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Member of the Month - October 2019: Joe Pizzuto

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Member of the Month - October 2019: Joe Pizzuto

We are very excited to announce our October Member of the Month, Joe Pizzuto! Joe competes often in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and trains that along with Wrestling and Strength and Conditioning here at Underdog. Joe is often one of the hardest working people in the room, always responds excellently to coaching feedback, and leads by example.


Member of the Month – October, 2019: Joe Pizzuto

How long have you been at Underdog?
A year and three months.

How long have been involved with Martial Art/Fitness Training?
Jiu-Jitsu has been an almost three year journey for me, and I’ve been wrestling for around thirteen years. I started lifting seriously around seven years ago.

How has your training changed since you’ve come to Underdog?
My physical fitness has definitely gotten better since I started going to structured classes instead of just lifting weights at my own. My cardio has also definitely improved. My Jiu-Jitsu skills have expanded into areas I wasn’t familiar with previously.

Do you have a background in athletics?
I started wrestling in the sixth grade and have been doing that ever since. I also played football in high school. Once I graduated college, I started doing Jiu-Jitsu.

What’s your first strong memory of Underdog?
On my first day coming here, I told Russ I was probably going to check out other gyms in the area. He told me to go ahead, but that he knew I would be back. He was right. The level of training here and the level of all the training partners here made it immediately apparent that this would be the place I would train.

What is your favorite thing about Underdog?
The variety of classes, between BJJ and wrestling to striking and the strength and conditioning. There are so many opportunities here for people to train all different aspects of martial arts.

What motivates you to train?
I have a big drive to compete. That’s always been something that’s motivated me. I’m always looking for ways to be better at everything that I try to do.

Since starting at Underdog, what goals have you been able to achieve? What challenges have you had to face and overcome?
I got my blue belt, that was a good step in the right direction. Challenges… motivating myself to come in for the morning classes and to convince myself that I can make time. It’s really easy to make excuses, or to come home late from work and decide I couldn’t make it in. I realized that you can always MAKE time, if you’re willing to sacrifice other things.

What has had the largest positive impact on your training?
Choosing to work my bottom game more in Jiu-Jitsu. Raf has pushed me to not take the top position, which comes naturally to me as a wrestler. He has me work the bottom so that my weaknesses get addressed.

What goals do you still have? What’s next for your training?
The New York Open is next month, that’s my immediate goal. I’d like to do Pan-Ams next Fall, too. Long term, I’m looking to get my Black Belt.

Anything you want to add?
Nope, that pretty much covers it.

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