In this week’s RGLH member profile we feature Richard Perreras, a husband and devoted family man working in Houston’s bustling oil & gas industry. A member since Renzo Gracie Lake Houston opened up in August 2019, Richard is working hard to earn his stripes, get stronger and add to his toolbox of tricks by showing up to class at least 3-4 times a week. He has plans to begin competing soon and is excited to continue growing through Jiu-Jitsu.
Learn about our teammate here:
Tell us a little about yourself:
Hello, my Name is Richard Perreras, married to Jamie Perreras. We have two wonderful children, Natalie and Elijah. My wife and I both work “shift work” schedules. She’s an RN working in the Emergency room and I work as a Plant Operator. Prior to this profession I was also a tennis Instructor.
Did you have any experience prior to RGLH? How did you find out about BJJ?
I started training back in 2004 during my junior year in High School after getting choked out by my cousin Mike from Australia, who was a purple belt at the time. We had yoga mats in the garage and trained hard watching countless instructional videos since money was budgeted tightly. I was fortunate enough to come across some highly influential BJJ instructors in the Houston community who allowed me to train at their academy knowing my situation growing up. They paved the way for me. I owe it to them; I owe it to the Jiu Jitsu community. I watched Rickson Gracie’s sports documentary “Choke” and from there I was Hooked! With life changing events, 13 years later, I’M BACK!!
We’re happy to have you! What brought you back?
I’ve always had the passion for the art. The ideal of a smaller guy taking down bigger opponents was always something I desired. I enjoyed learning and teaching, “sharing” with colleagues hoping one day this will become something I can do with my family and friends.
What brought you to Renzo Gracie Lake Houston?
The respected lineage of high-level instructors who teach Jiu Jitsu class brought me to this gym. Don’t forget Mike Calimbas takes great pictures too!!! (lol) The location is 5 minutes away from home and very convenient when having two kids under 3. It’s been a great addition to our routine.
How has training impacted your family and life so far?
Like most average families, it’s tough balancing life with family’s schedule; From cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and both of us working full time. Working opposite shifts makes things tough, But that’s part of it. MAKE TIME AND NOT EXCUSES. Commit 1-2 hours a day to yourself. We decided on prioritizing a healthy lifestyle and hopefully one day my family will join the progress leading by example.
What are some of your long-term goals with training?
To be the best Jiu-Jitsu partner I can be and one day achieve belt ranks using hard work on and off the mats.
I also want to influence the younger generation, to show that Jiu Jitsu is not just about beating your opponent. It challenges your well-being as a person so you can grow positively.
That’s awesome. What are your suggestions for someone who is just starting out in jiu-jitsu? What should they expect?
This is a humbling experience for all types of individuals. Leave your ego and temper out the door. You will learn more about yourself in tough situations on the mat. Don’t expect to rank up quickly unless you put in hard work. “I’m old school” when it comes to ranking. Keep your partner safe from injuries. Trust the process and take notes for every lesson taught. Trust the process for real! Don’t quit showing up if you ever get injured. Showing up and watching people train helps your Jiu-Jitsu knowledge and growth. It doesn’t hurt to ask colleagues what they learned on classes you missed. Never be afraid to ask questions.
Why would you recommend our academy?
The energy is strong in the academy considering it being new to the area. I love the family atmosphere. You can lose weight doing Jiu-Jitsu or kickboxing/Muay Thai class… No contracts.