How To Make Our Dojos More Welcoming For Hobbyist

When I started BJJ, my dojo’s philosophy was that martial arts is a lifelong pursuit that we undertake for the sake of acquiring knowledge and constantly honing our skills. This philosophy attracted a wide range of students. Our youngest martial artists were five and our eldest was in his 80s. […]


Learning to Embrace Ourselves

Those of us who love jiu jitsu know it can be a life-changing activity, one that teaches a variety of life lessons. We learn how to survive, how to put in the hard work to get better, and how to embrace the grind. We have all had a unique jiu […]


High On Fight

I don’t do it for the patch on my back, I don’t do it for my professor, and I don’t do it for my teammates. I don’t do it for the podium, I don’t do it for the medals, and I don’t do it for the fans. I don’t do […]


Breaking Barriers: An Interview with Yvone Duarte

If you are part of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community, it is most likely that you have heard the name Yvone Duarte. Yvone made history in 1990 as the first female to earn a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. In 2021, after training for 43 years and being a black belt […]


A Girl On Fire

Jiu jitsu has been a huge part of Amanda Leve’s since she was just 11 years old. When her father and brother decided to start BJJ classes, Leve decided to tag along and watch their first class. As soon as she saw the flurry of activity on the mat, she […]


Imposter Syndrome

Well, you did it! You put your hand to the plow and didn’t look back. You got your ribs popped and your knuckles swollen, and you survived. You passed the tests, calmed your nerves, and although you’re exhausted, you earned your new belt!.  If you are like me, the first […]


Before You Quit 1

If you have been training in this sport for a while, grinding away at improvement, chances are you’ve felt burnt out from time to time. As much fun as this sport is, sometimes working so hard with such intensity can leave us feeling frustrated, tired, and thinking of quitting. If […]


Training While Chronically Ill 2

Training with a chronic illness can be a challenge, a challenge I am familiar with. I live with two chronic illnesses — endometriosis and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).  Both of these illnesses make training BJJ hard at times. Neither of them are curable. There are treatments that make both […]


Why Do Blue Belts Quit Jiu Jitsu?

  As I write this, I am an experienced purple belt making my way to brown. I highlight this to ensure that I am keenly aware that I have much to learn and that my thoughts and growth in the future may differ from present thoughts. Additionally, if you read […]


Hard Room vs. Working Room 

  When I started Jiu Jitsu, I thought there was one type of training: bump fists, try to kill each other until the round ends, repeat, limp home, repeat tomorrow.  Recently, however; I discovered that BJJ is actually a beautiful tapestry of  many types of training. There is slow, methodical […]