Melissa Myers is one of those women that if she puts her mind to something she will do it and do it well. Five years ago, just one year after the birth of her second son, Myers began her Martial Arts journey. This small step opened a whole new door that completely altered Myer’s lifestyle. Myers first took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which led to kickboxing and it was just a matter of time before Myers began fighting in MMA. Myers now dedicates her life to being a personal trainer, teaching BJJ and kickboxing at High Altitude. She is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and holds a MMA record of 1-0 Ammy 0-2 Pro. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but Myers story proves that we are capable of so much more than we realize. We can reinvent our lives and live the lives we dream of.
Did you have any prior martial arts experience before you started? What attracted you to Jiu-Jitsu?
I didn’t have any martial arts experience prior to starting kickboxing, but I did wrestle a little bit when I was younger. I thought BJJ was really intriguing because it incorporated wrestling but with submissions and I thought I was amazing for self defense purposes.
How has Jiu Jitsu changed your life? How do you think it can benefit others?
Competing in MMA has changed my life a lot. It’s shown me what I am really capable of not only physically but mentally. I’ve learned the difference between losing and learning and that sometimes you have to tap a thousand times before you get better. The more I learned about BJJ the more crucial I felt it was for all females to be exposed to it and that it can truly make a difference in a self defense situation.
What are your Jiu Jitsu goals? How do you intend to accomplish them?
My goals for BJJ this year are to compete in the upcoming NAGA tournament in Albuquerque, possibly IBJJF Masters Worlds, and then compete again in IBJJF Nogi Pan Ams and Worlds as a purple belt.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced on the mats? How did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge I have faced on the mats is the up and down when I have felt like I wasn’t improving at all and I become really frustrated. But I continue to train and push through and then I come out of the slump and then all of a sudden I realize how much I’ve improved and things start to really click. I’ve really learned that this sport is about patience and persistence.
If you could change just one thing about your BJJ journey what would it be and why?
If I could change anything about my BJJ journey, it would be to have started sooner! Also, I would change how I trained earlier on. I would be smarter about how I trained and pick the right training partners to keep myself free of injury.
How would you encourage a female to start training?
I would encourage all females to start training! It’s such an amazing community of females that are so inspiring and come from all walks of life and are all willing to help anyone get started. BJJ is so great because it shows females that regardless of their size or strength they are not helpless if they get into a situation where they need to defend themselves. They learn that they are capable of so much more than they realize and it’s incredibly empowering and it’s wonderful to see.
Girls in Gis staff writer
Shama Ko is a brown belt with Gracie Humaita out of Austin, TX. She has been a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner since November of 2003. She is a photographer, writer, community organizer and activist. She heads the Girls in Gis organization or as she calls it the “movement”. She describes herself as both a lover and a fighter. She loves to laugh and not take life too seriously.