martial arts


The Power of Compassion & Understanding

  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 […]


A Recovering BJJ Addict

  To stick with BJJ for years, or a lifetime, you need to really love it in a way that often crosses the line into all-consuming obsession. Many of the people I’ve met in the BJJ community shape their entire lives around the sport. Their schedules are built around class. […]


A Jiujiteira Survival Guide

photo by Joe Vasquez PhotographyAs a BJJ practitioner, I always try to convince all my girlfriends to try out jiu-jitsu. Aside from being a great form of exercise, I think it is an incredibly beneficial skill set for all women to have. However, my attempts are often met with a […]


A Year Later 1

    One year ago I sat in sweatpants on the edge of a mat watching a jiu jitsu class for the first time.  I had driven by the BJJ academy hundreds of times without ever noticing it was there. I was 34 years old, with five children and two […]


Shoulders Of Giants

  With so much bad news going on these days, it’s hard to find something to celebrate.   One thing we can all be happy about is that it is a great time to be a woman in jiu jitsu. When you step on the mats, or scroll through social […]


Your Journey Is Valid 2

  It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Someone at your academy receives a stripe faster than you did. You go to a tournament and your competitor from last year is a completely new rank. It’s easy to put a time period to a […]


Nerves: A Gift Or Curse?

  The only thing I remember from my first competition is the referee saying, “Combate” (fight) and everything in my mind freezing – with everything I’d learned trapped within that ice. Nearly every competition since then has featured a struggle with that nervousness-induced ice.  It wasn’t until I started to […]


How Do I Even Train After Having A Baby?

  I decided to start training BJJ again after a four-year-long hiatus, at ten weeks postpartum. I was seven months pregnant when I started teaching yoga at the gym where I used to train, so staying after class for BJJ wasn’t really an option.  However, I found myself longing for […]


Step by Step: The Only Way to Get to the Top 2

  When I heard the name Laurence Cousin Fouillat, the first image that popped into my mind was of her, standing at the top of a podium with a gold medal around her neck. While I wanted to know more about her life as a world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, I […]


Teaching: It’s All in the Timing

  If one of your BJJ goals is to become a great BJJ instructor, it can be hard to know where to start, much less how to improve. However, there’s one skill I learned as a classroom teacher that I’ve transferred to the mats, helping me feel at ease and […]