What year did you start training?
How did you get started?
I got started after watching my brother start; he began training around age four, and after watching from the sidelines for a few months, I wanted to jump on the mat myself! Our parents brought us to teach us self defense, to get us exercising, and above all, to help us grow our confidence in ourselves.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your training, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge, especially when I was younger, was my size and training with people stronger and bigger than me. I attributed a lot of my early failures to being a girl, to being small, to not being physically intimating, and so on. But getting to see people of all shapes, sizes, genders, and backgrounds succeed at this sport was really inspiring, and helped me to move past that. With the help of Professor Mike (who was just Coach Mike then) and other amazing instructors, I was able to build myself up and craft a game that played to my strengths. Perseverance, and the kindness and wisdom of my coaches, helped me to better myself and move past the belief that my size was any kind of a deficit.
What’s your favorite thing about training or teaching, and why?
I love getting to meet new families that come into the gym! This place has been so incredibly important to me from a very young age, and it’s amazing to see little kids come into the gym and adapt to it as a place where they feel supported and safe. I love watching these kiddos learn not only jiu jitsu, but anti-bullying techniques and self discipline. They are going to make absolutely amazing adults someday, that’s why I love getting to work with them so much!
What are your personal goals on and off the mat?
On the mat, my goal is to always become a better student, and to take the opportunity to train more with the amazing professors we have at our academy and across all our locations. Off the mat, my goal is to graduate with my PhD in History and pursue a career in post-secondary education.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I study pop culture for a living! I’ll talk Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Disney with anyone!