Featured Traveller: William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters

William Dorman BJJ

William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters

Age: 43

Belt: Black belt 3rd degree

Profession: Retired piano player in a brothel

How many years in BJJ: 16 years and 6 months

Other martial arts: Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, MMA, Judo, all types of fighting, I guess. Train everything with everyone, there is no one art that is better than the other (I prefer BJJ though, it is the very best). Fighting is fighting and if we want to understand all areas of combat, we should dabble in all of it.

Where do you live: Sarasota, Florida, USA, but I travel half of the year.

Where are you from: Frankfort, Michigan

Other fun or curious information you would like to share:

  • I am sailing across the Atlantic Ocean as soon as the Maine Camp is done.
  • I used to be a beekeeper.
  • Traveled to more than 40 countries so far.
  • Teaching Jiu Jitsu seminars along the east coast on the way to Maine, and I am willing to travel anywhere on the planet to teach at any academy regardless of affiliation.
  • I sometimes throw people out of airplanes for money (they are attached to me).
  • I do odd jobs when I want now that I am retired. Teach Jiu Jitsu, SCUBA Diving, Tandem Skydiving, Handyman, Landlord, Expert Witness, Consulting, Chef etc.
  • I climbed the highest mountain in the Americas (Aconcagua).
  • Golden Croissant Surf Champ at St. Barts.
  • Pretty good at drinking beer and I will still hit every class I can get to.
  • Don’t be mad at me when I forget things. My brain is a bit broken. It is nothing personal.

Tell us what inspired you to travel and train?

William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters


   “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!'”

Life is good! This pretty much sums me up..

I grew up in a small town in northern Michigan where it is easy to never leave. People get stuck easily if you let it happen. I had multiple friends with kids prior to graduating from High School, and I decided that life was not for me. I took the more difficult path and joined the Navy. I have always been drawn to excitement and adventure. While on active duty with the military, we traveled all over the world, and I was able to train everywhere we went. For my last 14 years in Special Operations, we brought a whole fight gym set up with us no matter where we went. I was gone roughly 300 days per year, and I was rarely in the same place for more than 3 weeks at a time other than 4 month deployments. I guess that kind of ruined me and now all I want to do is travel full time. I am now free to travel on my own with no time limit or restriction, so I am fully embracing this. A good friend of mine, Soonja Tyrrell, told me about BJJ Globetrotters many years ago, but I was never able to make it to a camp due to my unknown schedule. After I retired in July of 2022, I made it a priority on my list of things to do. St. Barts was my first camp and I fell in love with every aspect that the BJJ Globetrotters embrace.

Tell us about your most recent travel and your upcoming travel – where have you been and where are you going?
The last couple of months have been full of adventure for me. In January I helped sail a boat from Sarasota to Key West and had some fun weather along the way. The boat was about 50 years old and it had no autopilot – or motor for that matter. The last day we had 30 kt winds and 10’ seas, so that’s what I mean by fun weather haha. I had a great time.

Once I arrived in Key West, I rented a car and drove back to Sarasota to catch a flight to Puerto Rico to visit some friends who live there. I met a couple in the Azores last year and we were able to reconnect on a hike to a waterfall as well. During my visit, we were able to get some really good training at several academies and also spent some time exploring the island and snorkelling.

After I left Puerto Rico, I flew to St. Barthelemy and attended the Globetrotters Camp. I was very impressed with every aspect of the camp and am now hooked. The instructors were all amazing and I took something away from each class that I attended (I attended them all). People think that being a black belt means that you know everything, but I promise you we do not. I like to enjoy life off the mat as well, and the social activities and aspects of these camps are something that I think is even more important than the amazing Jiu Jitsu. Everyone is welcoming and helpful and tries to include you in everything. Of course there will be small groups that form naturally with the party people or the introverted people, but everyone gets along so well. The logistics of the camp was also amazing as well. I am pretty picky on everything and the only thing that I could suggest is to have a blanket for the camp and some really good ear plugs for the noisy frogs and snoring people. I met so many great people during the camp and will have lifelong friends from it.

After the camp, I flew back to Puerto Rico for a few days and I was supposed to get on a boat to sail around South America through Magellan’s Passage and Patagonia up to Chile. The boat got caught in a big storm is is now broken in Argentina. With my sailing trip cancelled for now, I headed back to Sarasota for a few days to get rid of boating gear and decided to visit some friends in Germany.

After some great training and sight seeing in Germany, I flew back to Miami for a Roger Gracie Seminar and prepared for the PAN. I will likely be in Florida until May 6th (Mike Love Concert in St. Petersburg on May 5th) and then I will start my journey to Maine, teaching a few seminars along the way. I’m going early to prepare the sailboat that we’re sailing across the Atlantic after the camp. I will spend some time in the Azores and then I will start to hit all of the camps starting with Pärnu.


William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters

What are the things you enjoy about travelling?
There are so many to list. I enjoy meeting new people from different cultures and learning about their lives. It seems that you learn quite a bit about yourself when you start to see things from a different perspective. I normally travel for specific things such as mountain climbing, Jiu Jitsu, sunshine, ice fishing, parties, or concerts, and I normally chase the nice weather. I also enjoy the challenge of travelling to and from a remote location and figuring out how to do everything. I am not going to lie, I normally use UBER in most of the places that I have travelled to, but figuring out connecting flights, boat schedules, and train schedules is challenging and fun sometimes. It can also be quite frustrating, causing me to exercise patience – which I am often lacking.

Can you give us some examples of experiences you had that makes it worth traveling and training?
Even before I became involved with the BJJ Globetrotters, I was traveling solo and training all over the world on my own. I have visited more than 100 gyms all over the world, and have instant friends who are just like me anywhere I go. It is amazing to see how many people welcome you with open arms at their gym or into their homes. It seems most people in Jiu Jitsu enjoy life, are accepting of your views, and are always up for a challenge or an adventure.

I have been able to train and teach Jiu Jitsu seminars in some amazing places so far. A couple of the notable ones were at Bunker Cusco Training Center in Cusco Peru at nearly 10,000 ft while preparing to hike the Inca trail, and another at Jiu Jitsu Roots Villa Mercedes Filial Cicero Costha in Argentina after summiting Aconcagua. After the Argentina Seminar, they hosted a barbeque that would make a medieval feast look like a snack! It was amazing! #MacKsandHerSnacKs would have loved it!

What has so far been the most surprising experience for you when traveling?
This is a hard question to answer because nothing really surprises me anymore. I guess it surprises me to see how many people are stuck doing something that they do not enjoy and are not actively trying to change. Jiu Jitsu seems to be a unique outlet for some of these people, but most will just continue to dislike where they are and what they do until they die. Kind of a bummer, I know…

William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters


Are you a budget traveller – and if so how do you plan for a cheap trip?
I am not a budget traveler but I do understand how to do it. I chose convenience and ease over budgeting for the most part. I live within my means, but don’t mind spending money. I have the same mentality as Mack who was featured in the last newsletter. There is always time to make more money, and our time is probably not unlimited like our cell phone plans. You probably only live once! This is a new expression that we made during St. Barts camp due to reincarnation and what not…

Spend it all, put it on a credit card, pay it back later, have fun right now, and do the things that you want to do in life because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I have lost too many friends and family over the years who were saving up money or waiting for the right time to do something. The right time is now, just do it!

If you were to pass on travel advice to your fellow Globetrotters, what would it be?
Learn from everyone and create your own style of Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu is “a personalized art form, as elegant and imaginative as Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ or as brash and unconventional as Banksy’s street art. Whichever style or combination you choose, it is your quest in a never-ending game of human chess”, so make it your own!

Break out of your shell and try to see things from a different point of view. There are many ways to do something in Jiu Jitsu and in life. Try them all and see what works for you. Make new friends with different outlooks on life and respect them for it. We don’t all have to agree to get along. Each person is unique and we can all learn and grow together. We are all connected!

As far as traveling goes, just do it as much as you can while you are able to. A little bit of research goes a long way. Ask people that have done something like you want to do in the past and learn from them.

Stop doing that job you hate, find something that you enjoy doing in life, and do that. It will be hard at first, but hey – that’s life! Life is too short to do shit you don’t like to do. Travel as often as you can and enjoy this life because you probably only live once.


Thank you to William Dorman – BJJ Globetrotters for making this interview!