LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas man lost nearly than two hundred pounds thanks to martial arts.
A health scare is what motivated him to finally do something about his size.
"It's just a thing you'd have to experience to understand," Jimmy Clegg, lost weight through martial arts.
Freshmen 15 is where it all started for this East Texan.
"When I started college I started gaining 6 to 8 pounds a year for 20 years," Clegg said. "I was in denial and woke up one day and I'm 447 pounds."
So he turned to a passion of his, martial arts. Clegg said he's had a love for the sport ever since he was a teenager.
"I've been interested in Jiu jitsu, I've got friends that are in martial arts in other towns," Clegg said. "Some of them said, I don't think Jiu jitsu is for you because of your size, and I was like well maybe he's right."
Clegg couldn't just jump right into the sport, but the challenge to compete is what motivated him the most.
"I said I'm going to get to the point where I can do the things I can't do at this size."
So more determined than ever, he began his battle against the bulge. His initial goal was to lose 230 pounds, but his mind set quickly changed once he started dieting.
"I've done a lot of research and now I just want to be in optimal shape whether that's 180 or 250 pounds," Clegg said.
His son and his health helped fuel his dedication, and now he feels better than ever.
"I feel great now," Clegg said. "Now I feel terrific after a workout. I used to feel fatigue and like I wanted to die."
After dropping the pounds Clegg and a few friends started up their own gym in Lufkin called Six Gun Martial Arts, where he teaches classes and helps others.
"It's kind of a stress relief, what you go through here, it's like everyday problems that used to bother don't," Clegg said.
Clegg lost 187 pounds. Now four years later, he's at a comfortable weight thanks to Jiu jitsu and counting calories.
Six Gun Martial Arts offers a free week of martial arts classes.