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Rex Bencivenga

Grey/Black Belt
Instagram: @rex_the_reaperbjj

I was born in 2012 at my home in Santa Rosa, where I still live. When my mom was pregnant with me, she trained in kickboxing, so I guess you could say I was born with a fighting spirit. Ever since I was little, I've been into Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I used to see Bruce Lee with nunchucks, and I thought it was super cool, so I found my mom's nunchucks and watched YouTube videos to learn how to use them.

My good friend Malaya did Jiu-Jitsu locally, and because of my fighting spirit, her parents were always telling mine that I should try it too. Finally, in late 2019, when I was 8 years old, I joined the same gym as Malaya. I knew pretty quickly that Jiu-Jitsu was the martial art for me, and the nunchucks had to take a backseat. NorCal Fighting Alliance is where it all started for me, and NoGi only was their focus. They also had Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing, and at one point, I did all four of them. During the pandemic, when most other gyms were closed, we snuck in the back door like a group of grappling outlaws to train.

In late February 2023, I switched to Kola Ajose BJJ, which is about an hour and a half away from my old gym. A distance that was too far for us until we spent some time there and experienced the magic Coach K offers us kids and the supportive competitive environment the parents and kids create there. Right away, my dad and I knew it was the right place for me. Coach K pushes people who want success and supports them beyond measure. My teammates always push me to be great, and I feel really lucky to have them. Now, I keep winning tournament after tournament. Coach Kola and Hyperfly support my belief that a record is not what defines me - they both remind me that it’s not about the wins or the trophies, but about heart, courage, never giving up, and always giving it my all because in the end, it’s not about winning or losing. It’s about having the heart to keep going no matter what.

I'm so thankful to be part of the Hyperfly team! Thanks for reading about me, and I hope I inspired you!