Tuesday October 27, 2015– Robert “Cozmo” Consulmagno is a 3rd degree purple belt and 2 time No Gi Pan Am champ. Robert is currently sponsored by Scramble.
At first glance, he appears happy healthy and fit. However, As he will say himself, don’t judge a book by its cover! He is fighting a much more intense battle inside himself. Robert like many others, is living with PTSD and Bipolar. He is 100% disabled as determined by the VA.
His story begins years ago at a young age when his grandfather tried to molest him. Something that was stopped and handled by his uncle. His father committed suicide by hanging himself . Then he and his mother suffered abuse in her next relationships.
As a young boy he was present (unbeknownst to him until after) when his mother was raped, by his 1st stepfather. Who told Robert to “wait outside”. He suffered Years of physical abuse by his stepfather which lead to broken bones and at one time a body cast. Some time later, he would come back to try to kill his 2nd stepfather. The bullet grazed his skull. His 1st stepfather fled the scene and took his own life by shooting him self with a .22. All these events planted seeds of trauma which would grow into a much bigger issue later on.
High school was a way of escaping for him. He played sports and tried to spend as much time away from home as possible.
He later joined the Marine Corps. “Military was hard. I was sent many times to see the shrink. But they kept me in. I was hazed a lot and in trouble. I was stronger than most Marines so I just took it. But it made me the Hulk. A raging animal.” He was honorably discharged in 1996.
Throughout all the struggles he has been involved in martial arts. Adding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was the missing piece of the puzzle. Being medicated seemed to hinder more than help with his battle with mental health.”I honestly believe the meds don’t work. The brain is too complex even in this day in age. I train till I reach that zen state.” Explaining that he believes his physical routine and his diet help much more than any medication. “I take Valerian root at night. I relax watching Bruce Lee and 80s flicks an hour or so to get my heart rate down. I try to sleep through the night if I can. The mania at times gets the best of me so i toss and turn. I get up and begin my ritual. I have a small cup of coffee followed by a big balanced breakfast. I work cleaning buildings and then work part-time till my next meal. Once my work is done i eat again and take my vitamins. I then begin getting my mind right for training by DJing on my equipment. Djing is my other outlet. I cut and scratch battle sets. I have turntables in my bedroom. The music puts me in a killer mind-set, then go train my ass off”
Robert has accomplished so much in his life as a martial artist, boxer and human.
He also helps other vets by talking openly about his own struggles. When asked his advice to others suffering “Please talk about it! Screw being labeled meek. Talking about it takes courage.” He believes training in martial arts is a great way for young and older victims of trauma to cope. “The training will force them to release endorphins. And to get their mind on the moment, if they train hard they will be free of the pain.”
So what’s next? “I’m pushing to be heard around the world. My dream is to earn my black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and to box a few more World championships. I wanna die a warrior who was not afraid to represent people who have mental health battles.”
Robert has a documentary on his life and mission to spread awareness due to release Veterans Day. He is also raising funds to make it to the world championship.
It’s safe to say Robert embodies the warrior spirit. Both on the mat and in life, we wish you luck and look forward to reporting on your victories in the future.
By: Korey Lane