Eric Callueng, aka The Asian Cowboy, started BJJ in 2003. He then began learning from a purple belt who was a trainer for Team Elite in Massachusetts. In 2005, he was introduced to Royce Gracie’s very 1st Black Belt, Rob Kahn. Rob Kahn was not only the first Royce Black Belt, but also an accomplished competitive grappler in the U.S. Since then, Eric has stayed under the tutelage of Rob Kahn and risen through to the rank of Black Belt. He has trained with various well known grapplers and UFC fighters, such as Matt Arroyo, Robby Donofrio, Marcus Jones, Allen “Monstah Lobstah” Berube, The Hayden Brothers, Brian McLaughlin, the Avellan Brothers, Charles McCarthy, and many others. In 2016, Eric opened Gracie Wesley Chapel, an affiliate of Gracie Tampa. His greatest passion is teaching others the art of BJJ, and hoping that one day his students surpass him.
- Florida Copa America Gold Medal Gi.
- NAGA Nationals Silver Medal Gi.
- NAGA Florida Championship Bronze Nogi.
- Rival Classic Gold Medal Nogi, Gold Medal Gi.
Q&A Session Between Eric Callueng and Elite Sports
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: I really just want to get better at Gi. Gracie Tampa and Gracie Wesley Chapel are primarily nogi schools. But I have always felt that training in the Gi is essential to being a well-rounded BJJ player.
Question: What inspires you about BJJ?
Answer: So many things. However, probably the biggest thing is that we are a community that is so different from any other martial art. We live BJJ like a lifestyle. At least for me, there is a respect you give a BJJ person that borders on the type of respect you give to family.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: Rob Kahn: Not just because he is my instructor, but because he is an innovator of BJJ. He completely changed the way I looked at grappling, and he continues to do so. Marcelo Garcia: In my opinion, he is the greatest to ever compete in BJJ. Any match that I have watched him in, he goes for the kill. He doesn’t worry about points, and approaches with a mindset to finish before time is up. He also uses moves that are proven in competition time and time again. I try to emulate many of Marcelo’s moves when I am rolling.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer: Just like in any walk of life, having a plan will give you a clear picture of your goal. The plan doesn’t always work out. But not having a plan seems to reckless to me.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: 15 years
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: At least 3 times a week. When I am teaching I roll no matter what. But I try to catch other classes when time permits so I am able to devote my attention bettering technique.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: No-Gi: Crucifix Choke Gi: Baseball Bat Choke.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer: No greater accomplishment than receiving my Black Belt from Rob Kahn. I look at the list of black belts he has awarded and I am honoured to be named with a bunch of killers.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: Consistency. With consistency comes the skill set, proper technique, mind for the game, and most importantly the drive to be better than you were yesterday.