Instructor Cesar Castro-Farfan began his martial arts training at the age of 12 and has been teaching children's martial arts classes since 2019. In addition to being a certified Dragon Gym Children's Martial Arts Instructor, Cesar has experience and training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo, Folkstyle and Freestyle wrestling.
In 2018, Cesar was part of our first group of students from Dragon Gym Berwyn to earn their black belt.
In 2020, Cesar Earned his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt at age 16, making him Dragon Gym Berwyn's youngest student to earn their Blue Belt.
When did you first become interested in martial arts training?
I first became interested in martial arts training when I was around 12 years old. What got me interested was when instructor Tom first taught me how to do a double-leg takedown.
Why did you decide to enroll at the Dragon Gym?
I originally only signed up to stay in shape for soccer. My goal for most of middle school and freshman year of high school was to one day play soccer professionally, but after getting my blue belt in jiu-jitsu at 16, I realized that martial arts is what i wanted to do.
How did you get involved with teaching/becoming an instructor?
I was first asked to come help teach classes at the Berwyn Location right after I got my first dan in 2018. I began by just running a couple of warm-ups and being a target holder. 2 years after that. So around 2020 a couple of months after we reopened, I began teaching my own classes. Although they weren’t big classes at first it helped build my confidence and now I'm teaching classes from start to finish for all age groups no matter how full the class is.
Tell me a little bit more about your training regimen, including cross training:
I currently train Taekwondo 2 times a week under master Joe. Those classes are low intensity with more focus on technique and learning the Black Belt curriculum. I do a sparring session with all the Head instructors once a week. I also train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under instructor Tom 3 times a week. In total I'm training in different martial arts 6 times a week. I also go to the gym 4 times a week following a novice strength program.
What would your advice be for someone considering Martial Arts training?
I think if you are considering it you should just jump in and try it. Remember not to get discouraged when things get hard because a black belt is just a white belt that never gave up.
What about someone with ambitions of becoming a Martial Arts instructor?
It all starts with being a role model. You should first strive to be the one that all the other students look up to no matter how old you are or what rank you have. Also just doing small things like helping a couple classmates around you is a good start.
What kind of benefits have you received from your Martial Arts training at Dragon Gym?
Dragon Gym has helped me become the best version of myself. Although that sounds generic it's how I truly feel. When I first came to Dragon Gym I was very shy, not very confident, I was always scared of trying new things and never wanted to get out of my comfort zone, but with the help of Master Joe and Instructor Tom they have showed me what I was capable of achieving when I worked hard. I could make an endless list of the benefits I've gained from Dragon Gym. Thanks to everyone at Dragon Gym I'm an entirely different person, someone that is confident, respectful, and hardworking.
What’s your next goal?
At the top of my list of goals currently is to earn my 2nd Dan in Tae Kwon Do. After I earn my 2nd Dan my main focus for the next couple of years will be more focused on Jiu Jitsu. I started training Jiu Jitsu at 13 since then, I’ve had 3 belt promotions (Orange, Green, Blue). Through the years, I never had the chance to compete, but now that I do, my goal is to not only compete as much as I can but also to win multiple tournaments. My more ambitious competition goal is to win a major IBJJF tournament (worlds, pan ams, Nationals) before getting my black belt.