Martial arts played an important role in changing the lives of people who had a difficult childhood. One of them is American mixed martial artist Jose “Shorty” Torres, 26, who was a two-weight division champion and amateur double gold medalist and is now a Brave Combat Federation athlete.
Torres had to go through a difficult period in his life in order to get where he is at in his career. His story is even longer than what the list of his accomplishments suggests.
Born in a dangerous neighborhood in Chicago, USA, Torres did not have it easy growing up but he was instantly hooked with combat sports. He started training karate when he was four years old and it was something that helped keep him off the streets.
For Torres, if it was not for martial arts making an appearance early in his life, he would have turned out differently. He shared, “My parents were young adults when they had my brother Orlando and I was born eight years later so he suffered a lot with parents that, in a sense, didn’t know yet how to parent.”
“They kind of learned how to raise me with him,” Torres said of his parents and his brother. “I was never out of the gym. My life was working out.”
“My mom used all of her spare time driving me to different gyms and tournaments so I had that support too,” Torres continued. “Honestly, if I hadn’t started in martial arts, my life would be a lot different now. My neighborhood was full of gangs and violence and martial arts gave me a way out”.
Soon, Torres found out that martial arts was not just a path towards having a different life than his brother but also something he was very good at. Before his gym closed, he became the first black belt in Chicago and soon after, he transitioned to Combat-Do under his current trainer and mentor Bob Schirmer and eventually made his move to MMA.
On April 19, 2019, Torres will make his Brave CF debut at “Brave 23: Pride and Honor” at the Martyr Rashid Al-Ziyoud Hall Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan. He will compete in the flyweight division against undefeated fighter Amir “The Prince” Albazi, 25, of Sweden, who is also a promotional debutante.
Here is a clip featuring Torres’s family: