Last Updated on March 16, 2012.
Success Story From TSMMA Bethlehem Student John Bacolo
March 15, 2012
To Whom it may concern,
Six months ago my wife and I decided to, instead of signing our two young boys up for football, we would try something different. We wanted to find an activity that would not only challenge them physically, but mentally as well. MMA seemed to offer the perfect combination. We understood that physical challenge would keep them motivated and we hoped the instructors would engage them to be more focused and disciplined. Before the first trial class was over, we knew for sure that this was a place that would deliver all of our hopes. Our two boys are now flourishing.
After my two children were signed up with new uniforms in hand and smiles on their faces, we were about to leave and I made a comment that would change my life forever. I said this looks like something that could be good — even for me.
To put my story into context, allow me to describe my background. I am a 36-year-old husband and father of three beautiful boys. I am a self employed business owner who is constantly stressed out. Since my high school baseball days when I spent my nights working out and working in Ferrigno’s gym, I have always struggled with my weight. I went from 185 all the way up to 250. I tried all of the diets out there with some success, but my weight always found its way back up to around 250 lbs. I was always left feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Everyday I knew this was not the person I wanted to be. I despised going shopping for clothes hoping that the XL’s would not be too tight, and wondering if the 38’s would be cut too trim. I desperately wanted to walk into any store, pick an item, and be able to purchase it without worry.
As we were leaving, Sensei Villafane insisted that I give the training a try by taking the next Monday adult core class. I laughed and said I couldn’t and that it probably wouldn’t be good for me. He insisted, and even told me that he was going to call to remind me. That Saturday I got my first reminder. He called and told me he was looking forward to seeing me in the upcoming class on Monday. I softened up a bit and said I will consider it. On Monday he called again and I told him to count me in. A little nervous at first, I got through the workout better than I expected. I received constant instruction from Sensei and got the best workout of my life. Towards the end of the class, we stretch ourselves out. I recall sitting in the back of the class covered with sweat, struggling to bend and touch my toes. I knew at that very
humbling moment, that this could not continue any longer. 36 years old, out of shape, and unable to even touch my toes. I thought: what type of life is this? When the class was completed, Sensei invited me back for another trial and I told him not to bother; just sign me up. I never looked back.
I started out from training two hours a week, up to six. Sensei Villafane and Joshu Holland keep me training at the highest level and never let me quit. I have expanded my routine to include grappling, and I have just received my promotion to low blue belt. I stick to the nutrition plan they gave me and I have lost 50lbs to date. I currently weigh 195lbs, with my weight goal set to 175lbs. I am no longer stressed out. I am enjoying my family life more, and tend to be in a better mood all the time. I eat better, sleep better, and feel great about who I am. I now shop, wondering if the L’s will be too too big, and if the 32’s will be cut too wide.
John C. Bacolo
Train with Sensei Villafane @ TSMMA Bethlehem