International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation champion Billy Shannon is grappling with both a business and studies. And, now he’s creating a curriculum for a new LFCC club – Jiu Jitsu.
The LFCC student is taking general studies and computer classes, which he thinks will come in handy when it comes to running his business, SUP Riverbend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Front Royal. SUP refers to Stand-up Paddle Boarding, run by his business partner.
Jiu jitsu is a martial art that involves grappling, mostly on the mat. With the right technique, a smaller person can outmaneuver a larger one.
Shannon figures gaining computer knowledge will help him in his business pursuits.
“I want to get a better understanding of business,” he said. “I know I’ve got a good practice. I’ve just got to get it out there.”
Shannon has had the jiu jitsu studio for about three years.
“I teach it using body mechanics,” the black belt said. “I do a lot of stretching in my classes, a lot of mobility, learning how to control your own body.”
Learning to control one’s own body is necessary before controlling someone else’s, Shannon said.
“It’s also good for self-defense,” he said. “It’s good for weight loss.”
In fact, he has had one student lose 100 pounds, and others lose 50.
“It’s a little easier to do than lifting weights because it’s more of a social workout,” Shannon said.
A wrestler since the sixth grade, he was looking for a sport after graduating from high school, discovered jiu jitsu in 2007, and hasn’t looked back. He has won several International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation championships, including 2011 Pan American, 2012 Abu Dhabi, 2014 Montreal and 2015 Montreal.
LFCC is the right fit for Shannon.
“I love it,” he said. “For me, it’s a perfect connection. I like the class style.”
Shannon has helped to start a new Jiu Jitsu Club on the Middletown Campus. He is designing the curriculum, and cybersecurity student Water Bracken, one of Shannon’s jiu jitsu students, is leading the class. LFCC Police Chief James Roy is the advisor.
The club is for anyone and everyone, said Bracken, who has been studying jiu jitsu for about two years.
“I wanted to give something back to the community,” he said.
The Jiu Jitsu Club meets at 1 p.m. every Friday in Room 217 in the Student Union Building.