It took me a few years to get up the courage to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts, but let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions of my life!
In the last year and a half I’ve fallen in love with BJJ: I’ve lost 45 pounds, earned my blue belt, won gold medals at international tournaments and had the chance to begin teaching others this amazing sport.
My BJJ Story
In the winter of 2009/2010, I weighed the most I’d ever weighed in my life and was feeling very frustrated with my attempts to lose weight. I was working out at a regular gym 5 to 6 days a week, running on the treadmill, going to spinning and yoga and boot camp classes and doing CrossFit circuits with friends, but I still couldn’t loose weight.
That’s when I decided to give the Women’s Only program at Third Law a try. At first I was very nervous to do BJJ, because as a kid I was unsuccessful at team sports and I had convinced myself that I was just an unathletic person. I didn’t think I could be good at any sport, but I figured I might as well give it a try because it looked like a great workout.
I’ll never forget my first Women’s Class. I felt clueless and confused, but also very intrigued — and loved the intensity of the workout when we grappled. The women were friendly and welcoming, and I couldn’t wait for the next week. I started by going just once a week to women’s class, and then began attending the 7 a.m. morning classes. Slowly, my obsession grew and I started going at night, too.
I started loosing weight right away, and the pounds just kept coming off. I noticed my body becoming stronger and more toned. I lost 20 pounds in the first six months and I was ecstatic. Then in the next six months I lost another 25 and I was amazed — that’s a total of 45 pounds in one year.
When it was time for the school’s White Belt Competition Team Tryouts in the spring of 2010 a teammate suggested that I do it. At that time, competing was far from my mind, but I did the tryouts anyway, and made it. Then, in July 2010 I did my very first competition as a white belt, facing two blue belts for my first two competition matches ever. I was super nervous and excited, but I beat the first blue belt in my first match and then lost to the second, getting silver.
I’ll never forget how excited I was when the ref raised my hand after that first match and my teammates cheered, and how much fire to train that loss in the second match gave me. I learned so much that day and resolved to compete as often as I possibly could!
After that first competition, I competed at every tournament that I could, including Copa America, De La Riva Cup, NAGA and Grappler’s Quest. In October 2010 I did my first international tournament, winning the Miami International Open at white belt. In 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to two more international competitions as a white belt, bringing home Gold from the Chicago Winter International Open.
In March 2011, I was incredibly honored and surprised when Master Roberto Torralbas promoted me to blue belt. Check out the video of the promotion below: