Belt Rank: Purple
Age: I am proud of my age I am 39
Academy: Dirty Bay MMA/ Solis Martial Arts Academy
Instructor: Alvis Solis, Vincent Serrano
1. What do you do for a living?
I am an Administrative Assistant and a fitness instructor at the YMCA
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 of a 22 years old brown belt and a 21 years old purple belt. My husband trains Jeet Kune Do
3. Were you a tomboy or a girly-girl growing up?
I was definitely a tomboy
4. Did you grow up doing other sports?
Yes, I ran track and played pretty much anything I could
5. How did you find BJJ?
I needed extracurricular activities for my kids; I wanted something to keep them busy after school. As they were training instead of just sitting around waiting for class to be out I thought I can do this and I did
6. How often do you train?
I train 5-6 days a week.
7. What is the one thing that keeps you from training some days?
Mostly injuries or family functions
8. Have you ever wanted to quit?
9. What drives you or inspires you to keep training?
Mostly the way higher belts flow. I think it is a beautiful thing. I am looking forward to being able to do that. I also want to be able to roll with my grandchildren, I think that will be so awesome.
10. Do you compete? Why or why not?
I have competed but not lately. I am not sure why.
11. Where do you think the drive inside you to fight comes from? (Whether you compete or not)
I have always wanted to learn martial arts, but was afraid to. I had the mindset that I couldn’t because girls can’t do that. Without even trying I was telling myself I couldn’t do it. That really bothers me. I don’t want to get back to that mindset again so every time I find myself saying I can’t I am like yes you can.
12. What are some of your biggest upsets either in training or competition?
At first I hated to not be able to do a move. I would train and train till I got it. I became compulsive about it. Now I know it takes practice. I am going to be training for the rest of my life, as long as I am able to; there is no need to kill myself learning a new technique or movement. I had to kind of learn that the hard way; it was really upsetting and stressful at first. Now I am just relaxed and I learned patience.
13. What are some of your best accomplishments either in training or competition, on or off the mats?
Training has really helped my fitness. I also train and exercise more but it’s awesome to be able to do the things I do physically.
14. What are some of your fears with BJJ?
Mostly being able to be in a situation where I have no control. When I roll around with men who are larger and stronger than me it’s a reality check. It reminds me that I can get hurt. It makes me scared not only for me but for my kids, because even though they are adults, I need to be able to protect them if it comes down to it. That is the one fear that I have to say I do have with BJJ
15. What do you love about BJJ the most? What do you dislike?
I love the constant learning. I love the reaction to an action. Movement without even thinking, because it has become muscle memory. Not sure what I dislike about it. I usually don’t like to dwell on that part.
16. What are your future goals with BJJ?
To learn as much as I can and of course become a black belt. I want to be able to roll with my granddaughter and anymore grandchildren that comes along. It’s already awesome that I got two training partners in my children J
17. Did BJJ change your life? How?
Yes. It changed my mindset and I learned patience
18. Do you have a BJJ practitioner you look up to whether it is male or female?
Yes, I have many, to name a few, Hannette Staack, Leticia Ribeiro and her entire female team, Kyra Gracie, Angelica & Andre Galvao. But mostly Ashley Freeman Nguyen, she was the one who helped me when I first started and when I had questions about women in BJJ or just had a bad training day.
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?
You’ll never know until you try, and trying something you want to do is never a bad idea J
20. Any last thoughts?
Just want to say there are a lot of people who has inspired or continue to inspire me, who have made a mark on my BJJ journey; training partners, instructors, BJJ practitioners, the Yanez famiy, and most of all my children Vincent and Vicki, my husband Joaquin, they all have sure made my BJJ journey memorable. I thank them all J