Michael “Tips” Venturella
At the time I weighed 310 lbs, the most I ever weighed in my life. I was eating only junk food and playing video games 24/7.
I had heart and vision problems, depression, self-esteem and confidence issues, and rarely interacted with people outside of my family.
Even then, I spent the majority of my time in my room playing video games, until one day, I’d had enough.I started my weight loss journey with baby steps, such as cleaning up my diet and walking a couple of miles a day, which resulted in losing a couple of pounds a month.
After walking got easier, I started to jog. Once I was able to jog a few miles at a time, I joined a regular fitness gym, where I started to lift weights and swim. At this point, I started losing a few pounds a week. Once I felt like I was ready to start training martial arts, I weighed around 220 lbs. I signed up with 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in August 2008, and began training jiu jitsu with Alder, as well as wrestling and Muay Thai with the other instructors.
I now walk at 180 lbs.Once I started jiu jitsu, I noticed a gradual change in my demeanor – I had more confidence, greater social skills and had made friends, most of whom I am still friends with today.
It has made me very humble and appreciative of life. I even met my current girlfriend through jiu jitsu.I have fought 3 MMA fights (1-2), 2 Mauy Thai fights (1-1) and over 40 jiu jitsu competitions.
I have won several medals in jiu jitsu at different weight classes across multiple skill levels, and am currently a brown belt.I started teaching as a blue belt at 10th Planet Van Nuys, and I currently teach the Monday and Wednesday Fundamentals classes.
I have over 1000 hours of teaching experience and give regular private lessons as well. I have trained and cornered friends in MMA and jiu jitsu competitions.My goal is to earn my black belt and be able to open my own 10th Planet school/gym. I believe jiu jitsu is an amazing skill to develop because it is something that everyone, no matter their age, gender or background, can benefit from. It keeps you in shape while learning deadly techniques, and I have found it is a great stress-reliever as well, which is something everyone can use. I want to help people accomplish their goals through martial arts.