empower


A Warrior On And Off The Mats

  Francis Garcia, a blue belt under Carlson Gracie, is a strong woman who uses jiu jitsu with a purpose. This blue belt is a 38-year-old single mother and nurse. Her 12-year-old daughter (who is a black and grey belt with 4 stripes) is the proud center of her life.  […]


On Her Own Merit

  I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Professor Carlan Gracie, a third-degree black belt training at Brasa/Kazulu Jiu Jitsu out of Rio De Janeiro (Rocinha), Brazil.  A Gracie, you ask? Yes, but not that Gracie family.  Carlan just happens to have the last name of arguably the most famous family […]


Remembering to Breathe 1

  You know that soul-crushing moment when your opponent passes your guard to secure side control…then they settle in heart to heart and you just feel the weight suddenly crushing your very existence? Of course it feels great when you’re the one doing the soul-crushing (and bonus points when you […]


Strength in Surrendering 1

  Confident. Driven. Passionate. These are the words that lingered in my mind as I got off my call with Jill, a purple belt who trains out of Performance Jiu-Jitsu Academy in New Jersey under Professor Vintaloro. While we covered many topics during our hour-long chat, what intrigued me the […]


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, […]


Is It All About Me?

  I sit resting in my favorite recliner with my foot  up and a knee bandaged and covered in ice packs. I had knee surgery today because of an injury I acquired while practicing take downs for my first competition. My husband diligently helps me with the rotating of ice […]


The Spirit of Resilience

As soon as I got off my call with Mary Aldana, the only thing I wanted to do was put on my gi and get on the mat. If it had not been 6:00 am, I just might have! Mary’s enthusiasm about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and her resilient spirit echoed in […]


A gray Gi is folded on the edge of the mats with a blue belt rolled up inside. A patch on the Gi reads “Triangles Everywhere

Triangles Everywhere

      Triangles Everywhere  Triangles Everywhere provides a trusted space for LGBTQI Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners to connect and be themselves. Kimberly Serratos, an admin and founding members of Triangles Everywhere , sat down to chat about the group and her experience with them thus far.   In the […]


Preparing Your BJJ Comeback

As different areas begin reopening, returning to BJJ is on the forefront of every practitioner’s mind. However, as eager as we all are to get back on the mats, remember that going back to training now after several months of lockdown will not be the same as returning after missing […]


Finding Strength in Trauma 1

    Only a small percentage of people understand what it is we do, this sport called Jiu Jitsu. Very few get it for what it really is; many others portray it as violent or find it invasive. I’ll admit it I too saw it this way, but now it […]