Nick Mendez’s Martial Arts Odyssey: From Hebron to Blue Belt


    Hebron, Indiana, located just 40 miles from the bustling city of Chicago, became the canvas on which Nicholas Mendez (Nick Mendez), a devoted 25-year-old martial artist, found his passion and life’s purpose.

    Raised in a resilient yet financially strained family within the confines of a close-knit community of 3,000 residents, Nick faced a scarcity of options for personal growth. His journey from childhood to adolescence was marked by a relentless search for a meaningful pursuit that could elevate his life beyond its challenges. Brief relief were found in video games, offering a temporary escape from familial and town struggles but failing to effect any valuable change.

    Turning point of life

    The turning point came at the age of 15 when Nick discovered high school wrestling—a moment that unknowingly marked his day 0 and initiation into the realm of martial arts. For many, high school wrestling transcends being a mere sport; it transforms into a lesson in resilience, a confrontation with life’s most terrifying challenges.

    Enduring physical setbacks, including multiple rotator cuff tears, recurrent battles with pneumonia, and strenuous weight cuts, Nick discovered solace in wrestling. Beyond the physical rigor, the sport provided a sense of camaraderie within his wrestling team and served as a gateway to the expansive world of martial arts, becoming a three-year dedication.

    Nick Mendez after high school

    Post-high school, the void left by the absence of wrestling was filled when Nick discovered his next calling: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Offering the same benefits as wrestling—community, valuable skills, and a reviving workout—BJJ captivated Nick with its unique ruleset and the challenge of mastering countless moves and positions.

    Achieving Blue Belt

    Nicholas Mendez in BJJ workout
    When Nick Mendez got his blue belt in BJJ

    July 2022 marked a significant milestone for Nick as he earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after four years of rigorous training and countless hours on the mat. More than a testament to dedication to the art, the blue belt represents an integral part of Nick’s life journey.

    Kickboxing journey started

    Post-blue belt achievement, Nick embraced a new challenge—learning kickboxing. Under the guidance of former WEC world champion and UFC fighter Miguel Torres (44 W-9 L Professional MMA record) at Torres Martial Arts Academy, he immersed himself in the complexities of kickboxing and martial arts, transforming into a well-rounded and humble martial artist.

    Looking ahead, Nick envisions exploring Muay Thai and MMA training in the upcoming years. In the long term, his aspirations include contributing to the martial arts community, be it through establishing his own gym or launching a martial arts gear business.

    Nick’s narrative extends beyond personal triumph; it stands as a living testament to the idea that martial arts transcends mere sport—it’s a foundational tool for overcoming and transcending life’s most formidable challenges.

    Visit Nick Mendez martial arts journey on his personal website here.


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