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Meet John Morgan of Hypermodern Jiu-Jitsu in Huntington Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Morgan.

Morgan is the founder and Head Black Belt instructor of Hypermodern Jiu-Jitsu. Morgan identifies as a proud Huntington Beach local, with over 20 years grappling experience. Morgan was first exposed to grappling as a Varsity-Freshman wrestler at Huntington Beach High School. After high school, Morgan immediately became immersed in the grappling world and transitioned from wrestling to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Morgan is committed to continuously elevating himself and those around him, by implementing unique and individual strategies for every student. With his strong wrestling background, backed by an adept guard-game, Morgan implements an innovative blend of wrestling and jiu-jitsu, commonly referring to the style as “Wrestle-Jitsu.” Morgan’s emphasis on blending wrestling and jiu-jitsu has developed into a cutting-edge style of its own, proven effective through an extremely competitive Hypermodern Jiu-Jitsu program. One huge contributor to his coaching success is how Morgan has developed an extremely strategic mind through chess. Morgan began traveling the U.S. in his youth to compete in chess tournaments. To this day chess is still an integral part of his preparation mentally and strategically for competition. Although Morgan has dedicated his whole life to grappling, he is also extremely passionate about helping the community. As head wrestling coach for Huntington Beach High School, where he first found his passion, Morgan dedicates a majority of his time to developing positive change in youth, regardless of age, income or background, to provide them with an equal opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Johnny was born and raised in Huntington Beach but times were never that easy. Growing up without a father and being raised by a single mother, he had little guidance and definitely faced some challenges finding his direction. After high school Johnny was dead set on starting an MMA career so he moved out to Hawaii to train and surf. As he developed an undefeated record in sport jiu jitsu and MMA, his MMA career really started to take shape. He eventually reached his big break, making it onto the UFC staple show the Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, right when he moved out to Las Vegas to chase after his UFC dreams his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he had to pull out of the show and step away from one of the biggest opportunities of his life. Shortly after he left the show to take care of her, she passed away and he lost all sense of direction once again. He spent the next several years piecing his life back together and rebuilding his purpose. With time and patience, he regained his focus and put all his energy back into his grappling career but this time with a new vision for the future. He became the head wrestling coach for Huntington Beach High School so that he could focus his time and energy helping and guiding youth facing similar struggles he faced growing up. He also dedicated the last several years to competing in sport jiu jitsu tournaments, and paving the way for his jiu-jitsu coaching career at his newly established academy, Hypermodern Jiu-Jitsu. Being the chess nerd that he is, not only does the name suit him well, it also suits the modern and strategic approach that he emphasizes in his coaching.

Please tell us about Hypermodern Jiu-Jitsu.
We opened our academy in July but began placing in team competitions such as Jiu Jitsu World League, in 2017.  By the end of the 2017 JJWL Season our new team emerged with some impressive results: we earned 2nd place in Victories with our hands raised 99 times, along with those victories we racked up 44 submissions earning 2nd place overall in Submissions, lastly, we collected 573 points this year and earned 3rd place overall as an Academy out of over 100 Academies that competed this season. We would show up to competitions with only a handful of competitors, but each time, our modern technique, adaptive coaching strategy and just the amount of dedication and heart our competitors left on the mat, kept leading us on top of the podium. This year, we hope to continue growing our team, expanding our competition program and evolving our technique and we look forward to seeing where it takes us in 2018!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Before she passed, he promised he would make his mom proud and become a champion. He has kept this promise, and this gym and the love and passion he puts into his coaching career (both wrestling and jiu jitsu) would definitely make her proud.

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