Flipping, Fighting, and Fun

Junior Conner Hansen has spent the past 7 months learning the skills and challenges of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


CJ Taylor

Junior Conner Hansen poses to show off his fighting stance.

CJ Taylor, Staff

Lots of hard work, sweat, and blood have led junior Connor Hansen to a newfound passion of his.

Ever since joining the Davis Judo Academy in May of 2021, Hansen has been training six to eight hours every week in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Coached by Eddie Davis and amateur mixed martial arts fighter Spencer Oberbroeckling, Hansen is now a trained fighter.

Hansen decided to join after watching many mixed martial arts fights and asking his mom how he could get involved in the sport. Once he found the academy in Manchester, he gave it a shot and has loved it ever since.

“The training, in general, is my favorite part,” he said. “It’s very hard, and you have to be super conditioned.”

Thus far, he’s learned many great skills and lessons through long hours of training and pain.
“You’re forced to learn when you’re just feeling pain and when you need to give up,” Hansen said.

One of the challenges Hansen has faced is finding a way to make friends with his teammates, while also going to practice to fight against those same teammates every week.

“It’s good to make relationships with other people, but it’s also weird to be violent with them,” Hansen said.

He got his first-ever submission on one of his teammates two months ago when he successfully executed a heel submission, which is a type of leglock that forced his opponent to stop the fight.

“You can feel you’re about to get it because you train and train. Then you finally get over the edge and force a submission,” he said.

After being anointed a corner-man in his coach’s recent mixed martial arts fight in Lexington, Kentucky, Hansen was able to warm up his coach and stand ring-side to keep time for the match.

“I just loved being able to be behind the scenes and see how it was all put on and the process for it all,” Hansen said.

In the future, Hansen looks forward to building upon those experiences when he gets into the ring himself.

“I’m looking forward to competing in tournaments,” he said. “My teammates are starting to learn my moves, so I’m anxious to face new opponents and meet new people.”

As for anyone interested in joining this sport, he highly recommends they get started soon.

“I would recommend this to everyone because it’s not like any other sport,” he said. “It relies on your ability to learn, and it’ll definitely take time.”

Hansen also feels that the mental and physical challenges help to form a sport like no other.

“The biggest mental challenge is to continue to go back to every practice even though you know you’re going to get beat by everyone,” Hansen said. “It’s a time thing. Everything takes time to learn and understand, but you need to be able to go through a lot to be rewarded.”

More information on joining can be found at Crucible BJJ on Facebook.