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I’m a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu now

I was promoted to brown belt last Saturday at my gym. I can not express how accomplished I feel and how excited I am.


I started training seriously in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2008. I had been wrestling for Ultimate Surrender for a few years and I had my shares of losses in the beginning. My Boy Friend at the time got me a membership to Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training  Academy ( BJMUTA) so that I could get skills for US. In the beginning, I  went intermittently. After a while, the addiction kicked in. I half joke about it being an addiction. If any of you know anyone who trains a martial art, you might say it seems “cult-like”. We followers tend to eat drink and sleep the art. If we meet someone randomly who also trains in our preferred martial art, we instantly bond with them. When I first started training, I practiced No gi. A GI is a uniform you might see a BJJ practitioner or Karate Practitioner, or Judoka wear. It’s a heavy “pajama” almost. No Gi just means you do not wear the Gi but you will wear some sort of rash guard or board short attire. I felt that no-gi was better to learn for sex wrestling…which it is. I was actually promoted to Blue belt in no gi…which sounds weird…they usually don’t do belt promotions for no gi. But I paid my dues, put the work in, competed in the tournament (and won gold many times) so at BJMUTA  I went from the white belt ( which is what you start as) to Blue belt. Shortly after getting my Blue Belt, duty called. I had to leave Southern California and move to the SF Bay Area. I was sad to leave my gym in so-cal but I found a new home in the Bay area at Combat Sports Academy. CSA was my family. I really loved that gym. I had torn my ACL just before my move to the Bay Area. For two years I was unable to train in anything that would twist my knee. I had the Hamstring Autograph ACL repair which means the ACL repair would heal within 6 months but my hamstring repair would take much much longer. During this time that I was unable to train BJJ, I got into boxing and Muay Thai. I was blessed to be able to train with world champion strikers at CSA while I nursed my knee to health. Finally after 2 long years of training 1-hour boxing, 1-hour Muay Thai and then sitting on the mats just watching the instructor go over technique for BJJ, I was able to actually participate in grappling again. It was frustrating at first coming back from my injury. I just wasn’t confident in my movements. I had a little PTSD as well. I was so damn nervous of anyone grabbing at my leg or foot. It took me a while to break the negative mental state. I trained several hours a day, I took private lessons, I watched youtube tutorials on moves while I was trapped on the BART train for my morning and evening commutes in and out of work. The obsession came back and it paid off when I was promoted from Blue belt to Purple Belt at CSA. Then work made me move again. Kink dissolved its production company, My dad got really sick and moving back down to southern California was the best choice for me so I could tend to family issues and still do production. I cried when I left CSA, they were a real family. Also, I had been promoted to Purple and was purple for 2 years at CSA. I felt i was on course to get promoted to brown at some point while I was still at CSA and on a terror there. I was doing really well in my classes and I had a great relationship with my instructor. Unfortunately, when I moved back to socal, I did not move back to the town that BJMTA was in. I moved closer to Ventura ( which is an hour away from BJMUTA which was in Valencia) a 1-hour commute just to train wasn’t realistic for me. I had to find a gym close to my house. I tried many gyms but one stood out above all. Elite MMA is my new home. Elite has become my new family. I train with some of the toughest yet kind men and women there. They Never go easy on me which is what I want. I have been training there for two years now. I have seen many of my training partners get promoted and of course, I was happy for them. One is not supposed to covet the promotion but one does. It’s hard not to be envious waiting for your day to come. I stayed patient. Each promotion that came and I didn’t get a stripe or a belt, I just said to myself, “as long as you’re learning it doesn’t matter”. Saturday, I have to admit, after the promotion, I felt amazing. I was like “finally”!!! the wait made the promotion that much more sweet. I earned this! I know it’s legit….all the others were legit as well but this one I really really waited for. 4 years as a purple belt. It’ seemed like an eternity. I am still filled with such joy and the reward I just got is driving me to train more and more. I’m more obsessed now than ever. I am so so close to the black belt. The Journey has been amazing and I wanted to share with you all.

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