Belt Rank: Purple
Age: 26 EWWWW!!!
Academy: RuffHouse Jiu Jitsu
Instructor: Arthur Ruff, Gerson Atoigue, Jay Inciong
1. What do you do for a living?
I am a full time mom, student (nursing school), girlfriend, and a jiu jitsu practitioner
2. Are you a mom? A wife? A girlfriend? A sister? A daughter to awesome parents that let you do Jiu-Jitsu?
I am a mom and a girlfriend and a sister to a wonderful white girl name Lisa LOL.. and a daughter to an awesome Dad!
3.Where you a tomboy or a girly-girl growing up?
4. Did you grow up doing other sports?
Not really, but I was really into roller blading when I was younger
5. How did you find BJJ?
I put my son into Jiu Jitsu on his 5th birthday back in September of 2007. I watched him on the sidelines for about a year, and then one of my friends named Jinky encouraged me to step on the mats one day. Her husband is one of our black belt instructors named Jay, and her son Ian who was 14 years old at the time trained there as well. I remember she let me borrow Ian's old gi the first day I tried jiu jitsu; it was a Koral M3 and it was still kinda big for me! (For those who are not familiar with the size chart, that's the biggest kids’ size!) . Ever since that first day, I fell deeply in love with the sport, and most of all, my gym and my peeps!
6. How often do you train?
5-6days a week
7. What is the one thing that keeps you from training some days?
School, homework, studies, illness and injuries... YUK!!!
8. Have you ever wanted to quit?
Not yet, hopefully not ever!
9. What drives you or inspires you to keep training?
My boyfriend, who is the one of the best BF ever! J He works so many hours at work and then trains hard almost every day to keep improving in jiu jitsu. He manages to do great in tournaments against people that does this for a living, and he never quits! He motivates me to train and to never give up!
10. Do you compete? Why or why not?
I do compete. I compete because I see it as an opportunity to really test myself in that kind of stressful situation. I became hooked on competing after my first competition; I remember that it was the scariest time of my life! lol.. But when I was done, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment and that feeling beat every inch of fear I had before the match. I can say that competing played a huge role in the way I learned to face many of my fears. It's one of the most amazing feeling in the world, and it's only tasted by those who put themselves forward on those competition mats; so I encourage everyone who trains, to try it at least once!
11. Where do you think the drive inside you to fight comes from? (whether you compete or not)
I think that my drive to fight comes from the desire to achieve something bigger and better than what I am / what I have today. This isn't necessarily just in jiu jitsu, but also in life. The stronger my desire to achieve my goals, the stronger I am able to push through to fight until it's achieved!
12. What are some of your biggest upsets either in training or competition?
"I wish I started jiu jitsu earlier".... ß yes, that thought; it crosses my mind like, almost EVERYDAY lol... seems to occur most often when I see kids roll though
13. What are some of your best accomplishments either in training or competition, on or off the mats?
Training= my purple belt
Competition= my gold medals and the azsbjjf 2012 female mvp
Off the mats= the gain of so many wonderful friends through jiu jitsu! some that I even refer to as FAMILY!! <~ LISA!
14. What are some of your fears with BJJ?
Injuries! Because it will keep me away from training!
15. What do you love about BJJ the most? What do you dislike?
I love that jiu jitsu teaches me something new about myself every day, and how it teaches me new skills on and off the mats such as: humility, perseverance, patience, etc .. It helps grow my desire to learn and it even helps me to become a better parent! I love that I get to spend quality time with my son and boyfriend when we train. I am the happiest mom in the world when I roll with Damian, it's always a game when we roll together. He never tries to hurt me when we roll, but we will fight to gain a good position so we can tickle each other to death!!! muahahaha!
16. What are your future goals with BJJ?
I definitely want to go compete at Mundials this year and try my best!
17. Did BJJ change your life? How?
Jiu jitsu did change my life. Before jiu jitsu, I was working as a general manager in retail since I was 18. I lived in my comfort bubble every day without setting many goals, I felt like I didn't need new goals since I was financially comfortable and content living my life the way it was. Ever since I started jiu jitsu, I've slowly learned to overcome the most annoying emotion called "fear". I think that 'fear' is a very strong emotion that disables us from doing a lot of things in life. It is often so powerful that it gets in the way, preventing us to reach our full potential. Such a horrible emotion, but I learned to feed off of it; I wanted to prove to myself that I am better than what my 'fear' tells me I could be. When I was living the life as a successful general manager and a mom, I never wanted to step out of my comfort zone and search for something better because I was scared to change my routine. But deep down, I knew I desired for something better! I learned courage by training and competing in jiu jitsu. Until one day I decided it was time to truly challenge myself by facing my fears! So I challenged myself to get out of my comfort bubble and go back to school in order to attain a better future. I quickly left my job, and decided to go back to school without hesitation. I am still fighting today, but I am half way done with my educational goal now and I couldn't be happier that I made this decision. Jiu jitsu taught me the courage to fight mentally, and I am forever grateful. I live a super happy life now, juggling school work, being a girlfriend, being a jiu jitsu practitioner, and most importantly, being a MOM! I am very fortunate to have a wonderful supportive boyfriend, a fantastic Dad, and a great Son, who encourages me to be better each and every day! I learned to not let fear hinder me from reaching my full potential in life. As busy as I am, I love every second of it!
18. Do you have a BJJ practitioner you look up to whether it be male or female?
OMG, I have tons of them! too much to name!
19. If a girl was standing outside of your academy scared to come in and try BJJ, what words of encouragement would you give her?
I will tell her that there is no need to be scared! I will tell her that I will be with her every step of the way until she gets comfortable! Just the way Jinky taught me when I first started!
20. Any last thoughts?
I say surviving is as important as Living! Having the desire to survive and achieve are the most important tools in life!