I wasn’t originally planning on staying in Torrance for as long as I did. However, when we found out that the Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program was going to happen the week following our original holiday, dates, it only made sense to stay back for it (after I qualified to attend, of course). In addition to the ICP, I also got to attend a number of Women Empowered classes as well as experience an incredible free self-defense seminar for women that was held at the Academy.

Here are a few highlights:

Gracie Academy WE class 3 July 2015

Women Empowered Class

Gracie Academy WE class 1 July 2015

Drilling during the 10 minute review period before each class

In response to an attack that happened nearby, the Gracie Academy responded by hosting a free seminar for women to introduce them to the basic principles of self-defense. The turnout was incredible and the atmosphere was unbelievable. Here are a few glimpses.

Self defense seminar


LA 2015 July Gracie Academy WE Kickoff Seminar1

Over 100 women showed up for the seminar


LA 2015 July Gracie Academy WE Kickoff Seminar2

It’s all about having good base! The women all getting ready to practice standing up in base. 

LA 2015 July Gracie Academy WE Kickoff Seminar4


It was so incredible watching these women learn the techniques and try them out for the first time. Loved their enthusiasm and energy!


LA 2015 July Gracie Academy WE Kickoff Seminar8

I’m so glad I got a chance to lend a helping hand and be a part of the first day in many of these women’s exploration into jiu-jitsu. 

Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program (WE ICP)

The Women Empowered curriculum really is an amazing program. Learning Jiu-Jitsu itself has had a huge impact on my life, but adding the Women Empowered moves to my arsenal has added an extra element of confidence to my practice that definitely translates to life beyond the mats. For me to be at a point where I can actually teach this to other women makes me feel incredibly humbled and blessed. I hope that I can help make a difference in other women’s lives by teaching this program, which has made such a difference in mine. {You can read about my previous ICP experience here.}

Women Empowered ICP with Noel and Andrea

Noel, Andrea, and I were all part of January 2015’s instructor certification program. It was great to share yet another ICP experience with them. 

Women Empowered ICP Group

Training together is an incredible bonding experience.

Learning to teach together takes it to another level. What an honor it was to work alongside such incredible women! 


Women Empowered ICP with Summer and Claire

With Summer and Claire after the WE ICP — Claire was my first ever WE partner at the Academy back in January.

It was so awesome that we could complete this certification program together. 

Women Empowered ICP with Angela

I was thrilled to meet Angela! Be sure to check out her incredible work in Haiti and among the deaf community.

WE ICP July 2015

Congratulations to the all the certified Women Empowered instructors!

You can read more about my Women Empowered/Pink Belt adventures here.