Our company has been operating internationally since its inception. It’s not an obstacle, it’s our reality. Doesn’t make it any easier, but we make the 12-hour time difference between Taiwan and Florida work. Rome and TK are modest world travelers. Their paths crossed at a Jiu Jitsu gym in Taiwan and a lifelong friendship started. TK and Brandon have been friends since freshman year of high school, sharing a locker on the JV baseball team. Our roots run deep. Relationships forged under those conditions don’t falter.
Our roles are clearly delegated, and the work gets done. Rome is the black belt, as thus, the authority on our voice and the content we ultimately create. His perspective and expertise are invaluable assets. TK has natural business savvy and built himself into a leader. Brandon is the least-experienced grappler and finds his niche as editor of the magazine and creative/social media contributor.
Focused by routine, we are just three guys putting in hours for free out of sheer passion for creation. Rome is a seasoned traveler. He experienced the true ferocity of nature first hand when Hurricane Katrina ravaged his home state of Louisiana in 2005. Since then, he’s been across the US, Africa, Europe and Asia. His martial arts knowledge protected him in unfamiliar places and provided for him through the tight network of fellow practitioners. The underlying theme of Grappler is working to inspire our audience to make their own memories. If we can do it, so can you.
TK’s military career took him predictably to the Middle East and Africa where he found a passion for learning and interacting with new cultures. After his first Jiu Jitsu lesson in the USAF Pararescue dorms he was confused, after his second lesson in a tent at an undisclosed location he was frustrated, after his third in a Taiwanese gym he was hooked!
Brandon is our rock. His wife gave birth to their first child in December of 2018 and he has only missed two doctor’s appointments to date. He balances his duties as head of his household with his commitment to the grind amicably, working toward his BJJ Blue Belt at the Smiley Academy in Jacksonville, FL.
We’ve done what we have so far on a shoestring budget as a side project to our actual day jobs. The thing that motivates us the most is the prospect of what we could do if this was our primary focus. We’re opening our online shop this year and plan to grow at a steady pace that can be supported. On that note, THANK YOU! Your support is giving us the opportunity to continue to work on our passion and we can’t begin to tell you how much that means to us.
We look forward to creating new content through our website and social media in the future. We see potential in this brand and are flattered you do as well. Stay focused and motivated and we’ll see you on the mats!