Category: Podcast

R4R Podcast Episode 001: Alex Ecklin, Masterskya

In our first ever episode we had the honor of chatting with Alex Ecklin. A Vitor Shaolin black belt, Alex has been a longtime supporter of Tap Cancer Out. In 2016 he made waves in the BJJ community when he started his school, Masterskya, in an unmarked building in Brooklyn (it was so “Brooklyn” that you couldn’t even find the address without calling and asking). His proposed model was unique: with BJJ being so cost-prohibitive, he’d offer a donation-based payment option. His school exploded, opened a second location, and even led him to a teaching gig at Google HQ (yes, THAT Google!). In the spring of 2019 Alex took part in our Black Belt Showcase, earning the award as our Top Black Belt Fundraiser with $3,467 raised!
In this episode we talk about:
  • How he got started in BJJ
  • How he started training at Vitor Shaolin’s NYC school
  • How Vitor has mentored him
  • The beginnings of Masterskya, what it means, and landlord drama 😉
  • Teaching (and eating free lunch at Google)
  • What he wish he knew before starting Masterskya

Alex has been a long-time supporter of Tap Cancer Out so I’m really happy to see this come full circle welcoming him as our first guest. Some Saturdays (before kids!) I used to travel 90 minutes each way on the Metro North Railroad to train with Alex at Shaolin’s NYC school. I’d always learn something new while I was there and he was always so welcoming. I know he’ll have great success at Masterskya and I’m looking forward to watching it grow! – JT