WHITE ROCK — Josh Robertson moved from Phoenix, Ariz., to the Newberry area a few months ago and brought with him his love of martial arts.
Robertson is a martial arts and self defense instructor who teaches at a couple of businesses in White Rock and Lexington. He had a location in Prosperity but had to close after a couple of instructors were not able to carry through and the building proved to be a bit too small.
Robertson is teaching seven from Newberry as well as some law enforcement officers with the City of Newberry and some highway patrolmen. The law enforcement officers are training for self defense.
Robertson’s teaching is mixed martial arts which includes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, self defense and realistic fighting such as UFC fighting, kickboxing, Muay Tai.
“I’ve been teaching for about 15 years now,” said Robertson, who is a fourth degree Uchi Jitsu as well as Jiu Jitsu. “I’ve been a fighter since 1995.”
He has a fight record of 64 wins and 24 losses in mixed martial arts and was also inducted in the Arizona Hall of Fame.
“I got into this because of my brother. My dad is also president of the American Akido Association,” said Robertson who started in mixed martial arts as a kid.
“In California (where Robertson is from), my brother took me to this ultimate fighting championship when I was 13 years old. This guy — Ken Shamrock — got choked out by a Gracie. I trained with Ken and learned mixed martial arts and submission wrestling. Then I became a Carlson Gracie in 1997,” he said.
“The Gracies are the ones who taught people to fight on the ground. They birthed the UFC,” said Robertson.
Robertson describes mixed martial arts as “the fastest growing sport in the world.”
“It’s grown a lot in six years. Six years ago, no one knew what it was,” said Robertson.
Robertson decided that after fighting professionally, he just wanted to give back to the community.
When Robertson teaches, he said there’s “no alpha males here,” and wants respect all around.
“I tell them to always be a witness and never use (fighting) unless you have to. I don’t encourage people to fight but if you have to use force, I tell them to use as little as possible,” he said.
Fighting is not just for men as Robertson said he was surprised to have ladies signing up fast which is useful as they can use mixed martial arts as self defense.
“Anyone can learn. It doesn’t matter if you are handicapped. Everyone has a right to learn and protect yourself. You’d be surprised by how much bad crap happens. I feel it’s my duty to teach people,” said Robertson.
Kids are not exempt either from learning as he explains mixed martial arts can help them protect themselves as needed.
Robertson said this is just something offered as a method of self defense and doesn’t want to shut anyone down.
“You get a chance to learn boxing, wrestling, Jiu Jitsu… mixed martial arts combines everything. You get to learn a little bit of everything,” said Robertson, who describes mixed martial arts as different than karate but doesn’t look down on it at all.
“I have a nine year old girl who’s about to get her black belt in karate. It’s good discipline,” said Robertson.
For more information about taking lessons from Robertson contact him at 803-924-9877.