self confidence


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


 BJJ Is For Plus Sized People, Too 2

  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, […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]