Interview with Ohana Academy owner Jason Yerrington about his philosophy on running a gym, Cronh's disease and their up coming Ohana Award Ceremony.
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”-Socrates
BJJ is not always about being number one or how many titles you obtain. For some, the lives of the people positively affected while on the journey truly is THE POINT. United States Martial Arts Inductee Professor Jason Yerrington talks to us about his special journey. A journey that he needed a helping hand with and those that love him rallied. Tamo Junto (TMJ) means you can count on me and when he needed it the most, Team Ohana was there to be counted on. The Ohana Academy Owner discusses training with Crohn’s Disease, the changes that led to the Ohana expansion, new black belts, and how he still has a fighting spirit whether or not the odds are in his favor. He has had the overwhelming love and support of friends, family, and his students during the most difficult time of his life. Professor Yerrington is living proof that it really isn’t about how you start the race but how you choose to see it through to the end.
BJJL:Why BJJ, not baseball or basketball, what drew you to this particular martial art?
JY: BJJ was something that I decided to start doing after I had finished playing basketball. I played two years at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas and then transferred to the University of Incarnate Word where I red shirted my first year and finished out my eligibility the next two with them. When basketball was done there was a competitive void in my life. I saw the fight between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. I was captivated watching those two guys put it all on the line. I knew right then and there I have to do that. Three months, I was the main event at a show in Waco, Texas. Needless to say, I got knocked out. I went back to the gym and started to really throw myself into Jiu Jitsu. Prior to that fight I had never trained in the Gi but as soon as I put it on and had my first roll, I was hooked for life!
BJJL:You are the owner of Ohana out of San Antonio TX. Ohana, what does it stand for/represent…why that particular moniker?
JY: Ohana is a Hawaiian term referring to family. The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another! As I began to progress in my Jiu Jitsu journey I started to feel a sense of community and bonding with every one of my training partners. I chose to name our school Ohana because of this and the Hawaiian culture seemed to embody a lot of the concepts that I was becoming accustomed to from my experiences in Jiu Jitsu.
BJJL:How long have you been training, what’s your lineage?
JY: I started training in February 2006. I received my blue belt from a man named Jaime Miller. Shortly thereafter I left and enrolled at Marra Senki Jiu Jitsu Academy where Professor Sergio “Marra” Correra took me in. Once he awarded me my purple belt he helped me open my first Ohana Academy and he has been my professor ever since.
BJJL:How involved is your family?
JY: In the beginning my family (mainly my wife) was just a supportive and fan. Once my daughter Arianna turned three yrs old we started her in our Jitz for Totz program and since then my family has been very involved in everything we do at Ohana. Well that’s not totally true. My wife just recently started her journey on the mats a couple of weeks ago. My second daughter is two now but will also start training when she turns three. It makes my heart so happy seeing them on the mat. I know that I can feel comfortable as my girls grow up because they will be prepared in ways that the majority of people will not be. They may never ever want to compete and that’s fine. I know that the experiences they gain through Jiu Jitsu will prepare them in ways I never can as just their dad.
BJJL:A guy your size must have a difficult time finding the optimal training partner. You are in great shape, but you are what I call, a size extra. How do you compensate when training so that you don’t get hurt or so that you don’t hurt anyone?
JY: Being a big guy comes with its challenges and its pros for sure. It has always been my approach to training to try and move like a little guy. I never wanted to have a static strength type of game. I have always strived to have a flow more in tune with someone that is 150lbs or lighter as opposed to the kind of games that you see from guys 220lbs and above. Injuries will happen in training but I have found that there are three main philosophies when training jitz. Win/lose… lose/lose… and win/win… I strive to keep a 40% win/lose to 60% win/win ratio. A win/lose roll is a competitive roll. A win/win roll is more along the lines of catch and release or flow rolls. This way it allows me to explore and expand my game because of the investment that my partner and I put into our training rolls. You cannot however ever remove competitive rolls. If you do then what good would it be if you had to defend yourself on the street or in a competition.
BJJL:What aspect of your game do you think has improved the most since you began training?
JY: The aspect of my game that has improved the most would have to be my inversions and also my escapes. Movement with a purpose but never straying from the movement. As soon as you stop moving you start dying
BJJL:What do you try to instill in your students the moment the set foot on the mat?
JY: I try to instill in the students to invest in losing or as we call it learning. I try to let people know that the wall of China wasn’t built in a day. There are so many ways to answer this question but the truth is that it is different for each student. Everyone has an individual journey!!
BJJL: I don’t know how many people are aware of this but in 2012 you were inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Instructor of the Year. That is an AMAZING accomplishment. Talk about what that meant to you, to your family.
JY: That was a VERY unexpected honor! I do this because I love Jiu Jitsu and I love helping people. In a way I see Ohana Academy as a church, a church of Jiu Jitsu! Lol but that is the truth. Being inducted was a major validation and one in which I am EXTREMELY proud of!
BJJL:What are the various programs that Ohana has to offer?
JY: My first academy (the Central San Antonio location) offers it all and we still pretty much do. We have BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling, Muay Thai, No Gi, and of course MMA. My second location in Stone Oak we wanted to create a grappling only school where our focus was Jiu Jitsu!
BJJL:Ohana had a transition with its black belts. Gustavo Carpio moved to California and you were able to partner with Bruno Alves (GFT). How did that transpire?
JY: Gustavo had a great opportunity to partner up with some business men in California and open his own school, Connect Jiu Jitsu. I was sad to see him go but so happy for him and his family! We still text and talk all the time. That’s one of things that I love about jitz, every class is the opportunity to meet your next lifelong friend. Basketball never did that for me. The opportunity to work with Bruno Alves was like a golden egg falling into my lap. He is a great guy with great Jiu Jitsu and an awesome addition to our family. It has been a pleasure to get to know him and his wife Alessandra.
BJJL:What are your long-term plans for Ohana?
JY: My long term plans for Ohana are to always be a family environment that uses Jiu Jitsu as a vehicle for accomplishing whatever your goals are. Whether that is to be a world champion, lose weight, stress relief, self-defense, or open up your own school.
BJJL:You have had a rough year due to illness, will you talk a bit about that?
JY: This year has been one of the most trying years of my life. I was diagnosed in 2009 with Crohn’s disease/ ulcerative colitis. In Nov 2014 I went into the ER for lower abdominal pain. At the ER they diagnosed me as having diverticulitis. I then had another colonoscopy in Dec 2014 and it was there that the doctor said I was misdiagnosed and it was not diverticulitis but instead a ball of cancerous cells in my colon. This is the average for people with active ulcerative colitis.
The risk for cancer increases dramatically after 6 years of an active disease. Since being diagnosed with that I have undergone chemo infusions, steroidal treatment, tons of drugs. I literally can’t even list them all. I have had countless accidents. At times it feels like I’m trapped in my own home due to the fact that I can’t leave without the risk of an accident. Then the doctors ordered me on total bowel rest which means they inserted a PICC line and every night for 14hrs I was given medicine and food. When I say food I mean this nasty white substance that had carbs and fats and proteins. I did this for just over three months before the PICC line became infected and the organism tunneled through my heart and made its way into my lungs and then was filtered into my blood.
I then had heart failure, kidney failure, and liver failure with a bad case of pneumonia in my lungs. In other words my body was septic. The doctors said that if I had waited one more hour I would have been dead. I then spent six days in the ICU. After getting out I refused to have the PICC line put back in and instead went on a juice fast after watching the documentary fat, sick, and nearly dying (I also competed in the Austin open five days after getting out of the ICU…DUMB). Since then I have begun a drastic recovery. I am still receiving infusions and am still on numerous medications including the steroids.
The good news is that after all this the ball of cells has decreased dramatically. I am still waiting to do another colonoscopy to biopsy the mass and go from there. Throughout these things I would never be able to have made it to where I am now without the constant help and support of my wife Megan. She has been there for me through everything and her undying love even in the worst situations has been such a blessing, but that’s what family is! That’s OHANA.
BJJL:Biggest setback since you began training?
JY: The biggest setback in my training has been these last 9 months.
JY: My proudest moment was winning the No Gi worlds as a brown belt. I have not yet been able to compete in the worlds as a black belt due to my health but I promise you I will make it back
JY: I think we all have regrets or things we would have liked to have done better. I wish I had started juicing earlier, paying closer attention to my health, and trying to do everything in my power to not let this sort of happen. I know that some things are out of my control but if I had known the type of affect that juicing has had on my disease I would have started years ago.
BJJL:Do you have anything coming up in the next few months at Ohana that you would like to announce?
JY: Coming up at the end of the year we have our rank day on Dec 3rd and I’m excited to announce the 1st annual OAC (Ohana Award Ceremony)happening on Dec 4th. This is going to be an awesome event where it will not be as strict as a black tie affair but more like a black tie affair OHANA style!
BJJL:Would you like to thank anyone for helping you along the way?
JY: First and foremost I want to thank the lord Jesus Christ, then my wife, and my two beautiful princesses. My father and mother for their support. My professor Sergio Correra, Gustavo Carpio, Randy for all of his awesome insights, and all my students that have believed in us and the concept that is Ohana Jiu Jitsu.
A journey begins and ends wherever we want it to. The path is ours to choose. When the time comes will you fight? Will you fight for your hopes, your dreams, and the very air that you breathe? When the time comes will the fight be in you? Will you push the limits and go above and beyond what is humanly possible? Professor Yerrington chose to fight. He has fought every step of the way of his journey in BJJ and in life. Professor Yerrington’s Journey is unique and inspirational. On that day when you know you have absolutely nothing left and you think you have gone as far as you can go. Just get up, think outside of yourself for a moment, and just like Professor Yerrington, FIGHT!
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”-Confucius
Follow Professor Jason Yerrington and Ohana Academy at:
Women are different than men. Women appreciate a different learning environment from men. When we look for a Jiu-Jitsu gym we're looking for something more. We seek a nurturing place to grow. We seek a welcoming environment. We seek a place that helps foster a sense of security. We seek a second home. Ezra Taft Benson said, "The fellowship of true friends who can hear you out, share your joys, help carry your burdens, and correctly counsel you is priceless." When we walk into an MMA academy, the intimidation factor can be overwhelming. Trying something new is frightening enough and seeing a wall lined with silent students doesn’t make a woman want to return.
Look no further, said environment is provided by, Brown Belt Lana Hunter, Sundays (noon) at Pinnacle MMA/GFT San Antonio TX. Blue Belt Terry Cutler (El Paso Jiu Jitsu Team Alliance) speaks on her first encounter with the then purple belt. “I love Lana! She was the first female I met that practiced BJJ at a GIGs [Girls In Gis] event 2 years ago. I had no experience, she was super nice. We became friends and she invited me to her event”
The stress free environment Hunter’s class fosters sets each attendee at ease. There is no pressure. One could have the technique of an octopus but you feel like a Prima Ballerina. The clumsiness one may be prone to in co-ed situations seems insignificant. One feels accepted be she a newbie with only days of training under her belt or a seasoned fighter with national/world titles. Fellow brown belt Katharine Harrison (Cooper MMA, Austin TX) has known Hunter since the beginning of her BJJ journey and is an ardent supporter noting, “Lana is awesome and anyone is lucky to be able to attend her class.” Hunter’s class teaches you not only about a sense of self-awareness during a technique but a sense of those around you and how it all connects in BJJ. Each and every session you attend builds upon the last and slowly but surely, your confidence level begins to grow. The co-ed environment starts to become less intimidating to you. Eventually, you are eager to try out your skill set in any setting with much more confidence.
Hunter is providing women the golden opportunity to train BJJ with partners their size, various skill levels and from multiple affiliations. Just 5 years ago, no classes like this existed. Girls in Gis paved the way. Still, it begs the question, what made Hunter want to do this? She answered with, “I volunteered to teach a women’s class at my academy to give women in the community an opportunity to train with each other and to provide a women's-only environment to encourage new women to try BJJ. BJJ has brought so much good to my life. I wanted to give back to it and what better way than to share my passion with others and specifically, women.” The feedback Hunter has encountered thus far for her efforts has been nothing but positive. She makes mention of remarks students make after a session, “I know the classes have been a success because the ladies are asking me when the next class will be held. They also start recommending the class to their friends and encouraging them to come join the fun!
Hunter is well known in BJJ circles having competed since 2008 Gi and No-Go at Mundials and Nationals and consistently placing in the top 3 in her divisions. When encountering Hunter, you will know immediately, her goal in BJJ is not only to better herself but to help other women reach the level that she has in the sport that she loves deeply. Watching her seamless transitions with each technique from start to finish gives one the impression that she was born doing this. That is simply not the case. She also started from square one (losing two matches the same day in her first competition) before she could become the Head Hunter in Charge and lead her own group of Lethal Ladies.
Jess Zamora (Pinnacle MMA/GFT) is clear about what impact Hunter’s class has had on her, “I found out about Lana's class from a family friend who attends Lana's gym. I was motivated to go and learn ways to defend myself. That developed into a deep rooted interest and love for BJJ. I’m proud to say I'm affiliated with Lana's gym Pinnacle. Lana is one of the main reasons I chose to stay and attend as a full time BJJ practitioner.” Like Zamora, Hunter’s initial goals were not exactly what they are now. She started out passionate about becoming an MMA fighter. Lucky for the women of San Antonio (I guess not her BJJ opponents) she was destined for something else. A knee injury took away her stand up game and from there her ground game was born. Hunter’s passion for this sport is clear by the way she instructs each student. No one in the class gets left out for any reason.
Hunter trains under 3rd Degree Black Belt Bruno Alves and it shows in her thoughtful teaching style. Her class continues to grow and she reflects upon this, "One of my most favorite and rewarding parts of teaching is hearing how much students enjoyed the class! Being able to lead a class that has been a positive and enjoyable experience for the student is definitely a huge reward. If I had to pick a 2nd favorite aspect of teaching, it's seeing students able to execute the techniques that I've taught! The classes have achieved my goals of providing an environment for women to train with each other! Seeing the benefits of the class I do hope to make the class more frequent one day (see Facebook page below for exact class dates and times). This can provide more continuity from one technique to the next.
One might think, any women’s only class should be successful. Just put a female BJJ instructor in a room with other females ranging from all ages, sizes, and skill levels and the class will be a success. I’ll let those who may have their own up and coming women’s class be the judge of that. What I can say is that Hunter’s class is such a success because of her. She takes the time to get to know each and every one of her attendees. There is a genuine love that she displays with each technique. It makes you want to perfect those movements just for her. Hunter’s level of commitment and devotion is absolutely authentic. The environment is indeed amazing, but the HHIC is what keeps the mats packed. As a women looking for a place to train now or in the future where ever the road leads remember this, “The hardest choices in life aren't between what's right and what's wrong but between what's right and what's best.” Jamie Ford
Follow Professor Alves, Hunter, and Pinnacle MMA/GFT at:
The first step of your journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu begins with the first time you take a bow and show your Professor all the respect he/she is due. That is who will provide you with the tools you need to succeed every step of the way.
"All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man has taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first."Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Your rise in BJJ begins the moment you first dawn your white belt and continues as long as you are willing to learn. In order to ascend to the next skill level you need to conquer the last. With each new belt that encircles your waist, your climb becomes all the more satisfying.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt promotion system is not difficult to understand. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) provides general guidelines that can be referenced worldwide with minimum requirements for moving students to the next level: http://ibjjf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IBJJF-Graduation-System-Poster.pdf. Keep in mind, those guidelines are just that, not everyone progresses at the same rate. Promoting a person per IBJJF standards refers to a timeframe in which an individual could reach the next level. A one-on-one with IBJJF certified referee and 3rd Degree Black Belt Bruno Alves, (Pinnacle MMA/GFT) helped shed some light on how he handles the promotion process. Professor Alves’s point-of-view on this is simple. The journey is yours but your promotion is contingent upon whether or not you have mastered your current skill level and whether your are in fact, ready. Basics and technique are the bread and butter of BJJ. Once you begin your ascent up the ladder to where the journey begins the basics are what help a student hone their technique.
Time is not always reflective of one’s skill-set. One student may take a year to truly get an understanding of what techniques work for them and how to apply those to their game. Another may take six months and another two years. The chatter in the BJJ world regarding how long a person takes to receive their next stripe or belt will always be around. The truth is we become what we become when the time is right, it is going to take as long as it takes. A BJJ student’s progression is no different than the preparation of a meal. You must follow each step for the optimal results.
When asking Professor Alves is it possible to take away rank from students that may regress in training, move from one academy to another, or take years off due to other obligations. His response was clear “the student cannot lose their rank once their band has been gained even if the teacher wants to take it away.” Injury, life, or sometimes complacency can get in the way of ascension but it is part of the process. You will either adapt or overcome the obstacles you incur or you will fall to the wayside as so many often do. Nothing worth doing well is easy. Every journey is unique, each step on the ladder defines you. As you begin your ascent or continue your climb up that ladder remember your purpose. When you inevitably run into an obstacle, face it and keep climbing. Each rung will hold the key to the next.
The first time you set foot on the mat could be described as coming upon a yearling in the woods trying to take its first steps. It's a sight to see. It's human nature to stare at a spectacle. The little thing is slipping and sliding all over the place. Whatever is in it's immediate path is going down. The longer you observe the more entertaining it is. Then something happens. The watcher starts to root for that yearling as it stays the course and inevitably succeeds. Being part of such a moment makes one want to return to that very spot in the woods to find that bumbling yearling, and watch as it grows. BJJ ascension is no different than the first steps of a newborn yearling. We are slow to catch on, often winded, falling all over the place, and amusing to watch. If you are in our path you are likely to become collateral damage one way or another. Inevitably those that stay the course will ASCEND, those that stay the course will BECOME. Their climb will be limitless and what the galaxy holds for them is what keeps them climbing. If you remember nothing else, remember this,
"when the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass through."-I Ching
Matheus Magalhaes, Brazilian, 20, and IBJJF 2014 Adult Male Blue Belt Champion (Rooster Division).
If home is where the heart is, this young man was clearly made for the mat. Matheus Magalhães began his humble ascent to IBJJF World Champion back in 2009. One chance meeting with Master Julio Cesar Pereira helped to mold a very gifted athlete. Once Magalhães moved to Rio de Janeiro to train under Master Pereira his life would never be the same. He began training with GFT an elite squad of competitors and one could say the rest is history. So many competitors look for the opportunity afforded to Magalhães and as he said “I did not imagine fighting in America this year; I was surprised, blessed by God.” 2014s IBJJF World Championship marked the first time Magalhães would be competing on such a grand stage. He had the full support of his mentors Professor Alberto Guedes and Master Pereira.
In order to become a champion, it takes more than desire and hope; you must work diligently towards your goal. Magalhães had to break away from all he knew to achieve a status that some will work their entire lives for and never obtain. He left his family and hometown of Canindé, Ceara, Brazil. He trained day in and day out for the last five years. He was almost there; all he had to do was get to America and compete. He received even more assistance from Master Pereira and another GFT alumnus Professor Bruno Alves. Pinnacle MMA/GFT owners Daniel and Rebekah Duron helped facilitate Magalhães coming to the United States and getting even closer to his lifelong dream. Once May 30th arrived it was time to reflect upon five long years of preparation, anticipation, and do exactly what he came to do…WIN!
This 20 year old began his BJJ career in 2009 and everything he worked for came down to his skill and determination vs. that of four other blue belts. One match after the other Magalhães picked his competitors off like a sniper. The last fight was his most challenging by far but his years of sacrifice were not in vain. Magalhães emerged victorious and became the IBJJF 2014 Adult Male Blue Belt Champion (Rooster Division). What an accomplishment. What a competitor. He calls it “arguably” his best moment to date and has every intention of returning in 2015 to dominate at Worlds and Pans as a recently promoted Purple Belt.
Looking back on what Magalhães has done to get here, if anyone takes anything away from this Champions ascent, don’t only take away the fact that he is THE CHAMPION. Stop for just a moment and respect the climb. It was arduous, yet he endured, he accepted the challenge and stayed the daunting course. Five years ago this was a 14 year old that made some very tough choices in order to achieve what he has today. That is truly what his journey is all about, THE CLIMB.
Active duty Army, father and huband David juggles multiple moves and family obligations and wins at Masters Pans.
Sidney Howard said, “One-half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” To be the best at what you do takes an overwhelming amount of sacrifice. In the case of the 2014 IBJJF Blue Belt Masters 1 Middle Weight Pans Champion David Johnson, he has done his fair share of sacrifice and this year’s Pans win solidified how much hard work does pay off. You know you are in the presence of an indomitable spirit when asking what feeling did he have going into Pans and his response is, “Pans was my toughest and largest competition to date, with that being said, I knew I was going to win. I worked really hard and I went in with the mindset that no one is going to beat me, I want this too bad and someone is going to have to kill me to take it away from me.” These words made me smile.
David Johnson is no Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu prototype; this 14 year active duty army member is so much more. His win at Pans came as no surprise to those who train with him on a regular basis. Training full time in order to compete is unrealistic for majority of the BJJ competitors. Only a select few reach that top tier and they typically do not get there without putting in work. The average BJJ competitor has a family, a job (not always 9 to 5), and a list of responsibilities that barely allows them to make it in to train 2 to 3 times a week. Johnson, a provider, a husband and a father is proving that it is not an impossible task. BJJ is for all ages, all stages, and for those who want to feel that amazing transformation that ultimately happens as long as you stay the course.
Juggling his military obligations, family life, and his passion can be tricky. Having a support system that pushes and anchors you is a must. Johnson said, “I'm very fortunate that my wife supports me. After Pans I think my wife understood the amount of training it takes to compete and win against the best in the world.” Preparation for a tournament has to be done with absolute precision. Moving from place to place comes with the territory of military members therefore choosing the right place to train is as essential as consistently passing any guard. Johnson currently trains under 3rd Degree Black Belt Bruno Alves at Pinnacle/GFT in San Antonio, Texas. “I firmly believe if you want to be the best you need to train with the best.” states Johnson.
David Johnson has become a part of an elite squad of champions, he did not walk the exact same path yet he has achieved on the same level. What more can a competitor ask for? The life he leads is not for the undisciplined. This new breed of competitor must possess the same tenacity and desire to achieve at the top tier and heaven help the man that gets in his way. I had many questions for David about his training and his Pans win. I finally asked what we can look forward to from him in the future and I already knew the answer…PLENTY.
Deneatra talks candidly about shutting down and fighting back at her first Worlds. Deneatra suffers from PTSD stemming from a brutal assault.
If you have never been disoriented, a hyped-up athletic competition certainly can get you to that point. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Worlds is like the Olympics for all other sports. The best-of-the-best come from all over the world to compete for the opportunity to say I am the World Champion.
The moment I stepped onto that mat at the Pyramid Arena, I couldn't hear a thing. In that split second, I withdrew. All these thoughts of ‘firsts’ started rushing through my mind. My competitor and I shook hands…Combatchee. The next thing I know, I was flat on my stomach and completely disoriented. I wasn't sure where I was or what I was doing there. I felt pressure thrust into my back and I had a flash of me training for the very first time, no confidence, no desire, no idea where the journey would lead.
All of a sudden, a familiar voice brings me back to the room. It was faint but I could hear someone shouting to me and I couldn't quite make out what was being said. A flash hit me again and I was seeing my very first competition, so clumsy, so unsure, and not able to tell which voice I should listen to. I feel a shift as I turtle and the voice became clearer. I heard my professor guiding me. I was back in the room and begin to realize my competitor was attempting to set me up for an arm bar. At that moment, my face got scratched and again I was gone, back at my home based gym attending my first competition training. I was preparing for Worlds. I was focused; I was confident. I am borderline psychotic about my training regimen.
Once again, I heard a familiar voice. This voice was different; this was the voice of a teammate. This was the voice of the teammate who had consistently helped me train since I began my journey in BJJ. She had trained with me daily, prepared me for every competition, and helped me get to Worlds. The moment I heard her voice it was as if all the what-ifs began to subside. I fully returned to the room and back to reality. I was able to capitalize off my competitor’s arm bar attempt and passed her guard. The moment that happened, it was as if no one else was in the arena. I could hear two voices and only two voices.
By now, my competitor and I were standing. I attempted a single leg take down; she stumbled but did not fall. We were evenly matched position for position and then.... TIME. It was over. I let out the biggest sigh and smiled. When I began BJJ, I had no idea where it would lead. I was proud of what I had accomplished. A year has passed since I took my first step in BJJ and little did I know my first step towards Worlds. I am 31 years old. I started BJJ at 30. I attended Worlds as a one stripe white belt and I lost. My loss was a victory to me. I showed up, I utilized my training and I know that I left everything out there on that mat. I have NO regrets.
Deneatra M Terry is a white belt at training under 3rd Degree Black Belt Bruno Alves. BJJ Legends is excited to welcome Deneatra to our family of bloggers.
Deneatra & team at Worlds Lana Hunter and Deneatra Terry