jiu jitsu


 BJJ Is For Plus Sized People, Too 1

  When I first started BJJ, I was fairly thin, mostly because I was always on a diet, always trying to lose weight, and always adding workouts to my week or minutes to my workouts.  When my first coach suggested that I try to cut some weight for a competition, […]


Silencing the Mean Voices 1

  We all have that voice in our head that bullies us. The one that tells us we can’t, or we shouldn’t, or that we’ll never make it and that we’re not good enough.  Or if we decide to take a risk, we’ll be judged.  This is the voice of […]


Tips To Improve Women’s Expriences In Your Gym 1

  I believe most coaches and gym owners want women (and all students) to feel comfortable and safe when training. It’s important to set a tone in your gym. How do you know if your gym is both safe for and accepting of women? How can you retain female students?  […]


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.  […]


Learning the Language of Guard 1

  As a smaller BJJ player, I always thought of myself as a passer.  Playing guard always felt restrictive, a completely different world from the mobile passing game I preferred. Although I knew some techniques playing guard, I looked at guard as just a way to plug a hole in […]


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 […]


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, […]


She’s Pretty Dangerous 2

  You’d be hard-pressed to find many like Melissa Lohsen in women’s jiu jitsu today. Being a wife,  a mother, and a gym owner since 2002 are all important to Melissa’s story (not to mention, she’s a black belt under Cesar Gracie). However, her story doesn’t stop there. After her […]