Martial arts instructor: 'It's more than just fighting'

Martial arts instructor: 'It's more than just fighting'

CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - Daniel O'Brien is the owner of Triad Martial Arts Academy in Cullman,

He travels all over the world competing and teaching the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well as other fighting styles. O'Brien has even fought several times against other black belts while blindfolded.

Today, he tells us that martial arts is more than just fighting.

"Martial arts in general has more to do than just fighting. It's more about learning to use your mind as your best weapon, learning to stay calm in some of the stickiest situations, you know when somebody is trying to choke you, when somebody is trying to punch you, trying to remain calm in those moments and make good clear decisions," said O'Brien. "Trusting your feelings and your training to make the right choices so it has a lot to do with the presence that your mind is at in that very moment."

O'Brien says when he has younger his family traveled around a lot because his dad moved a lot with his job, He says he and his brothers were always the new kids in town and a target to be picked on.

Because of the constant moving O'Brien and his two brothers learned how to defend themselves. When they weren't playing around wrestling they were watching the show WMAC Master, which featured Johnny Lee Smith as Tiger Claw.

When O'Brien and his family moved to Cullman, they learned Smith was teaching at Triad Martial Arts.

"Some of the highest level in the world is right here in the United States and people don't realize it," said O'Brien. "Alabama with us, and we are up and coming for sure, just with the state of Alabama. We are on par with some of the best schools in the world."

Because of his many years of training, O'Brien travels all over to teach and compete.

"I am constantly traveling and doing seminars in Canada, Texas, all over the place and getting calls from Italy, Australia, New Zealand," said O'Brien. "Just messages all the time about wanting me to come out and teach. And it's, you know, from a small place in Cullman, Alabama which is awesome."

O'Brien also just finished up teaching a seminar at Chuck Norris' teacher's school. He says it was a huge honor for them to have him and him be able to teach there.

One fight that many people think of when they hear O'Brien's name is when he fought against other black belts while blindfolded.

O'Brien is a 3rd degree black belt in karate and 2nd degree in jiu-jitsu.

If you would like to learn more information about the classes offered at Triad Martial Arts Academy, click here.

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