Team Texas: James Markle

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Name: James  Markle

Rank: Black

Where you train: Markle Gold Team & Bernardo Pitel BJJ

How long have you been training? Submission grappling since 1990

Favorite Gi: Fuji Suparaito

What’s in your gym bag? Lots of tape and maybe some tacos 😊

Favorite submission? Loop choke

Favorite thing about the Jiu-Jitsu community in Texas? We have some of the most open and accepting gyms in the world filled with top level competitors.

What’s one thing you would change about the Texas Jiu Jitsu community? We still have a lot of gyms not participating in community events open mats, these are amazing and I wished we had them when I was a lower belt coming up, Texas is very lucky.

What is your biggest accomplishment? Becoming the first American black belt under Jorge Macaco Patino and not dying in the process.

What has been your biggest struggle in Jiu Jitsu? Jumping into the black belt division at 38 (now 43) and going against monsters that have been black belts longer than I have been doing BJJ.

 If you could give any advice to your white belt self, what would it be?  Stop giving excuses on why you can’t make it to train, we get it.  Just show up and get on the mat when you can.

 What motivates you train on days when you just don’t feel like it? BJJ is like my mood medicine, if I miss a day I feel “fine.” Others say I am a real pain in the a#@ specifically my wife.

If you could take a private lesson with any Jiu Jitsu practitioner who would it be? I am not big on privates and have been able to train with a ton of big name guys, I am more honored to have a newbie step on the mat and take up BJJ with me.

Who is your favorite Texas BJJ Practitioner to watch (outside of your current team/affiliation):
 I love watching the kids tear it up, Mona Bailey is one of my favorites!

What’s your perfect Jiu Jitsu playlist? Old school hip-hop played at high volumes!

What do you remember about your first day of Jiu Jitsu? It was so long ago but coming from a wrestling background, most likely damn this gi is hot!

What do you remember about your first tournament? I thought I killed a guy after hitting him with a huge Uchi Mata and knew that this would be something I would be doing for a long time.

Anything exciting coming up? Training camp and prep for World Masters in August!