4 stripe- but so damn close to blue belt
What year did you start training?
How did you get started?
I’ve always been very emotionally and mentally strong and independent. Often too much so where it limited my vulnerability. When I trained Krav Maga in LA I started to discover my true warrior spirit in a whole new way. After moving I searched for the right martial arts gym for me to no avail. Feeling Krav gave a false sense of security, I wanted to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but knew I wanted to continue striking. I tried free first classes for over a decade not finding the right fit. When I happened to walk by Easton and decided to inquire about classes I knew I had found it before I even tried a Kickboxing and bjj class. And it’s only gotten better, the balance expands seemingly everyday.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your training, and how did you overcome it?
This is probably two fold. The easier one first- understanding, acknowledging and respecting when my body is telling me something. In other words slowing down when I need to rest or have an injury. Starting sooo late in life has it’s advantages and disadvantages as most things do 😉 This I work on all the time because I am in it for the long haul. Marathon mentality instead of being focused on improving (not sucking so much).
Secondly, trusting the process and where I am in it. Having been involved in athletics my whole life and working in children’s fitness where I was the expert I was more accustomed to very quickly being able to hold my own. This is not the case with jiu jitsu. Frustration, feeling lost, being smashed hadn’t been my experience physically. Now, I love it. The part of me that craves facing challenges gets to engage and work through both mental and physical puzzles. I recognized early on that I feel I am the best version of myself when I am on the mat. The more time I spend there the more it bleeds into my character when I’m off the mat. How could anyone not want more of that?
What’s your favorite thing about training/teaching, and why?
I work with the littles, so we could be here all day. It is the favorite part of my week. Every day before I step on to the mat I take a breath to intentionally acknowledge what is being entrusted to me. With every particle of my being I attempt to instill the gift jiu jitsu can be for these little ninjas. I get moved when I think of the advantage it gives them in life so early. Their accomplishments are their own so to watch them beam as they earn a new stripe is remarkable. Children show what they are feeling so when that look of pride and confidence in themselves and their ability to conquer challenges spreads across their face, as a coach, you know there is nothing more real and pure. In many specific children our community is just what they need. To witness that shift in who they are becoming is truly a gift.
What are your personal goals on and off the mat?
I would like to begin competing.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I have been to the wreck site of the Titanic!
While in the military I was an armed member of a special intelligence and reconnaissance team.