At first, the training was tough.
“Let me say this, I knew everything that was on the roof of the gym because I spent a lot of time on my back,’’ Hammonds said. “It was very humbling as I had never experienced anything like that. There was a certain technique I needed to learn, and I was like a big tree falling. My instructor would pull a move on me and say ‘timber.’’’
But Hammonds progressed quickly and received his white belt and won a tournament at the end of 2012 in Macon. In the masters’ ultra heavyweight division, he has since won a world championship as well as a gold medal at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Also, in February he will be honored at a banquet for his accomplishment as an amateur in jiu-jitsu in the state of Florida.
“(Former Georgia Tech basketball coach) Bobby Cremins is coming down for it,’’ said Hammonds, who has advanced to a blue belt. “It’s been a great experience, and usually it takes 10 years for people to get their blue belt. I always need to be in something that is competitive.’’
No telling what is next.