martial artist


Not Your Competition

  It all began with the new girl. She showed up a few months into my BJJ journey, slightly bigger than me and somehow already wearing a matching set of colorful rashguard and spats. I pictured myself patiently teaching her the one move I had learned, giggling at how awkward […]


Transforming Pain into Passion and Purpose

  For many Jiu Jitsu is a sanctuary to escape the trials and tribulations of our day to day lives. It is a place for us to put our worries and stresses on hold. For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt Elena Stowell it became a pathway through grief after unexpectedly […]


Humans of Martial Artist

Martial arts have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. From traditional to modern, self-defense to sport, meditation to combat, martial arts continue to evolve.  Two martial artists, Sunny Prosser and Tess Malpas of Humans of Martial arts, aim to deeply discover not only martial arts but also […]


The Sisterhood

Long before starting BJJ, I did karate in a small dojo on the upper west side of Manhattan. My instructor at the time was well known (in karate, anyway) and our Friday night sparring class was where all the champions were- big black belt men with dark eyes, quietly taping […]


Supporting Survivors on the Mats

If you participate in any of female grappling groups on social media, you’ve no doubt seen the stories about coaches or teammates who have been accused of inappropriate behavior, domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  While many of these posts have to be labeled with the word alleged, it’s no secret […]


The Power of Compassion & Understanding 1

  Inclusivity and valuing human diversity is a growing movement. There are many examples of people who are working hard to ensure that anyone–of any religious practice, personal value, gender identity, sexual preference, or political view–is truly included in jiu-jitsu and beyond. However, there are still times that people are […]


The Road Back to Competition

  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the “gentle art,” you say? Ask anyone who has trained for a bit and they probably have an injury story to tell you.  What happens after that injury? How do you get back in the saddle after getting sidelined? While I’m no expert, I’ve learned […]


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, […]


I Am Your Rest Round 2

I was texting with my friend after class the other day about how all the rounds with the women at our gym are super tough. I jokingly said, “I wonder if that means we’re the rest rounds since every other round is challenging???” To which she quickly replied, “I know […]


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 […]