Wendy: When you decided to take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where did you first train?
Steve Cardenas: When this kid off the street named Mike Ortiz, a blue belt under Rickson Gracie now a black belt, came into my 1st dojo I ever ran and basically challenged me. I
accepted and in 10 seconds he had me on the ground in a choke hold gagging and tapping! I knew right then my game had to evolve. The closest academy to me was Jean Jaques Machado, so I immediately signed up.
Wendy: When did you start training with Sean Patrick Flanery at Hollywood Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Steve Cardenas: I started training with SPF in March of 2008. I hadn’t trained in 8 years at that point and was very rusty. But everyone was very cool and immediately accepted me into the circle so I liked that about HBJJ.
Wendy: I was curious then… who found out about the other’s acting career first? Did you know about Sean’s or did he know about yours when you met?
Steve Cardenas: Well I didn’t know he ran a Jiu Jitsu academy. I only recognized him after I signed up. Then I told him about what I had done and he found that very entertaining. Haha
Wendy: I understand you are still training under Sean, so what made you want to open up your own academy?
Steve Cardenas: Well, I always wanted to teach again and had been doing so at HBJJ. Michelle brought her kids to my class and saw how much it helped their confidence and discipline. She had encouraged me to open my own place and offered to help get it started so she could teach yoga as well. We both agreed that the two compliment each other. So I asked Sean if he would be okay with an HBJJ expansion and he was all for it!
Wendy: That’s awesome! Expanding HBJJ and the knowledge.