In the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community there are a lot of online videos floating around. From, “BJJ vs Kung Fu!” to cooler instructional videos like Jason Scully’s, “39 Arm Locks in Less Than 4 Minutes.” However, one that recently went viral was this beat down between a girl and a bunch of of dudes in the grass! My BJJ co-workers and training partners were talking about it so I was curious to learn more. Turns out I had some mutual connections with the girl in the video, Riley, and I was able to ask her some questions:

What is the background of the video? Is that something that normally happens?

I was at a firework show when the video happened. A wrestler from my school who had previously seen my competition videos came up to me and started talking to me about them. He had always wanted to roll but we never had the chance. So, I told him we would! Once everyone else saw him they also wanted to try rolling against me as well.

What is your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Background?

I have been training and competing in Jiu-Jitsu for about nine years. I started pretty young! I originally started BJJ because my brother. He was being bullied on the football field and my parents thought that it would help him with the bullying as well as help his athleticism. I actually had no intention of starting BJJ until my brother’s instructor saw me sitting out and pulled me on the mats to drill with him.

BJJ blog acton shot

Do you think BJJ is something every girl should get into?

I think every girl should train. It helps with confidence, self-defense, and there are a lot of benefits as well. All kids and women should try BJJ.

What are your future aspirations?

In the future I want to compete at a high level and maybe even open up my own gym. I’d love to be able to teach the art that changed my life in hopes to make a difference in others.

number one

After talking with Riley it became apparent to me why she slayed the guys in the video. Keep an eye out for this rising BJJ star and follow her fan page here!

low-back-pain copy

Let’s face it, doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can take a toll on your body and can leave you super tight over time. The reason why you feel tightness most of the time is because of Myofascial tissue bunching up. Essentially this tissue is a fibrous connective tissue that helps support your muscles and bones. When it bunches up it causes tightness the we feel, so we must release it. The best explanation I have heard to explain this tissue is that it’s like having a t-shirt sleeve being pulled down which inhibits your arm from moving up easily. However, when you release the sleeve – or in our case the Myofascial tissue – it releases the tension and allows for full range of motion. Learn more here. Here are three tools I have used for years now to help relieve tightness and improve my range of motion.

1. The Tennis Ball

IMG_1945

I use the my tennis ball specifically to release the tension in my feet. Roll your feet out 30-60 seconds every day and you will not only feel looser but your hamstring flexibility will increase. If you don’t believe me, test your flexibility before and after rolling out your feet. That’s what I thought.

Read the rest of this entry »

394112_475409155837053_1082348788_n

There’s a lot of articles on the internet these days that include crazy lists from places like Buzzfeed to Business Insider. I haven’t seen many BJJ related list articles so now it’s our time to shine. Here are 13 things only people who have served time on the mats will understand.

1. Any references to the word shrimp is not about the food, it’s about saving your ass.

shrimp

2. When you mention BJJ to a friend and they think it’s Karate.

karate bjj meme

Read the rest of this entry »

BJJ RESUME

Lately I have been on the job search. Thus, I have been updating my resume, creating cover letters, etc. During this time it’s given me a chance to reflect on my past work experience, extracurricular history, etc. and I’ve realized that the last four years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has made a substantial impact on my life in many ways, even professionally. In this post I want to show you that BJJ is not only an amazing life enhancing martial art but also a career boosting activity. Below are the reasons I think recruiters should pay extra attention to practitioners of BJJ.

Humble

Nothing is more humbling than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The mats are a place where egos are crushed and reality is faced every day. The humble culture of BJJ is a result of this and it is one of the most prevalent traits of the art. Being humble translates directly into the workplace and is extremely beneficial when working on a team.

Read the rest of this entry »

university bjj club

Having a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club at your university or place of employment can totally rock. Not only does it give you more practice time, but it allows you to meet people and share the awesomeness of the art. A little over two years ago one of my training partners and I started a BJJ club at our school – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh – and it has been extremely rewarding.  In the two years we have learned a lot of lessons and I wanted to share some great tips to anyone who wants to do something similar at their school!

Location

Finding a place to train sometimes isn’t as easy as it seems. In my experience snagging a wrestling oriented room is optimal, but when difficulties reserving the room come up, things can get dicey. Make sure to locate and reserve a room as your first priority. It actually took my partner and I over six months to tap into the wrestling room and in the meantime we had to use one inch thick Karate mats which wasn’t fun.

581640_325987924190618_1772549940_n

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Brazil 021 Picture

This summer I had the opportunity to train in Chicago, IL while interning at Pandora. I bounced around a few gyms until I found the best fit which became the Brazil 021 headquarters in the downtown area. I spent nearly 12 weeks training at this gym and it was an extremely positive and kick-ass experience! Below are some overall highlights of the gym to give you some insight into why you should train there if you are in town.

Family atmosphere

The gym that I consistently train at definitely has a strong family vibe, like most gyms, however, at Brazil 021 they put the family aspect first and foremost. For me, it was almost a bit sketchy how genuinely kind and friendly everyone was. Even on my first day I had people remembering my name and cheering me on during drills, it caught me off guard it was so polite. I was honestly in disbelief at the culture of Brazil 021 and thought it was fake, however, after 12 weeks it proved to be 110% authentic. People cared a lot at Brazil 021 and I found the gym to be a very positive place to go after a long day at work!

Read the rest of this entry »

GreyGoose

Grey Goose: Gi Review

I’m not saying this gi will get you the ladies (or dream man) but this gi does work some magic. When I was asked to review this gi I was super excited because it’s not your average gi, it’s the, “Grey Goose.” I like to be different than the crowd and if doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu isn’t enough, having a different colored gi helps as well! Before going on if you are looking for a less subjective review check out Meerkatsu’s extremely intricate product review here otherwise below is my opinion about this quality product!

Read the rest of this entry »