Belt Rank: Yellow with 2 stripes
Academy: Maui Grappling Academy
Instructor: Keith Inouye
1. What do you do for a living?
I will be an 8th grader at Iao School. I live in Maui Hawaii, and have a GPA of 3.7. I train in jiu jitsu, I wrestle for my middle school and Central Maui Style Wrestling Club, and also I am on the track team. On my spare time I workout with my dad, & go running with my mom.
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 daughter of two awesome parents that supports me in school and the sports I love to do.
3.Were you a tomboy or a girly-girl growing up?
I was and still am a girly-girl, but I'd like to think that I'm tougher than most girls.
4. Did you grow up doing other sports?
Yes. From 2003-2005 I danced hula and Tahitian dancing for Te Tiare Patitifa, from 2006-2007 I did gymnastics for Maui Gymnastics, from 2008-2010 I played soccer for AYSO and HYSO - Maui United, during the year 2011 I did Kajukenbo for Sera's Kajukenbo and was an orange belt, 2012-present run track, and 2013-present Wrestling. I started jiu jitsu in 2012 and still train 2-3 days a week.
5. How did you find BJJ?
In 2012, my dad took me to Maui Grappling Academy to watch and try it out, he decided to take me there because the instructor, Keith Inouye has been my dads close friend and they grew up together. I thought it looked fun so I tried it out, and of course the first couple of weeks I got tapped out non stop and I could never submit anyone, but I never quit, I knew if I practiced more and more i would get better. Sometimes I get a bloody mouth, sore body, and bruises all over but that's life a grappler, and I'm glad I never stopped jiu-jitsu because I never knew I could love a sport this much.
6. How often do you train?
I train every Tuesdays and Thursdays, when there's up coming tournament I practice extra on Fridays.
7. What is the one thing that keeps you from training some days?
Things that keep me from practicing some days is if I'm really injured or if there's a family emergency. During the school year I also have to balance my homework with my sports so that sometimes keeps me from training as much as I'd like to.
8. Have you ever wanted to quit?
Yes, it crosses my mind when it gets really tough but with all of the support I have it helps me to push thru and stay motivated. Some day I'm looking forward to teaching my little brother who is 3 years old, and becoming an instructor.
9. What drives you or inspires you to keep training? To better myself from the last training session and to fulfill my goal of being an instructor one day.
10. Do you compete? Why or why not?
Yes I compete, and the first time I competed I was a white belt novice going against yellow intermediate belt boys division, I was the only girl in my bracket and the only white belt, I placed in second Gi and first in NOGI . I compete to better my jiujitsu and someday go to Worlds and Pan Am.
11. Where do you think the drive inside you to fight comes from? (whether you compete or not). My drive comes from within myself, wanting to do things that others can't do or is afraid to do. Those around me that support me helps keep my drive going strong.
12. What are some of your biggest upsets either in training or competition? I really don't have any upsets...I always remind myself that its all about having fun and staying focused. I'm always learning and getting better.
13. What are some of your best accomplishments either in training or competition, on or off the mats?
Some of my best accomplishments include being a State Champion my first year in club and Intermediate wrestling tournament, taking gold in my track meets, winning first place in Gi and Nogi and taking home a first place championship belt. In school, I have been a scholar in our middle school Renaissance Scholar Program for academic excellence, I was also a class representative and top of my physical education class with records better than most boys.
14. What are some of your fears with BJJ?
My fears are if I get badly injured and can't train or compete.
15. What do you love about BJJ the most? What do you dislike? I love the physical training, the feeling I get of excitement when I compete in a tournament and the pride I feel when I win and when my coaches tell me that I'm getting better in the sports. I don't like getting injured, only because it usually means that I can't train or train as hard for a while.
16. What are your future goals with BJJ?
My future goals with BJJ is becoming a black belt instructor and maybe opening up my own academy one day. I'd love to inspire others to pursue their dreams like me.
17. Did BJJ change your life? How? Yes, it has given me something to look forward to everyday, given me pride and success.
18. Do you have a BJJ practitioner you look up to whether it be male or female? I look up to and respect my coach Keith Inouye. He has taught me to give it all I have and I will always be a winner - whether I win or lose. He always tells me to have fun. He is patient with me and always is by my side supporting me every step of the way. He is the reason I want to be an instructor one 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? I will tell her what my coach told me- "It doesn't matter your size or color belt...it's all about technique".
20. Any last thoughts? Yes, I am thankful for everyone that believes in me. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this blog, for taking the time to read this and for showing an interest in what I love to do. I wouldn't be where I am today without everyone's support.