CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A young man from Corpus Christi is trying to make a name for himself in the martial arts world while also inspiring kids along the way.
Justin Garcia is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and although he's confident in his abilities now he says that wasn't always the case.
As a kid, Garcia said he was headed down the wrong path.
“I got kicked out of Carroll my freshman year,” he said. “I went SLGC when I was younger in middle school for fighting and I was big into graffiti.”
He said his sister was already in jiu jitsu at Presa so his parents signed him up at the gym in an effort to keep him out of trouble.
Garcia said as soon as he hit the mat he was hooked.
“I absolutely fell in love with it,” he said. “It gave me the confidence I was looking for and it gave me an emotional outlet.”
Now the student has become the teacher.
Garcia coaches children at Presa.
He said a part of his teaching style came from dealing with the adversity in his youth.
“I give them the option to understand that they can find that power within themselves to push themselves to where they need to be as well as giving them little life lessons,” Garcia said.
He said to set an example for his kids he continues to push himself to the next level so come February he'll be taking part in his first ever MMA fight.