Professor Matt Ball, Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt.
I was born and raised in Auckland and moved to the Manawatu in 2004 at 17 when I joined the Army. I started BJJ in February 2011 but before this I trained and competed in Olympic wrestling. I started wrestling in 1998 and I have competed nationally and internationally. I won the Nationals tournament for my age and weight class in 2002 and subsequently I was selected for the NZ junior team. I travelled to USA in 2003 and 2005 as part of the team and competed in numerous tournaments across multiple states. In 2006 I represented NZ at the Oceania champs in Australia and placed third.
Since beginning BJJ I have competed in NZ and multiple times in the UK picking up a number of podium finishes. My highlight was winning the UK Masters National competition at blue belt in 2017. I started my BJJ training under Gracie Gym at the FightShop in Palmerston North and I have trained at WahiBJJ since it opened in 2019. Professors Marcos Carvalho and Wahib Salha promoted me to black belt on 9 April 2022.