Pittsburg’s Browne earns black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Andrew Browne is now a black belt, and is passing along Jiu-Jitsu to the next generation in Pittsburg.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg’s Andrew Browne got a bit of a late start in his martial arts career .

“I had an epiphany around the age of 21. I had that thing growing up like most people, thinking that if something goes down I’m going to be able to handle it,” Browne says, “I had an epiphany that I don’t really know anything about anything, and I need to learn how to defend myself and take my life in a positive direction.”

Despite his late start Browne has worked at his craft for nearly 15 years – and last month earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“Right before my blue belt is when I stopped worrying about what belt I was going to get. I was just like I’m going to train and do this the rest of my life, and when it happens, it happens,” Browne says of earning his black belt, “These are all my peers. I don’t see myself as better than anyone in this room. If we’re in here working, we’re equal. They were all giving me crap calling me professor. I was like guys, It’s Andrew…come on.”

With the black belt comes a step up in competition for Browne.

“There are going to be guys in my division who were winning world championships when they were in their 20’s, and I’ll be 36 this year. Those guys have been black belts since they were 20 or 21 years old. I just got mine, so I’ve got some big shoes to fill. I’m up for the challenge,” Browne adds, “I want to lead by example for my students. I don’t want them to be afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone and getting out there and testing themselves.”

It also means more responsibility off the mat.

“It’s not just about getting the belt in the martial art or being tough or anything like that. You have to hold yourself to a higher standard around people. You have to lead by example,” he says, “I’ve got 30 adults and 10 kids in here. Whether I like it or not, they look up to me. If it’s in here or if its out there…I try to be cordial, polite and kind. You have to hold yourself to a higher standard, I believe.”

Browne spends most of his time passing along what he’s learned to his students at “Arise Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” in Pittsburg.

He’s hoping to give the next generation something he didn’t have growing up – and maybe a chance to earn a black belt of their own.

“I don’t want to be the last. I want there to be more,” Browne says of helping others earn a black belt, “I want every person who comes in here to achieve that, if that’s what their goal is.”

“I wish I had access to Jiu-Jitsu when I first started,” he adds of teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his hometown of Pittsburg, “We were at the YMCA on wrestling mats looking up YouTube videos and learning takedowns from wrestlers. We have a great wrestling community here. If I had someone to instruct me the right way and show me the small details in the beginning, it would have been amazing.”

Below is a class schedule for Arise Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Browne’s gym is located at 311 S. Broadway in Pittsburg. You can contact the gym at 620-719-6018.

Arise Schedule