Jonathan Barney is a 29 year old Jiu-Jitsu black belt. His nickname is "Inspector Gadget". He received this nickname from his wife and training partners alike due to his incredibly long limbs and reach! He has been training since he was 15 years old. His Master is 2nd degree black belt Steve Neklia. Jonathan completed his undergraduate degree at Cal State University, San Marcos in California. He is currently a full-time medical student at the American University of the Caribbean, where he trains 4 days a week while studying to become a physician. His wife Megan and daughter Adelyn inspire him to not only complete his medical degree, but to continue pursuing excellence in Jiu-Jitsu.
Q&A Session Between Jonathan Barney and Elite Sports
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer:For this year, I want to keep my skill set as sharp as possible while getting good grades. Over the next 3 years I would like to compete in more tournaments back home, especially in submission-only. Over the next 5 years I would like to find a way to balance my medical career with coaching Jiu-Jitsu and/or running an academy.
Question: What inspires you about BJJ?
Answer:The familial aspect of BJJ is what really inspires me – the camaraderie I mean. It has a way of bringing together people of different ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic statuses, to work towards common goals. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, you’re welcome to train and will benefit from it!
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer:My wife and daughter because they motivate me to train harder, and study harder, every day. Next would be my coach, he’s been a huge influence on my life, extending well beyond Jiu-Jitsu. As far as athletes within the BJJ community, I am very inspired by people like Marcelo Garcia, Rafael Mendes, and John Danaher. I feel that they are constantly driving the evolution of our art, and that they do so while demonstrating great character.
Question: How is the road plan necessary for any competition?
Answer:Becaause it clear the path for you to grab the win in specific competition and you train yourself according to that plan.
Question: How long have you been training?
Question: How often do you train?
Answer:At minimum 4 days a week, but usually more. It’s a great break from studying, and helps keep me focused.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer:Generally, I will respond to what my opponent is doing. I do have to admit; however, that I love the Kimura. It’s a technique that I know well, have a lot of success with, and feel confident getting from multiple set-ups.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Over the years I’ve been training, I’ve been able to get several of my good friends to train as well. The accomplishment I’m most proud of is that many are still training to this day, and having great success. It’s very satisfying to see what a positive impact this makes on people’s lives.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer:It takes the ability to never stop being a student. You need to consistently train with people better than you, that challenge you, in order to hone your abilities and progress.