Congratulations Jeff Bonugli – 2018 World Masters Jiu Jitsu Champion!!!
At 62 years young and with 40+ years of martial arts training, competing and teaching, Jeff Bonugli has just proven that he is not yet ready for the “rocking chair”.
It’s an interesting story!
It all started back in 1974 when Jeff walked into the Soryu Karate Dojo in New Braunfels, TX and began his training under Chris Lopez, now known as Grand Master Lopez.
Flash forward 4 or 5 years . . . “The Good Old Days”, . . . “The Blood and Guts Days”, . . . “The All or Nothing Days” . . .
Jeff Bonugli meets ARPwave_mike (instagram@) in an early version of kickboxing, so early in fact, it was still known as Full Contact Karate. Little did these pioneers know, but they were trailblazing for a sport that would eventually evolve into today’s MMA. By the way, that is a young Grand Master Lopez standing next to his instructor, Texas Karate Pioneer Joe Alvarado (also Mike Primeau’s Instructor – the common denominator)
As martial arts competition evolved, and martial artists tested their style vs other styles, many started crossing over and learning multiple styles. Stand up fighters learned ground fighting (Ju-Jitsu, Wrestling, . . . ) and ground fighters learned to stand up (Kickboxing, Boxing and Muay Thai . . . )
Everyone scrambled to learn what everyone else knew.
The Teacher Becomes the Student
While ARPwave_mike was in New York training with future UFC Champ Matt Sarah, Jeff Bonugli went to work with his former karate student and now BJJ Black Belt Jason Yarrington, owner of Ohana Academy.
The Grand Master Becomes the Student
Not only did Jeff Bonugli check his ego at the door and start over as a white belt, so did his instructor, Grand Master Lopez.
Flash Forward another dozen or so years
• Jeff Bonugli is now 60 years old (counting on an abacus)
• 2 X IBJJF World Masters Champion
• 2 X Hall of Famer – Sport Karate & Kickboxing
• 9th Degree Black Belt and Grand Master of Soryu Karate
• And, still not ready for the rocking chair, but retiring from competition to teach.
2nd Meeting with ARPwave_mike
Mike saw on Facebook an announcement for the Grand Opening for the Jeff Bonugli
Family Jiu-Jitsu and Karate in New Braunfels, Texas
. . . and showed up with his ARPwave machine to do demos.
Mike reconnected with his old teammate, Champ Louis Arnold, met Jason Yarrington-owner of Ohana Academy, and Jason’s right hand man Gabe Reynaga, saw Alyssa Gomez promoted (Congrats), met UFC Badass Alexander “The Great” Hernandez, and had the opportunity to put the ARPwave on head Soryu Karate Instructor Jonny Coppado and Grand Opening host Sarah Burns Bonugli (Suffering from BJJ shoulder damage). And, Oh Yeah, Grand Master Lopez wanted a sample. Good times were had by all.
Obviously Jeff “He Himself” Bonugli was way too busy, but his wife Sarah recognized the opportunity, and invited Mike back to work on Jeff, and the rest is history.
Mike went to work on Jeff’s Neck & Shoulders, Low Back, and Knees. In a short time, Jeff was feeling so much better he started considering a trip to Las Vegas to defend his IBJJF World Masters Title
The 2018 IBJJF World Masters Championship quickly approached. But with ARPwave in his corner, Jeff, at the age of 62, found himself healthy, strong and confident. He entered the tournament looking to bring home the gold for the third time in his career! At the end of the night, Jeff once again, was standing on the top of the podium with gold draped around his neck and a BJJ Black Belt wrapped around his waist.
If you are reading this, you’ve probably already watched Jeff’s Testimonial Video, but if not, here it is . . . .
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