For those that don't know, what is jiu jitsu?
Jiu Jitsu, for me, is not just a hobby. For me, jiu jitsu is a lifestyle that I've lived by since I was 11 years old. It gave me confident, discipline, and knowledge. Jiu Jitsu teaches you self-defense and gives a smaller person a chance to defeat a much bigger and stronger person through flawless technique.
How long have you been practicing?
I've been doing jiu jitsu for 10 years now.
What motivated you to start?
I started karate when I was a little kid at the again of 10. When I turned 11-12 years old, I stopped karate and started jiu jitsu. Nothing really motivated me to start jiu jitsu, but when I started jiu jitsu, I just fell in love with the sport. I fell in love with the competition side of jiu jitsu. It's an amazing feeling to go all over the world and compete against the best jiu jitsu players in the world.
"One of the benefits of jiu jitsu is that it teaches you a lot of self-discipline. Jiu Jitsu benefits your health because you are always working out and pushing your limits. It allows you to develop a really healthy lifestyle when you have jiu jitsu involved in your life."
How do you level up in belts?
There are five ranks in jiu jitsu: white, blue, purple, brown, and black belt. Each colored belt has a black bar on it, in which four stripes are awarded separately on. Being promoted is all about mat time,and it's all up to the professor. When the professor thinks that you are ready for the next rank, then he or she will promote you to the next rank.
You're a teacher also? What's that like?
I teach the little kids class at Roots Athletics and the 7am Adult Jiu Jitsu. I love teaching. I feel like it makes me better as a competitor, when I teach, because I sometimes don't realize I missed a detail on a technique until I hear myself explaining and showing the technique to the student. It allows me to fix my technique, and it helps me to be more vocal.
Do you work out in the gym as well?
No. All I do is jiu jitsu. I don't do anything outside of jiu jitsu.
Acai Bowl go-to toppings?
I like my acai with caco nibs, hemp seeds, peanut butter on top, banana and strawberries.