Introducing Coach Joseph Duarte
Athletic endeavors have always been a part of my life. I was put in martial arts and gymnastics by my parents at the age of 3, and I have been a multi-sport athlete ever since. I have played pretty much every sport you can think of. Football, basketball, and baseball for years and then I got into rowing for a couple. I also dabbled in swimming, soccer, tennis, rugby, volleyball, track, and rock-climbing. Through out all of these endeavors, there has been one sport that I have stayed with, martial arts.
My journey began with karate, as many young kid’s journeys do. I started in the point fighting style Shorin Ryu. I found a lot of success winning some major tournaments, which is always awesome. I then went on to a full contact competition style, called Enshin. Here too I did well. Through school I met a kung fu practitioner and began training with him in a style known as Xingyiquan (Hsing I Chuan). It wasn’t long before I would find myself in a combat discipline that MMA fans should be familiar with… Kickboxing.
To help develop my new skill set I decided to venture into a boxing gym. I enjoyed boxing but the amount of abuse one’s head takes in sparring and competition ultimately turned me off. Boxing was not the strongest aspect of my martial arts career. Let’s just say my kicking ability was a little better than my punching ability. Eventually I came into contact with some Muay Thai trainers who helped round out my skill set. In the latter arts I did not compete at as high a level as I did in karate but I still had a blast, sometimes winning and sometimes losing matches. I eventually was asked to be a striking coach for an MMA club, and in turn they would teach me wrestling and Jiu Jitsu. The training and sparring were awesome. I love learning new things and the ground game was a whole new unexplored domain to master. This led to my current journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). The Dojo where I train in BJJ is also where I teach kickboxing and MMA, and I am currently getting a few amateur fighters ready for various competitions.
Despite my very active lifestyle, I was never very big. I’m still not very big. I graduated high school weighting in at a whopping 132 lbs. As a result, most of my focus in any sport has been on skill and conditioning to make up for what I lack in size. This mentality has stuck with me as weight classes have been introduced to the competition format. I have done a minimal amount of strength training over my career with most of my exercise programing being based in calisthenics. I do however hold a CFL-1 thanks to one of the gyms I worked with.
I looked into many of the different training programs and methodology’s out there and did research on the effectiveness of each. I had built up a decent amount of strength over the years of training but injuries and school, getting a degree in Biology can be somewhat time consuming, have set me back. I am now working on rebuilding myself. It is a hard road to strength gains, especially since I am at the Dojo 8 hours a day before I can break free to the gym, but soon it will all be worth it again. And I hope to use the knowledge I have gained from martial arts and strength training to help others who may be following a similar path as myself.
Thanks for taking the time to read about me and I’ll leave you with some answers to questions that undoubtedly get asked.
- Favorite martial art? Karate, it saved my butt.
- Favorite strength training style? Strongman, so painful yet so fun.
- Favorite UFC fighter? Carlos Condit for MMA (Although I prefer K-1 cause striking is my thing).
- Where do I teach? ShotoForce MMA in Seaside, Ca.