Andy Anderson has a unique challenge in his BJJ journey – he’s dealt with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and posture. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often occurring before or during birth, or in the early years of life. The symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary greatly, and individuals may experience difficulties with muscle control, coordination, balance, and speech. There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but various therapies and treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
But Anderson didn’t let it stop him from learning and even coaching jiu-jitsu.
He is a valuable asset to Stout Training – Pittsburgh’s Jiu Jitsu program. He boasts an impressive record as an active Jiu Jitsu competitor and previously competed as an amateur in MMA, with a notable record of 2-3.
Despite facing challenges posed by cerebral palsy, Andy has persevered and is one of the few individuals who competes in both disciplines. His dedication and hard work have earned him the rank of purple belt in Jiu Jitsu.
“I was I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when I was 18 months old.”
“And I have mild cerebral palsy that affects the right side of my body and it affects the strength, mobility, flexibility, range of motion and just control on both my arm and my leg.”
“I remember when I was younger growing up, I obviously this and this happened when I was eighteen months old. I was diagnosed. I don’t remember the doctors telling my parents this, but they told them that they weren’t sure if I was going to be able to walk because I was the reason they went and got the diagnosis.”
“I was still falling at the time and about two weeks later I started walking and my dad said, he’s like, Yeah, you just you don’t care what anybody says. You just do whatever you’re going to do. Growing up, I went through, like most kids with any type of physical disability, went through some like mild PT from about five years old until I was nine.”
“My parents told me that to the kids, basically told them that, well, he’s as good as we can get him. Anything else he does on here is going to be on his own. When I was in seventh grade, I decided I wanted to start wrestling because I was playing basketball in gym class and I was like, You know what?”
“I’m not going to make a basketball team. I’m terrible at it. I’m going to try this wrestling stuff, see how and see how that goes. And I remember going home and my dad was like, I’m a wrestler. It’s like, it’s going to be tough. ”
Later he added:
“I always had this, like, belief that I could do anything, even if, like, people were telling me that I couldn’t anything. Even when people told me I couldn’t, it made me want to do more. My first year of wrestling, I lost every match in seventh grade. Next year, I won a little bit more”