Dedication, heart, drive and patience – these needed attributes impel into an athlete a desire to compete at their best. Grappling World Champion Marcos Andrew Navarro has focused on these attributes his entire grappling career. Attributes instilled in him as a child by parents, Joe and Diana Navarro, while growing up in Imperial.
Now, Navarro is hoping to motivate and inspire new faces to the grappling/mixed martial arts world as head instructor of God’s Gladiators Training Team.
“I was a personal trainer for five years and I had this idea of putting the study of kinetics and psychology together to achieve success in martial art tournaments,” said Navarro.
And from there the seeds of starting his own fight team were planted.
God’s Gladiator representative, Brandon Emmett, who has competed and earned medals throughout grappling tournaments in California and Arizona, and local professional boxer, Mike Noriega, both have joined the team and have found some early success on the grappling scene.
“I contacted Mike Noriega, a professional boxer who I have had the honor to spar for his televised fights, and asked him if he would inspire the youth of the Imperial Valley by competing in the North American Grappling Association (NAGA) California Grappling Championships on August 22nd in San Diego.”
Noriega competed in the event and finished with a third place medal. In addition, Emmett placed in two separate divisions, earning a first and second place medal at the NAGA event.
“I noticed that Brandon and Mike both struggled a little, but they have hearts of a champion and did not give up, they did well, they are great guys to be around. There’s always room for improvement in any sport, and I was very happy these guys placed in their weight classes,” said Navarro of his team’s showing at the NAGA California Grappling Championships.
Along with his accomplishments in grappling, Emmett is hoping to switch to the MMA world. He has competed in amateur fights in California and is currently ranked 75th at heavyweight in the state.
When Emmett first began his training in grappling, he tipped the scales at 350 pounds. He now fights at the more comfortable weight for himself of 220.
“It feels great to be on the God’s Gladiators’ team,” said Emmett on representing the fight team. “We have a professional boxer on our team, and head instructor, Marcos Andrew Navarro, a world champion who drives us to train hard, and is part of our successes, both Mike’s and mine.”
Navarro wears many hats in the grappling/MMA world including competitor, trainer and now, officially, corner man. Navarro has officially received his cornering license in mixed martial arts through California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts.
“I’m happy with all of my achievements and that martial arts has given me the knowledge to receive a cornering license,” said Navarro.
Navarro hopes to find ways to better himself in all aspects of training and coaching, to help his students achieve greater successes in whichever art they compete.
“I believe I can go anywhere in this world: China, Russia, Germany, or Israel and take my team, God’s Gladiators, and achieve success. I am very pleased with my team and I would most of all like to thank the Imperial Valley for their support. God Bless.”