Fremont, California (EastBayDaily) — Steve Watts was on the road to becoming a Jiu Jitsu legend when a freak accident sidelined his dreams, leaving him paralyzed. Considered a rising star, Watts natural knack for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu landed him a World Championship title after only two years competing in the amateur circuit.
Today, Watts describes his life as “infinitely different, having to re-engineer” his body to do things others can do easily.
Known as a fiercely competitive person, Watts began Jiu Jitsu after a “trying time in his life” having been extremely successful as a wrestler. On the heels of a long string of wins, Watts decided to try his luck for a second time in a mixed martial arts (MMA) competition dubbed “So You Wanna Fight” earlier this year.
“I admit that when I was contacted to compete in the MMA match, I thought I could crush anyone,” says Watts of the MMA competition. “The competition went out tournament style and I destroyed the first person so I was really confident entering my second match.”
In what can only be described as a freak accident, Watts dominated the second match when he went to body slam his opponent caveman-style to hopefully end the match in submission.
“I was in control of the match when I went to lift my opponent up to slam him down. It really was a freak accident because my neck literally went 1/16 of an inch the wrong direction and his body came down in a way that broke my neck. My arms rag-dolled over my head, I felt the pain and then everything from my neck down went numb.”
Watts spent the next few months in a traditional therapy setting but felt he was capable of more. When he was introduced to Project Walk his Project Walk Recovery Specialists instantly saw the fire in him to recover.
“Steve just started the program and already he gives more than 100% when he’s here,” says Project Walk Specialist, Samantha Okumura. “He pushes through everything we throw at him. It’s really amazing to watch.”
Based on The Dardzinski Methodâ¢, Project Walk is the pioneer in activity-based recovery with nearly two decades of experience working with spinal cord injuries. It’s the Project Walk mission to provide an improved quality of life for people living with a spinal cord injury, paralysis or mobility-related disorder through intense activity-based recovery backed by research and technology. Clients of Project Walk have come to revere their programs as some of the most forward-thinking recovery methods in the industry.
“Project Walk was different because they push you to work on everything (below the level of injury). The intensity with which they push you is something an athlete can appreciate,” says Watts.
“I have no doubt we will see big improvements from Steve as he stays in the program,” say Okumura.
For more information on Project Walk and clients like Steve, visit the Project Walk website at http://www.ProjectWalk.com.