Byron Brooks began his Martial Arts at a young age studying Tae Kwon Do and Wing Chun Kung Fu while growing up. Byron, who was raised in a Military Family, earned his Tae Kwon Do Black Belt under the famous Grand Master Myong Sok Namkung Mayes (2X Coach of the United States Olympic Team). Byron also wrestled in High School before attending Duke University. Byron moved to Maryland in 2004 and began training at Ground Control Baltimore in 2009, where he earned his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under John Rallo. A few years into training, Byron began practicing with Ground Control’s Fight Team and was a common drill and spar partner for Ryan Mackin, who was fighting Professional MMA on Team Ground Control at the time. Byron and Mackin would travel together, on a weekly basis, to Precision Jiu-Jitsu in King of Prussia, PA to train with Rob Scheier (Ricardo Almeida Black Belt). When Mackin began managing Ground Control Owings Mills, Byron was brought over with him to help due to their long training history and Byron’s work ethic and enthusiasm to constantly improve his game in all aspects. He began teaching kids and adult classes on a regular basis but when he received a promotion at work he was forced to step back at GCOM. Fortunately, Byron still remains on staff and teaches No Gi Jiu-Jitsu on Thursday nights.
As a competitor, there isn’t much Byron has not done. After years of competing in competitions with Tae Kwon Do, and other traditional Martial Arts, Byron began entering several local and regional Jiu-Jitsu competitions including NAGA, Grapplers Quest, US Grappling, Goodfight, and many others. Byron also has competed twice at the IBJJF World Masters Championships and was a Bronze Medalist at the 2015 IBJJF Atlanta Open in February. Byron has also competed at the WKA North American Championships on two occasions and was a semi-finalist in 2013. Byron also had the opportunity to compete in Mixed Martial Arts, at Stellar Fights, which is considered one of the best amateur MMA shows in the region. Byron’s only fight was short lived as he knocked his opponent out in less than 15 seconds of the opening round.
Although Byron is no longer actively competing in MMA or Kickboxing, he still remains busy on the local and National Jiu-Jitsu Circuit. He hopes to earn his Purple Belt within the next year and compete, once again, at the IBJJF World Masters Championships in 2016. He recently moved to Baltimore County with his wife Monica and their 4 year old son, Zach. Zach and Byron are also part of our Family Training Class on Saturdays and Zach will also be enrolled in our Kids Program in the next year or two.