Yearly Archives: 2020


Back to Training, But…

  There is comfort in the return to routine: the rash guard in my bag, the braids in my hair. There is joy in the dull ache in my arms and in the sweat dripping off of my face. There is joy in all of it, from fist bump to […]


Owning it

  Female black belts are still a rarity in our sport, and it is even more extraordinary to find a woman who is the owner and head instructor of her own BJJ academy. Juliana Fontoura gave me a peek into the rewards of instructing and gym ownership, as well as […]


A Healthy Approach to Increasing Your BJJ Training

  In my early years as a blue belt, I was content with training just twice a week.  Further in, however, I started to feel a prick of jealousy seeing other folks progressing faster than me.  I tried not to compare myself, but I couldn’t help but notice that one […]


Four Tips for Achieving Your Goals

  If you’re a fan of self-help books, you may be familiar with popular goal-setting strategies like starting small, having accountability, and setting up rewards.  However, even with these things in place, after a couple months, you may find yourself frustratingly off-track and no closer to your goals than when […]


A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Have you ever wished you could shut your brain off and quiet the racing thoughts? Or could experience peace in the midst of any circumstance? Or easily tap into your inner strength at any moment?  When faced with obstacles, it’s easy to think the best way forward is to simply […]


Top 10: Women to Watch at Pans 2020

With so many competitions canceled and postponed this year, there is much excitement for the 2020 IBJJF Pan American Championships beginning next week. It was no surprise registration reached capacity quickly, and while there are many amazing athletes competing this year, there are a number of stand-out stars on this […]


Teaching: It’s All in the Timing

  If one of your BJJ goals is to become a great BJJ instructor, it can be hard to know where to start, much less how to improve. However, there’s one skill I learned as a classroom teacher that I’ve transferred to the mats, helping me feel at ease and […]


 BJJ Is For Plus Sized People, Too 2

  When I first started BJJ, I was fairly thin, mostly because I was always on a diet, always trying to lose weight, and always adding workouts to my week or minutes to my workouts.  When my first coach suggested that I try to cut some weight for a competition, […]


Silencing the Mean Voices 1

  We all have that voice in our head that bullies us. The one that tells us we can’t, or we shouldn’t, or that we’ll never make it and that we’re not good enough.  Or if we decide to take a risk, we’ll be judged.  This is the voice of […]


Tips To Improve Women’s Expriences In Your Gym 1

  I believe most coaches and gym owners want women (and all students) to feel comfortable and safe when training. It’s important to set a tone in your gym. How do you know if your gym is both safe for and accepting of women? How can you retain female students?  […]