It took 8 years for me to achieve black belt. Not long after I started, I started training twice a day 4-5 days a week. That’s 4 hours a day I’d be on the mat, as a white belt. Thankfully my work schedule allowed me to train more than the average full time working adult. I mentioned getting sucked in and allowing Jiu-Jitsu to change me and my life. If I had not been open to the change, I would’ve never accomplished what I have today. Always the responsible adult, who took pride in always taking care of herself, I made a life changing decision while still a purple. I was far from being a young college kid financially dependent on her parents, but still decided to leave my job of 17 years to become a full time Jiu-Jitsu student and competitor. Many have dreams of making Jiu-Jitsu their life, but I garnered the courage to take that plunge. Taking my decision seriously, I made and smashed my goals.
1. Compete and medal at high level competitions. DONE! No need to spew off titles. Anyone can look up IBJJF results from 07′-13′ and will see my name. My best year being 2013, as a brown belt middle weight. I hurt my back in early 2014, which took me out of competition.
2. Learn to teach. DONE- also a never ending process, but I’m onto something.
3. The ultimate goal: open an academy. Done! DONE! DONE!!!! Me and my best friend, with Royler Gracie’s blessing, opened Gracie Humaita North Craig August 1, 2014. My friend, Leticia Ribeiro, was a huge inspiration. The support from Royler, Mica, and Leticia made my dream come true.
My plans are to focus on my academy, my students, and get back to competition. I miss competition. The stress of competition makes me absolutely NUTS, but I love being able to pull it all together once the ref says “Combate”. My time off from competing was a blessing. With that focus taken away from me, I placed my focus on teaching. My instructor, Amilcar Cipili, and my best friend and business partner, Bryan Glenn, gave me the opportunity to learn and mold me into a teacher. Teaching has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Passing on the art and watching people grow because of it.”