Boran's Jiu Jitsu, 1548 Adams ave Costa Mesa, CA
James "Avalanche" Boran is a black belt under the master Joe Moriera. He has been training BJJ since '91 and received his BB in '97. The same year in which I defeated Frank Shamrock in NHB Fighting. James has had his school in this same spot for over ten years now,with a second location on Banning as well. The only other school that has been in business that long in my neighborhood, is Cleber.
I rolled up on his school at 915 am unannounced. There were four students training on the mat with no GI's on. James immediately got up and walked me back outside. Once before, years ago, I was in his school to see one of his instructors that I really wanted to choke out. James is telling me I told the student I would do privates. No, i came to choke Marty. "Who is Marty" he said. Who did I tell i would do privates with? I honestly don't remember that, but It probably happened. So, I apologized to him and stated that I am a rep for the New Storm Kimonos and I would like to show him. He started talking price and I could tell he wasn't interested in what I got, but I was able to walk him back inside and continue my pitch. James must have been hearing some little birdie talking. He was just chomping at the bit to tell me what's up. He is giving me the cold shoulder as two Fireman student's of his walk in and say hi John. Remember us from training at the firehouse with Kenny. I did. We all couldn't stop talking story as we watched the training. These guys were all reminiscing about the IGOR ZInoviev fight and just a lot of stuff we all had in common. James sat silent. Actually had his back to me and his face in the laptop the whole time. Anyway, a student gets off the mat and bought my sample Dragon trunks. I hand James a twenty. He said what is this? A kickback. I'm not gonna come to your school and just make my money and leave you out. It's your school man. No, that's cool, it's yours. Class was like ten minutes before 11. I got my backpack on and turned to James,can I train with you and your Black Belts tomorrow morning? He walked me outside again. "No." you have your own school. Nothing personal, Just Business, but don't come back. If it is just business, like you say, then out of respect, if anyone asks me for private lessons I will split it 50/50 with you. I charge $80 an hour. But, honestly James, I am just training and repping the Storms. I am not interested in getting new students. I wouldn't mind it, but, that's not my focus. He said NO, it's just business. Ok then, I respect that and I went next door to Carl's for lunch.
Five minutes later, as I came out of the Carl's with my lunch, one of the students pulls up and jumps out of his truck still in his gear and sweating. He says John, John what's your number? You left before i could talk to you. I need help with my wrestling and you are the man. Can I get a private from you? LOL, JUST BUSINESS. Well, James just asked me not to come back, and the old me might have slapped him in his face. Instead, I understand where he is coming from. It's JUST business, so here is my number. You give me a call when you are ready brother...
Wow. Someone is insecure about his school, his teaching ability , and his ability to keep students. I've never met someone so insecure about his academy. On the other hand, I can see where he's coming from. Good to hear that you didn't make an issue about it. As you and I talked about, the community is so small that you don't want to have any bad blood with anyone. I'm glad that your acting as a representative for storm. That is something that works for you. Keep plugging away, and you'll be moving a 1000 units month. -Ryan