Amber began Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2009 in Wichita, Kansas. She was introduced into the sport through supporting her husband and his team at tournaments. After gaining interest in BJJ she soon began training and it has been an amazing journey since then. Amber and her husband Chris Haines own the Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club in Wichita, KS for 9 years now. She loves to focus on getting more women involved in the BJJ community, and she currently runs the women’s program at her gym. She attended her first Girls in Gis event in Oklahoma City in 2013. Not long after attending she became a volunteer and now is an ambassadors for Girls in Gis Kansas chapter.
Amber is a true survivor in her journey, in 2015 she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and had to take some time off from training. She believes that having amazing support from her friends and family in and out of the gym helped her beat cancer. She tries to inspire more women to train BJJ as she believes it can change your life in many positive ways. She believes she can reach her goals in spreading BJJ to more women through her work in her gym and as a Girls in Gis Ambassador.
Kim was “tricked” into starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in November 2013 in Manhattan, KS. She was receiving some kickboxing and personal training lessons by black belt Joe Wilk. It had taken her a year working out with Joe to feel comfortable being in the gym. Joe would schedule her training sessions right before Jiu-Jitsu class and with Kim living an hour away from the gym, Joe would kindly tell her that she needed to learn some ground game if she wanted to progress in fighting. Joe knew she couldn’t run home and then “forget” to come to class so this is how she was “tricked” into training.
Kim actually did not enjoy Jiu-Jitsu at first. She was the only female actively training at her gym at the time and didn’t feel comfortable asking any of the guys to do the technique. To her, it felt like getting picked last for gym repeatedly. She decided that if she stuck with doing Jiu-Jitsu then she would make sure that any new person (male or female) knew that she would be a training partner for them. Help them understand techniques and answer any questions she could.
Kim went to her first Girls in Gis seminar in Wichita, Kan., hosted by Amber Haines. In attending the seminar, she finally felt like she was not alone in her Jiu-Jitsu journey. She came away with a better feeling about doing Jiu-Jitsu and a better sense of confidence. She attended every Girls in Gis she could. When Amber contacted her in 2018 to ask if she would come on board as an ambassador she immediately said yes in hopes that her story might help someone start or even continue their Jiu-Jitsu progression. As her professor, Joe, constantly reminds her, “Nothing great ever comes from comfort zones.”. She credits her instructors and teammates for pushing her to be better, her super-duper best friend Isaac for coaching her, and of course her husband and kids for supporting her through her crazy schedule.