was receiving his black belt, he was still surprised when it happened. He says that as he was going through the ranks he would always hear ‘when you get to black belt, that’s where the real learning begins,’ and he feels like he has so much to learn. But he has already taught his students so much. He teaches confidence, respect, discipline, and leadership. But most importantly, he teaches you how to become a better person. This is why we value him so much as a Professor and friend.