Meet the Host of GIG Texas- San Antonio: Nina Cutro-Kelly

flyerGirls in Gis has hosted over 100 events throughout five states and for the first time in Texas we will be hosting a Judo event with world class athlete Nina Cutro-Kelly. Nina has been training since age 7. She began her training in 1992 and was awarded her black belt in 2002. She is a third degree black belt since 2012. As a child she describes her self as hyperactive.  “I got started because I was a hyperactive kid and my dad has trouble keeping me in other sports due to my behavior issues.”  Under the guidance of her coach Jim Hrbek she was inspired to become a competitor. She is currently undergoing the path to the Olympics and we are honored to have her teaching us this weekend. Check out what Nina had to share with us about her Judo experience and how it can benefit your Jiu-Jitsu game.


Describe your journey and the process to become on the Olympic team.

I am still in the qualification process of qualifying for the Olympic team. I’m currently ranked 34th in the world and am in the midst of competing in various selection events around the world. The selection process will be finished in May 2016.

Are their a lot of girls in Judo? Describe the community.

There are fewer women in judo than men. San Antonio is lucky enough to have one of the oldest, most established women’s coach’s in the country – 1992 women’s Olympic coach Jim Hrbek. He has specialized in training women his entire coaching career and has helped me immensely in becoming the player I am today

nina2Do females in Judo face or have they faced any inequalities or discrimination? 

Women do face issues in the sport, maybe less so as athletes since the USA has had some many medals recently in women’s judo, but certainly as coaches. We have very few female coaches in this country and even fewer who coach mixed male and female teams. This is something I am trying to change by coaching at universal judo here in San Antonio.

What other martial arts do you train? How have they tied into each other? 

I was 2x Super World Cup champion in SAMBO (Russian combat wrestling) and won 1st place in the absolute (open belt) French BJJ Nationals with 3 out of 4 fights won on submissions.  I was also 2005 women’s heavyweight wrestling champion. For me it’s the outfit and the rules which change – I still use mostly the same techniques among these 4 sports!

nina3Have you ever hosted an all female event before? What do you hope to gain from this experience and what do you hope the girls will gain?

Yes, universal judo has always had all girl judo camps (in addition to mixed camps). We hope to show our guests how cool judo is as a sport and maybe see if they would like to try it out more in the future. We hope to help our BJJ guests learn takedowns to improve their BJJ game.

For those that will be training Judo for the first time what advice do you have for them?

Don’t be afraid! We will go over falling properly, have crash mats to help break falls and I will have several assistants helping me show the techniques! Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We all were beginners at judo at one point and can help!

Join us this weekend for GIGTX-San Antonio. More info and registration at:

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