A Choke Among Friends | Minneapolis Sport Photographer

In my spare time I enjoy training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at American Top Team of Savage, Minnesota. It's something I've done for a few years now (although not as consistently as I'd like) and have had the honor of receiving my blue belt from Royce Gracie (The Godfather of MMA) and some stripes from his cousin Rodrigo Gracie.

It seemed like a logical place to turn my camera and document an area of my life that I'm passionate about. Rather than practice one morning, I arrived with my camera and turned it on my friends. Chokes, arm bars, joint locks and other generally painful or uncomfortable positions were abundant and I was there to capture them all.

If you ever watch Mixed Martial Arts, MMA (UFC for example), and you're not all that familiar with Jiu Jitsu; whenever the fight goes to the ground it might just look like a couple of guys rolling around fighting over the TV remote. I imagine many see that as boring as opposed to the dramatic punches and kicks but I love when fights go to the ground. It's incredibly technical and a beautiful thing to watch.