CATEGORYBJJ Coach, Blue Belt, Boulder, Kids
Fernie is from Juarez, Mexico. He moved to the El Paso, Texas when he was six, then to Boulder with his family when he was thirteen. He went to high school at Boulder High, and is currently studying at Metro University in Denver. He has an older sister and a younger sister (he thinks he is the coolest one because he is the middle child). He loves movies and learning new things. Recently he learned how to shoot and started to learn how to snowboard.
In 2014, his sister was being bullied, so he came in to Easton with her to take her first class. He fell in love with the gym and ended up joining. He loved the fact that it was practical, that he could use it in real life. Plus it gave him a healthy outlet. He immediately saw the benefits of training, he lost 30 pounds in his first month of training just fundamentals Jiu Jitsu. After that he really found a family and a home at the gym, so it kept him wanting more. The first time he trained live, he realized Jiu Jitsu would always be a part of his life. He realized he could take control of any situation and that he could push himself to not give up. It was something that he had never known how to do before so he liked seeing that part of himself.
When he first started training, Fernie always got to the gym early and enjoyed watching the other coaches teach the kids classes. He saw that the coaches were doing something good for their students–preparing them and giving them necessary skills for later in their life. He wanted to be part of those kids’ lives, he wanted to make a difference. When he was younger, he used to be bullied a lot, and as a consequence when he got a little older he became the bully. He wanted to make sure none of the kids at Easton went through the same experience. He wants them to be the best people they can be, and to treat others the way they want to be treated. If the kids end up being incredible athletes one day, that would be icing on the cake, but that isn’t his goal. He just wants them to be good people. He likes to be the funny coach that the kids feel comfortable with. He is the type of coach that can always get the shy kid on the mat, or convince the other kids that training is fun as well as an important skill to know. He thinks the most important part of coaching is understanding that there is no “cookie cutter method” to teaching. All kids are different and the best way to help and touch each one of their lives is to get to know them individually and having intellectual conversations with them. He believes that even if the kids pretend to joke around a lot, that they are all actually very intelligent and have a lot of good ideas to offer. At the end of the day Fernie wants the kids to be able to defend themselves if necessary, but he also wants them to feel confident enough in themselves to know they can walk away, that fighting isn’t always the solution. He wants them to have the skills necessary to succeed in whatever they set their minds to, while at the same time being the best person they can be.
Fernie’s personal goals include finishing college, competing at Pan Ams and World, . He and his sisters would be the first generation in his family to attend and finish college, so that is a big deal for him. He would love to compete in Pan Ams and Worlds one day to see what his full potential is. He wants to create an environment that sets the kids up for success. He wants the kids to continue coming until they reach their black belts because they love it so much. Professors Amal, Eliot, Mike, and James are some of Fernie’s role models, and what he admires the most about them is that though they are formidable Jiu Jitsu players, they’re also some of the nicest, most inviting people he has ever met, and they have devoted their lives to making a difference in the lives of others, and Fernie wants to be like them one day.
Jiu Jitsu means everything to Fernie. It is his way of life, he uses lessons he has learned in the academy every day. The people in the academy are his family. He doesn’t know where he would be without Easton. Life is hard, it will put you down, but what he has learned in Jiu Jitsu is that giving up won’t help and won’t make him better. So the biggest lesson he has taken away from Jiu Jitsu is that he has to continue to fight through every hard situation, because eventually he knows he will come out on top as long as he doesn’t give up.