Keep On Swimming

  From the shore at Oceanside Pier, the waves separating me from the course looked small, maybe 1-3 feet. Once in the water, though, the waves were well over my head. Once I passed the first set of breakers, I had to navigate through the second set without the advantage […]


The Last Belt

If you ask most people what their BJJ goals are not everyone will say that they want to be a world champion…but damn near most of them will say they want to get their black belts. But is there really anything special about getting your black belt?  Do we put […]


It’s Never Too Late To Embrace The Jiu Jitsu Addiction 2

On March 22nd, 2019, Sandi Duquette and Susan Gordon faced off in a monumental match. They were at the IBJJF Pans at UC-Irvine, and faced off in a Women’s Master 7 blue belt bout. Sandi and Susan began the match sizing each other up, each trying to take the other […]


‘Welcome home. It’s good to have you back.’ 8

I was gang raped at fifteen. I was a freshman in high school. My assailants did not serve time. No one believed me. I changed schools. I grew older. Life marched on. I moved to Seattle Washington at thirty. I was stalked by two different men while coming home from […]


Never Lose Sight Of What Really Matters 2

  Every time Michele Colon pulls out her black belt from her bag, she can’t believe it is hers. Michele had an unorthodox journey to earning her black belt, a feat she accomplished under Marcio Santos and Carlos Machado in February 2018. Michele began her Jiu Jitsu journey in 2002 […]


For The Love Of Jiu Jitsu 1

We all have different motivations for trying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Some people are looking for a workout while others are interested in learning self-defense.  The social aspect alone can be very enticing. The reason someone starts training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does not change the fact that they have to enjoy […]


A Story Behind The Smile

It’s a calm, dark morning in Seattle. My cup of tea brews as a lazy yawn escapes me. Six a.m. My cats bogards the warm spot where I once laid as duty evicts me from precious sleep. I climb downstairs and with ham fist sluggishness, boot up my computer. Michelle […]


Got The Post Competition Blues? 4

All those hours of training, preparing and all the sacrifices you made lead up to just a few minutes when your feet hit the mat, you slap hands and your match begins.  You walk into your match with uncertainty of the outcome. The buildup, the anticipation and then you lose. […]


“Big Girls Don’t Cry” 9

I am a big girl. Not like in the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, but a plus size woman. I am also an athlete and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I bring up in conversation that I do Jiu Jitsu, there will always be the person who […]


The Pressure of Promotion 7

Recently, I received my fourth stripe for my white belt. Immediately after earning the stripe, I thought—oh my gosh, blue belt is next. Like anyone else, I would love to earn my blue belt, but I am also afraid of it. What if I’m not good enough? What if I […]