Interview with Alex MacKinnon
I have known Alex since I think 2011. He is a great dude and I would highly recommend checking out what he has to say!
Could you introduce yourself in your own words?
Hey there ! Alex MacKinnon here. I’m a nerdy jiu-jitsu lover, with a wife, a step-son, and 2 sweet pups (a boston and a pug). I’m a bit of a work-a-holic, where if my time isn’t spent with one of my previously mentioned family members it’s either doing jiujitsu, working on something for jiujitsu, or working at my day-job (I’m a math geek for an insurance company). In my spare time I like to hang out with my amazing wife & dogs, and sneak in video games as often as possible!
In the jiu-jitsu realm, I’m a blackbelt under Professor Shane Rice, Canada’s only blackbelt under the legendary Rickson Gracie. I recently opened my own academy in Moncton, Quantum Jiu-Jitsu!
What attracted you to Jiu Jitsu in the first place and what keeps you training now?
I’ve always been interested in martial arts (I studied Chito-Ryu karate as a child), but there was an event in my 20’s where I was beat in a parking lot trying to defend a friend. I ended up with a concussion, and some serious vertigo. I started then searching online for martial arts I might be more into. I knew of the UFC at this point, and was fascinated with the ground game. I started to hunt for a school, and found at the time what was called “BJJ Moncton”. It was run by a blue belt at the time, and to complete our gradings Prof. Rice would fly in for seminars. By 2012 Prof. Rice had wanted to move back to the East Coast, and took over BJJ Moncton as his Headquarters for what grew into Victory Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Three of us (Prof. Rice, myself and a former student named Serge) were involved in the logo creation / name of the school, and I was responsible for essentially anything outside of teaching adults (at the start) and the financials of the school. I ran the kids program from 2010 before Prof. Rice arrived, and ended up being one of the head adult instructors there until this year (2020) when I left to create my own school, Quantum Jiu-Jitsu (quantumjj.com).
The thing that keeps me training now is having my own school, and knowing I can do good things by sharing jiu-jitsu with as many folks as possible. I’m not interested in creating a mega ‘competition’ school, I want a school for the everyday person, the rcmp officer, the paramedic, the nurse, the prison guard, who wants to continually learn and sharpen their skills over the next several years in a fun, safe and professional training environment.
Are there any people in Jiu Jitsu that inspire you?
I’ve always been partial to the Gracie family in general, but I really enjoy the work that Rener and Ryron put out in Torrence. I love Roger Gracie too. From a competitive side, I’ve always enjoyed Roger & Kron (Rickson’s son) of course, but also seeing some of the more new-age styles a la Mendes Bros. – who’ve obviously influenced the feel of Quantum Jiu-Jitsu with their white aesthetic.
What about Jiu Jitsu would you like to see change or improve?
Two things come to mind
- More focus on making schools new-student friendly, with a stronger focus on basics / self-defense / survival. Folks love to preach “jiujitsu for everyone”, but many schools don’t cater to the new / anxious person.
- Removing the dogmatic belief systems in jiu-jitsu.
Call me, or email me, or visit quantumjj.com – let’s talk and change your life for the better.
Thank you to Alex for taking the time to answer my questions. Keep on being awesome!
This is my day 56 post for #100daystooffload
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