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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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!

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