QUEST of LIONS – GENESIS by Eric Huebner
Eric Huebner is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) brown belt, who was hosted by Team Bokk Jiu Jitsu in Dakar, Senegal where he led Grappling training sessions from 10 to 15 April 2017. Eric earned his brown belt under Tony Torres-Aponte, a Royce Gracie black belt out of Houston, Texas.
Since he was 12 years-old, Eric trained BJJ consistently, as well as crossed-trained in MMA, Muay Thai, and Wrestling along the way. With his extensive competitive background in BJJ, Submission Grappling and Wrestling and his experiences training at academies across the U.S., Brazil, and Europe, he is truly a seasoned grappling veteran.In 2013, after completing his dream of training and competing in Rio de Janeiro, he began to look for work opportunities abroad and has been living in Spain since 2014.
Currently living in Madrid and training under 3rd degree black belt Davi Cavalcante, Eric has had the opportunity to train with Gunnar Nelson black belts at Mjölnir MMA in Reykjavik, Iceland and competed at the European championships in Libson to name a couple ventures. Eric has a passion for teaching wherever he is: From offering BJJ, Self Defense, and MMA classes at his university’s recreation center, as well as teaching as a guest instructor in Vienna and helping with beginner students at his home academies in Houston, Texas and Madrid, Spain.
“I can say without a doubt that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has enriched my life and it’ll be a special experience to pass along what I’ve learned while visiting a new place, absorbing a totally different culture and creating new friendships along the way through arm bars and chokes” – Eric Huebner
Eric first discovered the LionHeart Initiative last March when it was featured in the BJJ Globetrotter newsletter and the organization immediately caught his attention for a variety of reasons. He had always been interested in exploring Africa and what better way to do that for his first trip, than training and teaching Jiu-Jitsu? He immediately saw the LionHeart Initiative as the perfect opportunity to share the knowledge that he accumulated over thousands of hours on the mat to those who are hungry to learn and who haven’t had the sameresources and opportunities that he was blessed with. A unique strength of the LionHeart Initiative is its ability to motivate volunteers and connect experienced martial artists with talented athletes in Africa. Over the years, the MMA for Africa movement, which grew out of the LionHeart Initiative, has led to dozens of volunteer instructors worldwide traveling to Africa and offering free seminars in MMA or underlying grappling and striking arts. In return, these foreign visitors are afforded a life-changing experience in training with local martial artists and being exposed to the rich culture and traditions of African communities.
While continuing short-term projects led by foreign volunteers to grow MMA and underlying martial arts (thereafter cited as MMA) in Africa, but recognizing its limitations, the LionHeart Initiative will also fund long-term MMA travelers to live and train in African communities. Concurrently, LionHeart will promote and support pan-African exchanges for African MMA fighters to travel to neighboring countries to share their skills, which represents a cost effective and sustainable long-term concept of operation. Additionally, LionHeart will help organize competitive circuits and collaborate with local promoters to hold MMA events, which will serve promote the sport locally, motivate aspiring pro-fighters, and alter the local martial arts landscape.