JiuJitsuSweep.com had a great opportunity to talk with head instructor and owner of Red Dawn Combat Club in Queens, New York, Michael Botier.
Red Dawn Combat Club is the only Leonardo Xavier authorized affiliate school in New York and is located at
101-06 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills NY 11375
Inside of the Genyukan Dojo.
We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us Michael, we understand you are very busy promoting, running the day-to-day operations and teaching and coaching at Red Dawn Combat Club.
Phew! That took a lot of effort just to write, i can’t imagine what it would be like to handle such great responsibilities with an academy like RDCC. Besides teaching Jiu Jitsu at RDCC do you also own the academy?
Yes, i am the owner of RDCC. We are based out of Genyukan dojo, an aikido school, which is to say we use their space until we can grow and take over our own.
Fantastic Michael! Now, besides teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at your academy , i understand your curriculum involves other grappling martial arts, what other forms do you teach at Red Dawn Combat Club?
We incorporate a lot of Judo takedowns and Sambo leg locks. I trained in both for a while and believe in showing my students all that i know. Therefore our curriculum includes learning leg locks even at the white belt level, and learning all the Judo throws and hold downs.
Well, it sounds like you have extra curricular martial arts happening at RDCC, from Judo throws to Leg locks and pretty much everything in between. With so much going on at RDCC, Where did the passion for Jiu Jitsu come from?
My passion for Jiu Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specifically, came from an altercation I had with a Wrestler who learned BJJ. I was a student at Hofstra University at the time. A wrestler and I got into some words and he challenged me to a fight. I eagerly accepted thinking I will knock this guy out so easily. About 30 seconds later I was in so much pain I couldnt believe it. He put me in a crucifix hold and tore my shoulder so badly that even to this day I have problems with it. At that point I learned the hard way that BJJ is the ultimate answer for protecting yourself. I was a Karate champion and I could not knock this Grappler out before he got his hands on me. Once I started training I started to see how amazing the techniques were and that truly I had so much to gain from learning BJJ. It make you stronger, more agile, more aware, more connected with your movements, more sensitivity to controlling force and momentum, and I could go on all day.
Wow! What a way to learn first hand the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It sounds like the old days back in Brazil the way the Gracies traveled looking to test their martial art. And since we are talking about the Gracies and the way they have influenced todays combat sports, What kind of influence regarding martial arts did you have growing up?
I used to get picked on in school and my father wanted me to learn how to protect myself. My grandfather was a folk wrestling champion back in Georgia (former Soviet Union). There was a Tae Kwon Do near my house and my father signed me up at the age of 9. I moved on to Karate at the age of 15. My Instructor was a Kyokushin Black Belt who trained us in the strictest manner. But above all he maintained and enforced the idea of never ever being a bully or fighting out of anger or to prove your superiority. A lesson I learned the hard way when a brown belt from a sister school and I (i was a green belt at the time) fought for real and forgot that we were just supposed to spar. When he noticed that we were both out to win and not to train, he took it upon himself to show us how there is always someone better! He messed us up, bad! He, to this day, is the best instructor i have even known. He could turn anyone into a warrior, a true one. One who believe in respect, honer, camaraderie, and manners. The most influential person in my Martial Arts background. So my influence in short, has been that of true traditional respect for all the beauty and ferocity of real Martial Arts. That Martial Arts both have the ability to show you how much you can help people and how much you can really hurt them, and what that responsibility means and therefore how you should carry yourself as an instructor and as a person.
That sounds like an amazing man, many times we train out of love for our sport, but there are those that lack respect for traditional martial arts, mainly those who have never trained, are the ones who lack a knowledge of our precious art, and therefore don’t understand how or why we sacrifice so much to become better people and athletes. So to make others understand our sport better Michael, What are you doing to promote Jiu Jitsu to a broader/mainstream audience?
What I do to promote Jiu Jitsu is, I teach my students everything I know, never holding back. I workout in the gym with my guys to help them get in shape for Jiu Jitsu. I work with my students to find new ways to get our school’s name out there. I try to find new methods of getting the school’s name out there. I dont much care for competition, nor do I think its that important, but I started competing so that it would motivate my students and draw attention to our school. I try to train with different martial artists, Judo guys, Karate guys, etc. to show how useful BJJ can be to anyone.
That sounds like a great place to train , your academy seems very family oriented and close knit, being the head coach and instructor at RDCC, How would your students describe you as a coach/teacher to other people looking to learn from you?
I would say my students would describe me as someone who really believes in proper training, safety, respect, and treating your fellow student as you would want to be treated. They would probably also say that I am very easy going until someone mistakens humility for weakness. I dont like egos no matter what championship someone has . I always remember what my Karate Sensei taught me. There is always someone better. I care more about motivating someone to better their life by helping them gain self confidence, increasing their overall health, and providing a great environment for people to enjoy training BJJ. If I never win a world championship, I will not lose any sleep. It would be great absolutely.
But my true goal is for when my time comes on this earth and I am looking back on my life I can say to myself with no doubt that I made a difference in someone’s life. That there was a real purpose for me to exist and I did something for someone other than myself. I want my students to always say to themselves, RDCC is the place to be. I want them to say that I will always do my best to make sure everyone learns and has a good time in the process.
Outstanding ideology Michael! It sounds like Red Dawn Combat Club is an academy to watch in the future! We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us, is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
We have 8 classes a week for the adults and 2 classes a week for the kids. I teach every class. I make sure that my students get the best attention because I have seen first hand what it is like to get lost in the fray at other schools. Our rate for Unlimited is only $135 a month. Therefore $135 a month gets a student 32 classes. That means each class is $4.21. I dare anyone to find another school in NY that charges so little for BJJ and has a real lineage! It doesn’t exist. I try to make BJJ affordable so everyone can benefit from training. It doesnt matter if there is a multiple time world champion teaching classes when they are so expensive that only rich people can afford to train there. So I do the best I can to make BJJ accessible to everyone.
Thank you Michael! We appreciate your time and we look forward to another interview in the future.
You can visit Michael Botier’s Red Dawn Combat Club, a Leonardo Xavier Jiu Jitsu Association, located at
101-06 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills NY 11375
Or you can visit RDCC website for more information .