Gympie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Rex Carney in the ring with mentor and black belt trainer, Ryan Dunstan.
Gympie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Rex Carney in the ring with mentor and black belt trainer, Ryan Dunstan. Contributed

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – ‘it’s beautiful violence’

Q. Firstly Rex, how did you get started in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A. Four years ago my friend Ben Dyer suggested I travel to his Gold Coast gym and train jiu-jitsu. I was hesitant at first but decided to give it a try and I instantly fell in love with the sport.

Q. Did you have any fighting experience before this?

A. I had some boxing experience, because my old man was a pro boxer and coach, but boxing doesn't really come into play in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).

Q. Is it true you have recently started a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym and club in Gympie?

A. I started a club called Terra Luta Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu about 12 months ago and the gym is at my feed barn. It was small at first, just being a place for me to train, but I soon expanded and welcomed others to come and learn the sport I love.

Q. Is it the only gym in Gympie that specialises in BJJ?

A. Yeah, we are the only club to only train BJJ, which I am extremely proud of.

Q. Where is the gym and how could somebody join if interested?

A. It's on 45 Pine St in Gympie and anybody 13 years and over is welcome to come and have a go. Call me on 0416 044 363 or visit our Facebook page.

Q. What belt do you currently have?

A. I have a blue belt at the moment, but I'm hoping to move up in the near future. BJJ's belt system is much harder to move up in then karate or any other sport, it takes roughly 15 years to get a black belt.

Q. What is it you love about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A. I love how the sport can completely squash people's egos. When I first started I was around 130kg and they asked me to fight a guy half my size. I thought it was a joke, but he put me to the ground and tapped me out. It goes to show the sport is about technique and leverage not strength and size.

Q. Do you have a mentor in the sport?

A. My mentor definitely would be Ryan Dunstan. He taught me the fundamentals of BJJ and I have trained under him ever since. Every couple weeks I head down to Caloundra to train with him.

Q. Who is your favourite fighter and why?

A. Currently my favourite fighter is BJ Penn. I love to watch him fight because his technique is perfect. He specialises in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing. When he is in good form it is amazing to watch, it's beautiful violence because fighting is really an art form.

Q. How many people do you currently coach at your gym?

A. I have about 15 people in total who train Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. We train for an hour and half and usually work on, technique, drilling and rolling (sparring).

Q.Where did you grow up and what sports did you play?

A. I grew up in Dalby until I went to boarding school at Toowoomba Grammar. I played rugby union for the school team in Year 12 and I was captain of the reserve team. After school I moved to Gympie and played for the Gympie Devils for roughly 10 years.

Q. What's next for you and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

A. For me I will continue to coach and train BJJ for as long as I can. I'm also hoping to expand the club and welcome juniors.

Player profile

Name: Rex Carney

Age: 35

Born: Dalby

Favourite Movie: Reservoir Dogs

Sport you would play if not Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Rugby League

Funniest moment in sport: Playing rugby with Phil Webb. He was a cheeky English player and always had funny one liners that cracked me up.