Schooling his opponents

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U of R wrestler Paul Grebinski has big plans for the future

Ed Kapp
Sports Writer

In the future, Paul Grebinski, a first-year education student at the University of Regina, is hoping to make his living by teaching in classrooms.

In the meantime, however, this amateur wrestler for the Cougars and undefeated amateur mixed martial artist spends his time trying to teach his opponents lessons on the mats and in the ring.

Nearly a lifelong martial artist, Grebinski first took to wrestling at a young age.

“I started wrestling when I was very young. My dad used to wrestle and I would go around with them, running around on the mats,” Grebinski said with a laugh. “I wrestled until I was about 11, but I got to be too busy with hockey.”

After a hiatus from the sport, Grebinski began wrestling again as a sophomore at Archbishop MC O’Neill High School in Regina.

“My high school didn’t have a wrestling program in my Grade 9 year,” Grebinski explained. “If they would have had one, I would have started wrestling again sooner. As soon as they established a program, though, I signed up.”

After wrestling for three years in high school, Grebinski was looking to take on a new challenge and a few years ago joined Complete MMA, a martial arts academy in downtown Regina. Here he decided to try his hand at Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“I had wrestled in the past, obviously, and I really had an urge to do something new,” Grebinski said. “I had heard a lot about AJ Scales – who is a phenomenal grappler – who had a good school of guys at Complete. One day I decided to check it out. Immediately, it reminded of being in wrestling and I fell in love with the sport right away.”

Although Grebinski claimed he didn’t intend on competing as a mixed martial artist when he first started training at Complete MMA, since deciding to try his hand at the sport he has yet to look back.

“I was just hungry for a new challenge and I always thought, in the back of my mind, that this would be something that I could do well in,” Grebinski said. “Now, I just want to take tough fights and work my way up. It’s not going to be easy – this is a very difficult sport – but I’m ready to put everything I have into succeeding in mixed martial arts.”

Grebinski, who is tentatively scheduled to return to the ring in Regina in early December, has big plans in both wrestling and mixed martial arts moving forward.

“In wrestling, I want to medal at the CIS championships – that’s on a personal level, but I want to see the team win a national championship,” he said. “It hasn’t happened for a few years, but we’ve got quite a team and I feel that goal is within reach.

“I would like to see myself competing at the highest level in mixed martial arts, too. Fighting in the UFC would be an awesome opportunity.”

While Grebinski’s aspirations in athletics are ambitious to say the least, a career in the classroom is what the 27-year-old Regina product has his sights set on.

“I definitely want to be a teacher and work with at-risk youth,” Grebinski, who has helped coach the Sheldon-Williams Collegiate wrestling program for the last several years, said. “I feel that I have a lot to offer kids and I really want to help kids that may have not gotten some of the opportunities that they should have gotten.

“I changed my mind a few times when I was younger, but I have always wanted to be a teacher. I’ve always been told that I was good with kids. I think that that would be a very rewarding and challenging career.”

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