Oklahoma Ambassadors


 


kimblakeKim Blake

Twelve years ago Kim started training Martial arts at the age of 42. Her interest in Martial Arts began at the age of 13 when an after school martial arts class was offered at her Jr. High School. Unfortunately her father wouldn’t give his consent because “girls did not participate in combative sports”.  This was a very hard for Kim, but at least she still had her love for Bruce Lee and Martial Arts films.

 It wasn’t until Kim was 42  when she was posed with the question, “What is stopping you from achieving this dream now?”  With the realization Kim enrolled in Karate class at Apollo’s Martial Arts. She is now a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 4th Degree Black Belt in Karate, Kickboxing, and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. She is also a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Ketsugo (under the linage of Herald Brosious). Kiim is also a Board Member for the Oklahoma Karate Association and was recently presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Whirlwind Tournament Classic.

At age 44 Kim began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to round out her self defense training. However it wasn’t until age 46 when Kim attended a seminar given by Master Carlos Machado where Kim can say she finally understood ground fighting. It was there that Kim learned techniques that activated muscle (brain) memory allowing her brain and body to work together. Ten years later Kim is now a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the RCJ Machado affiliation.


20161005_150737Alexis Kekiwi

Alexis is a 1 stripped Blue Belt under Gracie Black Belt, Professor Ty Gay, in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Alexis started her jiu-jitsu journey in 2013.  After participating in half marathons, boxing and weightlifting, she found that she still did not have the feeling of safety when out and about, especially at night.  When asked by a friend if she wanted to join in on a women’s self-defense class at Redline BJJ, she agreed. Once she found a way to get over having someone in her “bubble”, the rest is history.

Alexis has competed in several local Jiu-Jitsu tournaments in Oklahoma.  She enjoys the skill testing and getting to roll with other females she normal would not be able to roll with, but the main reason she likes to compete is to gain friendships with competitors.  The bond created is indescribable.  She can always count on these girls to have her back no matter what.  It’s like an unspoken sisterhood.


14957974_1351982228145881_1264393457_oJanie Meadows

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt, owner and instructor of Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy located in Edmond, OK

Janie got started in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2009 and started Oklahoma Martial Arts Academy as a white belt with her husband Seth Norman in late 2010.  She says that anyone that knew her growing up was shocked to find out that she is a jiu-jitsu fighter/ instructor and owns her own gym.  She says it’s a far cry from the shy girl they all knew. She says when she started she never imagined the impact that training would have on her.  It literally changed everything for Janie. She says she is healthier, more confident and now able to defend herself. She describes her self as small-town girl, who in a sense had feared everything who blossomed into a confident and capable woman.

“I never knew how vulnerable I was until I wasn’t anymore.”

According to Janie, Jiu-Jitsu is something that never leaves you.  You can take it anywhere.  Knowing this leaves a woman feeling more secure.  She says her biggest regret was not starting sooner. She says this sport is for everyone.  It has helped her deal with anxiety and taught her to appreciate what her body is capable of.  Jiu-Jitsu has also introduced her to some of the most important people in her life, her“family” the people who she grows with.  The one’s who lift her up when she needs it and keeps her grounded.

She considers herself to be blessed to live the life she lives training daily with her husband and their 12-year-old son, Tysen.  She says together they are living the dream.  She also works with different women’s groups in the area to provide self-defense seminars, teaches classes daily, runs the business, and she also the co-owner of Hindsight Jiu-Jitsu a Lifestyle Brand. She says one of her favorite things about coaching is seeing new people have that “ah ha” moment and watching them find what they are made of.  She also loves to compete because she always learns from it.  She says win or lose she always leaves the mats grateful for the opportunity and with an understanding of what she needs to work on.

Janie started going to Girls-In-Gis events as a new blue belt.  She says it was a way for her to meet other women in the area who trained.  According to Janie Girls in Gis is a great organization and she is so honored to be an ambassador for GIG.