Video Transcript: Deaf MMA fighter proves that anything is possible
GARRETT SCOTT: In my world, it's very quiet. Silent. When I'm with my family and friends, I just stand there quietly. I prefer the word ‘deaf’.
TITLE: Here – The Garrett Scott Story
GARRETT SCOTT: People ask me why I decided to go with the name Deaf Grappler. The reason why I wanted to have the word deaf is because that's who I am. And I wanted to give other people in the Deaf community somebody to look up to, so I decided to pursue that even further and become the Deaf Grappler. I believe in training hard and working hard. I mean I'm always training. I'm always pushing myself just to do a little bit more, a little bit harder. But right now, I'm really focusing on some tournament training. There's a national Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament coming up. I'm focusing on that. My goal is to become the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt in America who is deaf.
I started wrestling at the Texas School for the Deaf. I was a nerd. I was a skinny little nerd. I was awkward. I was lost. To be honest with you, I kind of got into wrestling to get away from the bullying, but the wrestling changed my life. It just so happened that one of my friends gave me a DVD. I got home, started watching it and I was like, “Wait I know that move!” You know, there were no takedowns, no slamming, they were kind of just tumbling and rolling on the floor and I was like, What are they doing? This is so fascinating, and I said, “What is this called?” And he said, “Oh, this is called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.” What I noticed was there was this one guy Royce Gracie and he beat everybody. He got the hundred-thousand-dollar grand prize and I was like, “Wow, I've never seen moves like that.” So that's when I got in to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
My start with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was with Carlan Roberto. When he came up to me, I didn't know what to do. I mean I thought I was good. I was a wrestler, I did Judo, but he was a black belt and oh my gosh he just kept beating me over and over. Just taking him down, making me submit, and I got into it. And I was like, “You know what… I need to do this.” Then I found the Rubicon Gym. That was awesome! I loved that gym. And that's really where I honed my Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills and really just started to master them.
You know deaf people are very visual, so once you can watch how they're doing it and really study how they're moving and positioning their body, and then participate in it and actually feel it, it sticks and we’ll memorize it. Once we are dealing with the vision and the feeling, we got it.
PROFESSOR RONNY LIS: I don't have a favorite technique, but I have a favorite way to start it. From my spider guard, you know, switching the body. I gotta go under the armpit, go forward and lock the arm. The day that I met him is, the first couple weeks was a little challenge. It's hard, you know, because you see I'm not speak really perfect English and he is deaf, and oh my gosh, you know, another challenge in the life. Little by little we're learning some real words, you know. It's like the accent, you know. So the way how I using my hands, maybe I do a little bit wrong, Gary sees. He knows what I tried to say. He is a wonderful guy. He has a big heart.
GARRETT SCOTT: I was born hearing. When I was a baby, I could hear, but several months later it so happened that I got sick. I had a high fever and was diagnosed with an illness called meningitis. It's a horrible disease. It could have killed me. And I was near death. They brought me by air flight to the hospital and I spent 25 days there, while doctors tried to save my life. And after they saved my life, they realized that I had lost my hearing and I am profoundly deaf now.
When I was about 3 years old, me being deaf, my parents really were trying to figure out how to communicate with me. This one day, my mom, she took me to this special place. It was a clinic of some kind and the doctor was making some notes and here I was this little kid, you know, I just wanted to play with the toys and the tea set, you know. I was trying to have a little tea party going on and I handed the teacup to the doctor and the doctor was writing his notes and he just kind of set it down and he looked at it and basically ignored me. And the doctor said, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but I think your son, he's not ever going to be able to communicate. He can't talk, he doesn't have any language, I don't think that he has, you know, any intellect. My mom was really upset. “I know my son. He is intelligent. He will be able to do normal things.” They continued the discussion and the doctor wasn't trying to hear it, but my parents were like, “No, I know he will be able to read. I know he will be able to be educated!” And my mom was like, “You know what? I appreciate everything you've done, but thank you so much, I think we're good.” And we left. And I was so impressed with my parents, especially my mother, being able to stand up to the doctor and sticking up for me when the doctor thought I wouldn't amount to anything.
PROFESSOR RONNY LIS: If you have one kid, and he looks to you, and he might be looking saying I want to be like you. It doesn't matter who you are, but he looks - looks like a good person. He looks like a big guy he, looks like he will wear a black belt. He's my inspiration.
GARRETT SCOTT: Train for your dreams. Pursue those dreams. You know it's really important that you set a goal and you don't deviate from that. If you start to get off track, do things that aren't part of your goal, it could end badly. But if you follow your dreams, you will have these surprises and gifts. You never know what's gonna happen.
PROFESSOR RONNY LIS: And I swear to God, you guys already know, everybody in the world they know, jiu jitsu changes a lot of lives. A lot! They change. They make people be better, people be happy, people be healthy, people be confident, people don't care about bullying anymore. You have so many little things and we put together - make a big deal. I wish the whole world can do jiu jitsu. Not compete, not to fight, because it's changing my life, and I swear to God, it's gonna change all your lives!
TEXT: On January 3rd 2018, after eleven years of training, Garrett Scott received his Black Belt.
GARRETT SCOTT: Thank you. Thank you…
TEXT: Garrett Scott is the first Deaf Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt in America.