John T. Burns (JT) is a full-time martial arts instructor, academy owner and competitor. He owns and operates Fluid Martial Arts Academy in Tempe, Arizona and is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Robert Handley of Absolute MMA. JT is an avid competitor and coach with multiple tournament wins and titles. In addition to Jiu-jitsu, JT teaches and trains Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kenpo Karate, Judo and Weaponry. JT is lucky enough to be surrounded by an entire family of martial artists. Everyone in his immediate family (wife and children) train in the martial arts under his guidance, carrying on the tradition of passing the arts down through the family line.
Q&A Session Between John T Burns and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ?
Answer: One of the most inspirational aspects of Jiujitsu is how it changes people. It can provide students with self-defense, fitness, confidence and camaraderie all while providing mental stimulation that is unparalleled.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: Grandmaster Flavio Behring and Sensei George Uema inspire me greatly. They inspire me by dedicating their lives to the martial arts and continuing to train and teach Jiujitsu and Judo on a daily basis. In addition, they take care of themselves physically and mentally and at the ages of 79 and 65 years old, they can still demonstrate amazing technique and detail.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?
Answer: I usually keep a elite sports bjj gi, extra bjj belt (in case I forget mine), rashguard, fight shorts, mouthpiece, athletic tape, handwraps, gloves, shin guards, headgear, ace bandage, bandaids, alcohol pads, water bottle(s), keys, wallet, phone. I train striking and grappling every day so I always have all of my gear with me.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: My goals for 2017: 1. Compete at least 10 times in Jiujitsu, NoGi and Judo. 2. Grow our academy by 25%.
My Goals for the next 3 years: 1. Place at Pan Ams and World Masters 2. Grow our academy by 50%.
My Goals for the next 5 years: 1. Grow our academy by 75% and expand location. 2. Earn Black Ranks in Judo and Jiujitsu
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: I have been training since 1987. It will be thirty years in March.
Question: Is the martial arts necessary for a common person?
Answer: yes, it can help them to better there defence techniques.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
I have been fortunate enough to win and place in many tournaments over the years. I've also coached students to numerous tournament wins including state, national and world championships. My most major accomplishment has been opening my own academy and growing to over 100 students. This was always my dream and now it is a reality.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: I train at least 6-7 days a week. Training consists of 4.5 hours of martial arts training and 1 hour of gym time (cardio/weights).
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: Yes, but I'm not telling.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: Becoming a champion takes a ton of patience, determination and listening. Following the advice of your coaches is a must. If you don't trust your coaches, find new coaches. Finally, and most importantly, Just Do It!!! Just get out and compete. The only way to get better at competing is to compete.