There was a time, not so very long ago, that the name Marc Laimon would draw a look of recognition from even a casual MMA fan. Whether you knew him as the outspoken trainer and cornerman for fighters like Tito Ortiz, Johnny Hendricks and Frank Trigg, or for his ground fighting breakdown videos detailing the techniques and strategies used in the Octagon, Laimon was, for a time, synonymous with the UFC.
Those familiar with the early jiu jitsu scene in the United States know yet another story; the story of a passionate young man and a very public feud with the First Family of jiu jitsu, the Gracies. Stories abound of the early days of the Gracie Academy and Laimon’s defection, which led him to time spent with Nova Uniao and the Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu Club.
They also know of his unique theories on the guard and his total dedication to the art, sleeping on the mats at times in order to save all his funds and dedicate all his time to jiu jitsu. Those who knew Marc Laimon speak of his brash attitude but also his generosity, his love of jiu jitsu, and his otherworldly skill. A BJJ black belt under John Lewis, Laimon found his own competitive success in notable competitions including the 2001 ADCC Trials and a win over Ryron Gracie at Grappler’s Quest, in front of the Grandmaster himself, Helio Gracie.
Marc found great success as a competitor, and even greater success as a coach. Although he no longer trains at the legendary Cobra Kai gym that he helped to found in Las Vegas, Mr. Laimon has again found a home, and an opportunity to share his passion and knowledge. After moving home to Wisconsin to help care for his father who passed away last year, Laimon has now joined forces with Nova Gyms Martial Arts and Fitness to lead a new team to prominence. Teaming with Chris Martin of BJJ4Change, Laimon aims to help locals feel stronger, resilient, and more confident and to improve their physical and mental well-being.
“I want to work with people who enjoy jiu jitsu, not fighters who dread coming to the gym,” says Laimon.
The jiu jitsu community has seen what Marc Laimon can do. His success with various teams including his work as co-founder of team Cobra Kai speak for themselves. What the future holds for jiu jitsu in Pewaukee and nearby Oak Creek, Wisconsin is yet to be determined, but knowing Marc, it won’t be long before we are forced to pay attention.
Watch Laimon in action here. Though lingering back injuries prevent him from competing at this level today, he keeps his competitive fires burning and is known to play a mean game of Clash Royale!
By Mike Bushby