Kim trains at both Easton Littleton and our affiliate in Aurora, High Altitude Martial Arts. She also greets many of our other members at the door as one of our First Impressions Specialists at the front desk. We sat down with Kim to ask her about her personal jiu-jitsu journey.
How did you first learn about jiu-jitsu?
I used to work in this warehouse, and a couple of my coworkers were MMA fighters, and my friend wanted to go to their practice. So I went to their strength and conditioning practice. I started going to more of their practices and eventually landed in the jiu-jitsu practices that they were doing. This was at the Asylum Club Athletic Barn in Illinois. It was literally in a barn, and in the attic of the barn they had a ring.
It was cool to get into a sport where a short girl has advantages, where being short and small is just as advantageous as being big and strong.
How long did you train in Illinois before you moved to Denver, and what brought you to Denver?
It was intermittent training for about 2 years. Some of the days they were training I had classes, but then in the summer I was able to train more consistently.
My boyfriend moved to Denver to join Elevation Fight Team. I was going to move to Salt Lake City because both of my sisters lived there, and I love hiking and the mountains. But right before I graduated both of my sisters moved out of state. So I kind of continued my plan to move west but landed a little short of Salt Lake City in Denver.
What brought you to Easton?
Well my boyfriend already trained here because he was with Elevation Fight Team. I saw that Easton had a posting for the front desk. So I applied for the front desk position so that I could join the Easton family.
You just competed in your first tournament. Tell us about that experience.
I totally got my butt kicked by a 15 year old, but it was really cool because both of my sons were there and they got to watch me. And one of them is almost 11 years old. So I was like, “This is somebody who is not too much older than you, who has come consistently and practices. She shows up and she practices, and you can do that too.” And I can do that too. It was a really good way to show my sons good sportsmanship, and to show them that it doesn’t matter if you’re younger or smaller, if you have the training and the commitment you have the opportunity. It was definitely a good life lesson.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your jiu-jitsu journey?
One of the coaches was talking about how if you don’t want to go to work, you still go. And if you don’t want to go to jiu-jitsu, you still go, and then once you’re there you feel great and you’re like, why did I not want to come? This is the best thing ever. Sometimes just getting out the door is the hardest part of it. It’s really just about dedication and taking it seriously.
We don’t always get the opportunity to go practice something and slowly get better at it. It’s just taken so much time and I’m finally getting to a point where feel like I kind of know what I’m doing. It’s cool to just be sticking with this journey.