NICKNAME: "BEEZY bIRD" AKA "bb gUNS"
ORIGIN: lAMBERTVILLE, New jersey
ACADEMY: RGA/ GREGOR GRACIE
BELT RANK: bROWN belt
SPONSORS: mighty roll, GREGOR GRACIE ACADEMY
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING BRAZILIAN JIUJITSU? 7 YEARS
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER MARTIAL ARTS EXPERIENCE? mUAY tHAI
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE AT RENZO GRACIE'S ACADEMY? Spirit Animal; Me and a couple of the other ladies took it upon ourselves to restart the classes and just turns out i'm a boss bitch teaching lol, but seriously its a group effort and the lady presence at renzo's has never been stronger. i also lead the kids classes on saturdays.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE EVOLUTION IN WOMENS JIU JITSU IN RECENT YEARS AND WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING? I think it's amazing. never in my wildest dreams did i think that we could form something so strong and have such epic girls coming and participating in class. womens bjj is tough, i've been in good and bad schools where there's been "mean girl" accounts and girls just weren't taken seriously. i've been doing sports my whole life and there's always been trends like that. i think bjj is something special because it is so physical and mentally demanding and does wonders for your confidence. i think it's empowered a shit ton of women and will only keep empowering us. i don't know where it will end up going but i'm sure as hell excited to be along for the ride.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR FEMALES TO HAVE OTHER FEMALES TO TRAIN WITH? Super!, I never realized it until i really started competing and training with other women. my first school there was so few of us and it would be so rare to see ladies. i remember a couple months into training, one of the guys brought his wife, who was the coolest cat i know. She was so encouraging and was so welcoming that it changed the training environment and rather than have to "prove" something, we could just train and learn. it was a breath of fresh air and she was such an advocate for me competing. i had never experienced such enthusiasm nor encouragement. after my first tournament it was also an eye opener of yes - men and women are different and have different bjj. training with women is fun, competitive and an exciting learning experience.
AS A RISING STAR IN THE WOMENS DIVISION, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS YOU DO TO GET READY FOR A COMPETITION? listen to my jams, train, and be active in class. if i'm getting ready for a tournament i try to seak out higher belts to train with and number 1, let them know i'm prepping and 2, have them give me feedback on our roll and i am open to their advice. my coaches at gregor's are amazing and have truly helped my jiu jitsu shine. it sounds weird writing it out but i also have started to think more conceptually about jiu jitsu - and i think thats from teaching but i've been experimenting with some movement exercises and i'm happy with the results in training, lets see how i can apply it in comp.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SUBMISSION? ooohhhh, that's a tough one... so many. i have always had a knack for clock chokes and bread cutters in the gi; i lobe crucifixes and inverted triangles and recently i'm on a total kick of wrist locks cause i love watching peoples reaction.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE COMPETITOR TO WATCH AND WHY? claudia doval, leandro lo, gordon ryan, gary tonon. i don't have a "favorite" competitor per say, i love the competitors i actually get to train with. michelle nicolini, she's been my idol for so long and she's super fun to train with. Claudia cause she's a fucking g and is the best. talita cause she's a honey badger, always goes hard and for the kill. she's super fun to watch because she's even more intense when she competes. gordon ryan, he's so technical. watching him is like watching a bjj clinic happen and t hat's just awesome to see. nicky ryan is like an anaconda to watch, literally crushes all of his victims, i mean competiitors...
i love watching my professors roll too, fabio coehlo when he gets to roll cause he's a magician with lapels, or even gregor cause he has amazing judo and i've watched him drop seionage literally evreyone. bjj is one of those activities where we are all different and have such different games. i love watching the athletes that you can tell are tryly passionate about the sport.