Tonight, after a great jiu-jitsu seminar given by Jordan Collins, I was awarded my Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Bars. It was a thrilling moment for me. I was first called up to be awarded my official Blue Belt Stripe 1 (which is only awarded to those who complete a very specific technical stripe test). After awarding me the stripe, Jordan told me to stay in front of the group. I thought he was just going to make an announcement — but then I was surprised with the award of my instructor bars.

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To say that I was thrilled is an understatement. Deciding to train jiu-jitsu was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It truly has changed me – inside and out. Taking it a step further and going to the Gracie Academy Headquarters in Torrance, CA to participate in the Instructor Certification Program was the next best decision I have ever taken. It has given me an opportunity that I never really even thought imaginable.

There are many critics out there who look at the color of your belt and think that anyone less than a black belt has no business teaching jiu-jitsu. I can understand where they’re coming from, but just like so many aspects of training a martial art — it’s not about the belt. Besides, just because somebody is a Black Belt jiu-jitsu practitioner does not mean they are a Black Belt in teaching.

When I first passed my instructor certification, I had to really think what it meant to me to be teaching jiu-jitsu, particularly as a Blue Belt. I share my thoughts about this in an earlier blog post.  My commitment to being the most dedicated student on the mat so that I can give my very best to my students continues. From teaching kids to adults — there’s no place I’d rather be.

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Teaching our Little Champs about hooks through playing Crazy Horse

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Teaching our Jr Grapplers the Rear Naked Choke

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Personalized attention for Combatives students

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Team Teaching Master Cycle Class with Fabrizio – my first teaching partner on the mats

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Thank you Ben Tippen for your support and for having me be part of the Watford Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family

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most of all — thank you Daniel for encouraging me and giving me the opportunity to pursue this dream — and of course for being the perfect Women Empowered bad guy xx