Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 19
Athlete of the Week: Pete Fabela
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
When 22-year-old Pete Fabela first walked into the Hitman gym in Santa Maria, he had no idea of the path that lay before him.
Two years ago, Fabela found he was following a destructive path, and he decided to make a change. That decision led him to the doors of Hitman, and the intense world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial arts combat sport that teaches a system of self-defense. According to Fabela, this form promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker individual can successfully defend himself against someone bigger and stronger.
Fabela admitted he knew nothing about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before he started training, but he immediately fell in love with it.
Whether through luck or natural talent, Fabela is slowly working his way up as a contender in the martial arts world. He recently returned from the Las Vegas Grapplers Tournament in early July, winning both a silver and bronze medal.
The fighter said the force driving his success at the tournament was his stepfather, who was recently released from the hospital after suffering a stroke.
Fabela works with his coach Corby Poulis, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Fabela said that the most important thing his coach has taught him is to stay committed and train hard.
Training hard is exactly what Fabela does, six days a week. When he has a match, he reminds himself to stay calm and rely on his technique to get him through.
“I train in a lot of ways and usually two to three times a day,” Fabela said. “I work on technique, I condition, and I do weight training.”
The toughest part of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he explained, is the injuries sustained during fighting.
“Something is always injured. but it shows commitment when you are able to push through it,” Fabela said.
Aside from his discipline, strength, and knowledge of self-defense, Fabela said the sport has helped in real life as well, helping him find a sense of purpose. Fabela, currently a blue belt, said his favorite part of the sport is the ranking system.
“It takes a long time to get to a black belt, and it takes a lot of commitment,” Fabela said.
As for what’s next, Fabela plans to hit training hard again soon before returning to Vegas for another tournament in November. When he isn’t training, he’s working at the Hitman, coaching a conditioning class for kids or hanging with his girlfriend and friends.
“Before this, I wasn’t doing anything with my life,” Fabela said. “Now it is my life.”
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