black belt


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 […]


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 […]


It’s Our Journey

  “A black belt only covers two inches of your a$$– you have to cover the rest,” said best by Royce Gracie. And it is true. A black belt is that, just a belt. It is what that belt represents that matters: the countless hours of training, the blood, sweat, […]


Just Crazy Enough To Do It

  As we’ve all tried to adjust to what the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ‘scene’ looks like during a global pandemic, I had the great pleasure of interviewing April Parks. She is a BJJ Black Belt out of Syracuse, New York and founder of Grappling Getaways: grappling camps with world-class Jiu […]


Living the BJJ Van Lifestyle 2

We all have those “What if?” moments in our lives. These moments can impact our lives in ways we cannot even possibly fathom. They can even be as small as changing to a new fabric softener, a different restaurant, or taking a different way home. They can be major changes […]


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 […]


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 […]


Ages Is Just A Number 1

  More and more women are entering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu than ever before, and many are proving that age really is just a number. Most recently Nair Mota de Oliveira of Aracaju-Sergipe, Brazil went viral when she became the Brazilian Nationals Master 7 Champion and earned her black belt from the […]


Always Finish What you Start

Living the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle isn’t for everyone. But for Mylene Ramos Engle, co-owner of Chris Engle Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Las Vegas, Nevada there is no other way to live. She took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about who she is, her inspiration […]


The Key To Avoid Injuries Is In Prevention

When you ask someone what they enjoy doing for fun seldom will you hear them say “I love to learn about injury prevention and fixing the problem to an injury”. That is until you meet Jennifer Recinos. She knows firsthand the challenges and struggles of overcoming an injury.  Recinos is a […]