So guys today I am here with Matt Serra black belt Rich Korfhage. Rich is one of the first American black belt, actually first black belts at all on the East coast of the United States. He started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1993. In 1993 I was only 6 years old. Rich was telling me about how it was so difficult to train on the east coast in the 90’s. He used to be a martial artist even before he did bjj and he was actually a high school wrestler.
From being a martial artist and a wrestler he was always intrigued by the UFC and his life changed when he saw the first few UFC’s with Royce Gracie. Royce really changed everything for him. When Rich started he used to have to drive over 2 hours just to train for one hour. In this hour he said they would always do the same 15 moves over and over. He went to New Jersey to train and when he started he was about 215 lbs. A guy who weighed about 150 lbs asked Rich to roll and Rich said he got destroyed. This guy turned out to be Matt Serra. Matt was like 19-20 at the time.
Renzo Gracie eventually came to the East coast and that was when Matt and Rich really started to learn the ins and out of Jiu jitsu. Their technique progressed and Renzo taught them more than just technique. Renzo taught them what it is to be a bjj practitioner, how to run a school, discipline and more.
Eventually Renzo gave his school to Matt and Rodrigo and eventually it became Matt’s school. Rich continued to learn under Matt Serra and received his black belt under him. Below here guys you can check out my whole ten minute interview with him where we talk about all the details of doing bjj in the East Coast in the 90’s! Oss!