1. How did you get started in Bjj?
When I was in high school, I was bullied and got into my very first physical fight. I decided it was time for me to learn self-defense. I began doing kickboxing and was not satisfied enough. My brother got me into Jiu Jitsu, since he is a blackbelt and has been training for over 12 years. I attended my very first class about 3 years ago with a group of 4 other girls who were more advanced. They would kick my butt every single class, I would go home with bruises, scars and I just kept coming back for more because I wanted to learn how to eventually beat them. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Now, all 4 of them have quit Jiu Jitsu at 4 stripe white belts and I am the only one who continued to pursue my passion for Jiu Jitsu.
2. What is your current rank and who gave it to you? Where do you currently train now?
Currently, I am a Blue belt and I received my blue belt from my Professor Ahmad Khatib, who is also my brother. He received his Black belt under MMA fighter Denis Kang. I currently train at a gym called Bisla Martial Arts studio
3. Is there a person you would like to roll with if you were given the opportunity?
If I were given the opportunity, I would love to roll with Marcelo Garcia. I really enjoy watching all his matches at the worlds and his techniques are brilliant. He is a very technical guy with slick moves this is why he is a world champion! Even majority of his students are world Champs! I recently saw one of his students Gianni Grippo compete last minute in one of our Canadian tournaments and won Gold, and found out after he is a black belt under Marcelo Garcia. It would be such an amazing experience if I got the chance to roll with him one day.
4. Do you compete in BJJ?
Of course! I love competing in Jiu Jitsu, that feeling of stepping out on the mats with all the nerves and butterflies in your stomach is the best feeling ever. The best part is as soon as you get your grips on your opponent in a match with hundreds of people watching, all the nerves and butterflies fade away, your adrenaline kicks in and you just play your game. Competing is the best part of Bjj because it allows you to really test your skills and techniques.
5.How did you do in all your tournaments, accomplishments?
I would say I’ve done pretty well in all my tournaments. In every tournament I have competed in, I have always won a medal. Whether it’s Gold, Silver or Bronze. I learn not to do the same mistake again, I go back to the gym train, and drill on different techniques and learn not to get stuck in the same position. I was able to push myself every single time I felt like giving up, to become better and better. I am very surprised with myself on my achievements and accomplishments in BJJ, just keeping up with all the males in my class double my size
6.What do you do for a living? Work? School?
I went to University and studied Business Management. I received my diploma in business and right after got a job working as a social worker. I enjoyed it so much to the point where I changed careers and decided to go back to school and study Community social service work. Currently, I work as a youth justice worker with teenagers from the ages of 15 and 19 years old. I have one more year left of my social work program and I will graduate with my second diploma.
7. What do you enjoy doing other than BJJ? Hobbies?
I am very fortunate to live in such a beautiful city, Vancouver,BC ; therefore, mountain hiking is one of my favorite things to do here. Reaching the top of a mountain and looking over the beautiful ocean and mountains is the most relaxing/ rewarding feeling. I also enjoy going to the gym working on my strength and endurance for Jiu jitsu. Another hobby is cooking. I love to cook and experiment with different recipes and healthy meals that fit with my lifestyle.
8.How has BJJ changed your life?
BJJ has changed my life in many ways. First off, I had changed my diet for the better without even realizing. My cardio levels have boosted significantly since I first started without even realizing that as well. I noticed myself slowly losing weight and building muscle and just simply feeling great about my body. I was able to change my mentality on how to cope with negative life events into a more positive way.
9.Any advice to the new white belts who recently started BJJ?
My advice to white belts who recently join is DO NOT get discouraged by the higher level people who most likely will kick your butt in the beginning, use it as fuel to keep coming to class and learning how to defend yourself. This will make you a better sport. I highly recommend new White belts to watch Youtube videos and learn from that as well. ASK questions when you don’t get how to do a move and KEEP practicing the same move over and over again till you can do it without even thinking about it.
10. What do you like most and least about Bjj?
I love the fact that I can fight someone based on techniques I’ve been practicing and still be on good terms with my opponent after. I also enjoy the feeling of training, and being sore surprisingly because that shows me I just got a killer workout. My least favorite thing about Bjj is the fact that women are not treated as equally as men. Men are paid more to compete than female athletes. When in reality there are female Jiu Jitsu athletes who are just as great if not better than some of the male athletes out there.
11. Do you train any other martial art or exercise other than BJJ?
No, I currently only train BJJ but in the future I would love to get more involved in MMA and try that out. I definitely want to do more conditioning classes in the future to help build endurance, strength and speed for my Jiu Jitsu.
12. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of this interview?
I just want to say that this sport is not an easy sport for females but definitely rewarding. Jiu Jitsu is such a positive change in someone’s life, it really is an art of war, it’s almost difficult to explain because you will not know unless you try it and you will understand what I am talking about. I am very big on female empowerment, woman should empower one another and I would love to become a positive inspirational influence on female Jiu Jitsu athletes and women in general as this sport is my passion. For all the females who have been picked on, laughed at, and told it was impossible for them to do something because of their gender, always prove them wrong and show them what you got. One of my favorite quotes ever is “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” and I really do get pleasure in proving people wrong who doubted me and looked down on me. I really do believe that if you truly want something, you have to work hard for it, put in that extra time in and work for it. The outcome you will get is beyond rewarding!
Thank you kindly for allowing me to express my story! I wish all my readers a very happy and successful BJJ Journey!
Jiu-Jitsu Spotlight by KNOXX is to allow one’s personal opinions, advices and journey into their Jiu Jitsu training and lifestyle.
If you train Jiu-Jitsu, and would like to be featured on our website and share your love and passion for BJJ, please email to email@example.com. All belt ranking are accepted as long as you love BJJ and you feel that it as impacted your life for the positive in any way. Osss!
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