Having a lifelong love of martial arts, Jon Brascetta followed his passion his entire life, which has now led him to national television with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Jon Brascetta has had a lifelong love with martial arts.
He started doing martial arts at the age of 4 and has been doing it ever since. He wrestled for a few years growing up and played other sports here and there, but nothing ever meant as much as martial arts.
While at Eastern Regional High School, Brascetta got a part-time job at a sandwich shop to make some extra cash for about two weeks before his uncle, who owns a martial arts school, walked in to surprisingly see his nephew working there.
“He said ‘what are you doing here,’ and got me a job teaching martial arts when I was 16 years old,” Brascetta said. “From there, I just kind of knew that this was what I wanted to do.”
Brascetta would eventually leave college at 20 years old after realizing his future was in martial arts to work full-time with his uncle, taking on more and more responsibility. Eventually, he would open his own martial arts school a few years later, Best of the Best Family Martial Arts and Fitness.
“I was always inspired by that action hero/superhero type deal, and I found that outlet through martial arts,” Brascetta said. “I felt it was my opportunity to almost kind of be like a superhero to these kids and people to help inspire them.”
“That’s what superheroes do, they inspire you to be better than you were, to bring the best out of yourself. So it was my opportunity to try to be one,” Brascetta added.
His lifelong journey with martial arts led him to last year’s Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. Although not a huge football fan, he watched the halftime show to see Justin Timberlake and decided to keep watching the game afterward, eventually seeing a commercial for the upcoming show “The Titan Games.”
“The Titan Games,” hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, offers contestants the chance to win $100,000 through a competition to test their physical and mental strength.
Brascetta said he was interested after seeing the challenges it looked like the TV show would present, and applied the next day after finding the application on Facebook by accident.
“Literally without thinking I filled it out, made a video, did everything that they required, and then a week later I heard from a casting producer with NBC,” Brascetta said.
He went on to have a Skype interview with casting producers and was flown out during the summer to Los Angeles to try out in a combine for the show.
In August, he got the news he would be on the show and working alongside Johnson, someone he’d watched his entire life. Brascetta was one of 32 male contestants from across the country chosen to participate on the show.
“It was unlike anything that we could prepare for as athletes,” Brascetta said. “When we got there, we were looking at these monstrosities of tests … it really tests all facets of your fitness. It’s not just what you can physically do but also what you can mentally do. It was just insane.”
According to the show’s description on the network’s website, it “will offer everyday people the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in epic head-to-head challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart.”
Brascetta says he had to dive deep within himself to overcome many of the physical and mental challenges he faced while on the show. Having the opportunity to have been on the show, he hopes to be able to show others than anyone has the power to accomplish their dreams.
“I’m nobody special… we’re all ordinary people who just had a dream and we continue to pursue it,” Brascetta said. “It’s that belief in yourself that gets you to where you want to be.”
“If I have a message to anybody, it’s believe in yourself, continue to put the work in every single day and go after what you want in life. The only person that’s going to get it is you, the only person that’s going to put the work in is you, and the only person that’s going to care about it is you,” Brascetta added.
Brascetta is on the premiere season of “The Titan Games” on NBC, Thursdays at 8 p.m. The show first started on Thursday, Jan. 3, and it is not known how many episodes Brascetta is on this season.