Mike Roukas – Assistant Instructor
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt
Years ago, Mike Roukas had plans to be a college English professor.
However, the more he trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the more he enjoyed putting his teaching skills to use on the mat. Today, Mike is a full-time instructor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to adults and children at NJ United MMA, coaching regularly at tournaments.
As a featherweight, Mike initially struggled against larger and stronger opponents when he began training BJJ in 2003. But after months of consistent training, he competed in a local tournament and took second place to close-out his division alongside NJ United MMA owner Jay Hayes.
Months later after he won first place at another tournament, he knew that jiu-jitsu could hold a special place in anyone’s life, regardless of size, strength, or perceived talent.
Mike began teaching BJJ to children as a blue belt, and worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in special education from 2005 to 2007. Afterward, he worked as an adjunct English professor and tutor for over two years at DeVry University, and later ran several writing workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Bryan College, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco.
In February of 2017, Mike competed at the brown belt level of the NJBJJF Spring Open, taking one of his victories by wrist lock in 8 seconds and later taking second place to close out his division with a teammate.
Later that month, Mike earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from NJ United head instructor Jay Hayes. Today, he’s still training to be the best practitioner and teacher he can be.
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