Updated: May 31, 2019
I’ve always kept myself reasonably fit, I moved out to a small mining town in 2004 where I met a great bunch of people to train with while I wasn’t at work. We would do lots of strong man training with stone lifting and muscle ups, along with playing AFL, I felt that I was at my physical peak.
After a few years a man from the United States moved to town and opened up a training centre and trained in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It opened my eyes up to the best form of training I had ever been exposed to. Strength alone was not going to win this battle, he was lighter than me but controlled the fight and used my strength against me. It was full of strategy, planning, and technique. It would have to be the best thing I had ever trained in and still train today, my Jiu Jitsu skills grew along with my strength and mind, I was involved in a lot of self-help classes and mentoring with studies to do with psychology and counselling which I will talk about later, I found lots of self-control and my mind is at peace. Learning in a controlled environment.
"Effort gets you the reward, effort gets you the results. When you focus on what you want to do and set goals on how to do it , nothing is impossible".
I started going to the next town which was 40 mins away to do more training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where I was introduced to Goioere Jiu Jitsu, there was a real experienced hard working group that trained hard but so humble. I started to prepare myself for my first competition tournament. I was very nervous and excited, it was 5 minute round win by points or tap out, I won my first fight and went to sit down for the next one. The adrenaline that went through my body made me feel like I could not lift my arms, I had gassed out, I was not prepared as well as I thought I was. I got called in for the next fight and my opponent got the better of me I could hear my team offering advice but it was to late.
Feeling a little defeated I stayed away from training for a while, until one of my training partners told me to get back to training and stop being a sook. It was just what I needed to have a good look at myself, this was just a hurdle that I will get over a good lesson for what to expect next time. I trained twice as hard and started going to more and more technique classes. Listening to the advice of my peers, and training like I wanted to win. I felt like I was ready to go back for another competition.
It was 2017 I had my wife and kids watching me and my team behind me, my weight class was 87.3kg I won 6 fights to get into the finals, 5 minute round win by tap out or points. In the final I got beaten by a skilled opponent, but was happy with my result standing on the podium to receive a silver medal.
I had also entered into the open weights division, it was the end of the day and I felt pretty good. Most fighters were a lot bigger than me but felt ready, there would be 5 fights to get into the finals. I won all 5 and went to get ready for the final, it was a gruelling battle but I got the upper hand due to my conditioning and the training I had put in, achieving my first gold medal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu not only for myself I won for my family and my team everyone who had helped me, and put the time into making me better. It is a great feeling of what I could do if I put the effort in and didn’t give up.
"Effort gets you the reward, effort gets you the results. When you focus on what you want to do and set goals on how to do it, nothing is impossible".
- Alan Ballard
Read about my adventures, overcoming adversity and bad decisions, See how family values and good choices have shaped my journey.
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