CLAREMORE – Cherokee Nation citizen Jeff Eagle uses Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing to teach his students self-defense, give them confidence and peace of mind. 

Eagle’s Jiu Jitsu journey started in 2013 when he noticed a gym next to his weight room that offered classes. He signed up and was what he called “pretty religious” about attending classes until about 2015 when he quit. 

“I quit for about two years. If you talk to Jiu Jitsu people they usually quit pretty often,” he said. “Mainly because you’re not making the progress that you think you could. If you were an athlete before and could always do something well, you’re not going to do this well. You have guys like my buddy Blake, who is 140 pounds soaking wet who just destroys guys that are 250 or 260, and you’re just not used to that kind of stuff. So, you’ll quit, but you always come back.” 

When he made it back to the gym a couple of years later, Eagle was taking high blood pressure pills, was diabetic and depressed. After training hard for several months he decided to compete. He was off of the medication, in better health and used his workouts as a way to fight off depression. In his first competition, he won a gold medal and third place in his first tournament. 

Now Eagle, along with his business partner, teach Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai and he loves giving people the tools they need to be more confident and have peace of mind knowing that they are able to defend themselves should they ever need to. 

“It’s really a warrior mentality. I want to be better today than I was yesterday, and that’s what I want these kids to know. If that means winning a belt, good. If that means getting straight A’s in class, even better. Be a good human being too, just not a champion,” he said. 

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