May’s BJJ Recap

Hey guys!
I know I promised a May BJJ recap, and now it’s almost July. Life got away from me! Things have been crazy busy with my job and us changing the schedule at our gym. Sorry it took so long for me to finally wire this!

And honestly, I’ve been procrastinating this post out of fear. I’ve been afraid to post it because I never ever want to look like I’m bragging, but darn it; I faced a big hurdle in my mental, and in my Jiu Jitsu.

So here goes!

The Submission Challenge that I competed in last month went very well! I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I want to make it very clear that my main goal was not to win. Though winning is a great motivator! My goal was to step on the mat and face my fears. I had a bad experience my first competition and it messed with my head for a long time. I wanted to re-write that part of my BJJ story… I did that! Of course there are things that need work, but I also learned a lot.

Progressive Martial Arts- Grand Forks, ND

My opponents were classy women each with their own unique journey. I was excited that I already knew one of my opponents. She is from our sister academy, and I got to know another from another gym in Fargo. I seriously can’t rave any more about my opponents and their teams. They were polite, competitive, tough opponents but most of all they were kind. I felt no animosity between either of them. The day went pretty crazy to be honest. The tournament was short 2 referee’s so the schedule was pushed back quite significantly. Luckily, someone was able to step up and ref so that helped move things along. The schedule had me competing around 2:30. It was around 1 or so that I braided my hair and started to get myself mentally prepared. Little did I know, not even 5 minutes after braiding my hair they were calling my name to compete. I hadn’t warmed up or anything. I was watching my other teammates and just kind of hanging out keeping my mind off of getting into my own head. Which, worked really well! So, around 1:30 I was getting called to face my first opponent. I had to race to put on my gi and hop on the mat. My anxiety was starting to spike and I almost started to panic but there was no time for that! I was able to keep my composure and compete well in all my matches! I did Gi, and No Gi and I successfully submitted all of my opponents.

Going into competition, winning wasn’t my goal. It was something I thought about and wanted, but it wasn’t my main objective. My opponents were all warriors stepping up to compete with me. Because well, I’m not a small girl and I outweighed all of my opponents. However, I always do my best not to use my size and strength against my opponents. They are attributes, that when used behind correct technique can really be an advantage. I always strive for clean and crisp technique. I felt like I really achieved what I was set out to do. Go in, have fun, and no matter what the outcome leave with a positive experience. During my second match my opponent got top position and she was tough to get off. At one point I said in my head “Kayla, it’s okay to lose. It’s okay to lose.” and at that moment I almost gave up. ME. I almost gave up. Which most definitely is not like me. We went out of bounds, got reset, and I was able to capture my composure again. I went in for the finish… I told myself I was not going to give up and that it was okay to win, too. It was okay to win. I didn’t have to chose to give up because I was afraid to win.

3 Golds. 6 matches, 6 submissions!

I learned so much about myself that day, and a whole different Kayla appeared. A confident lioness. Someone myself and my teammates haven’t ever seen before. Competition could have gone many ways, and I am ecstatic that I was able to go out there and put my best on the mat. I’m looking forward to the next time I decide to compete again.

Laurel and Me- No-Gi Absolute

Britt and Me- GI- Heavyweight

Britt, Me and Kayla – Gi Absolute


May Recap

Hey guys!
Thanks for checking back with me! May was a whirlwind of a month. I competed for the second time… in my 4 years of BJJ. And I can’t wait for you to hear all about it!

How I’m Feeling:
The first 3 weeks of May were really good. Switching up my Melatonin really helped with my sleep and a few other tweaks have helped me stay asleep- Shutting my screen time down sooner, getting to bed sooner. We also just got a Portable AC unit for our back bedroom which will help SO much more with my husbands and my sleep. Overall, May I was feeling really good, starting to see a confidence boost!

Health and Diet:
The first 3 weeks went really really well. I was on top of my water and my nutrition were really on track! Extra snacking and junk were very limited. Until after competing…then things went quite a bit off track. We visited family on the west side of ND, and very East of Montana. So there were a lot of junk/ fast food stops and unplanned things. But, it was worth it. Seeing family and spending time with them are really important to me. Plus we got Bison and Deer meat, and free range chicken eggs to take home with us! Always a plus when I see my family. All the yummy venison! My mental health has been going a lot better. Of course, I still have some rough days like anyone else. But significantly more good days than bad! I am so grateful.

Training and Exercise:
I had been ramping up my training the tournament which was going really well. I competed and felt a bit gassed, but wasn’t sure if it was lack of cardio, or adrenaline dump! I’m thinking the latter, but not entirely sure. I took a few days off after the tournament. And then first day back on the mats I injured my right shoulder. Dumb dumb should have stopped a kimura but I was being stubborn and thought I could have gotten out of it, and ended up putting it tighter on myself rolling the wrong way. #facepalm. So I’ve been taking it easier on that. Kind of frustrating, but I figured I’ll either A. Get sick, or B. get injured after the tournament. My immune system is a finicky thing.

What I’m working on- BJJ
I’m constantly working on my guard and sweeps. Working open and half guard. Right now I’ve been primarily focusing on using my legs more, shrimping back to guard, and working sweeps.

Favorite Take Down, and submission
I’ve been working on my layouts definitely my favorite.
Submission: AMERICANA FOR DAYS, Paper Cutter Choke.

What are you currently working on for your health and fitness? If you do BJJ what are you working on? What is your favorite submission?

Who inspires me this month:
This month there have been so many inspirational people. I definitely can’t just name one. Most of all, the women on my team, and the women competitors at the Submisson Challenge Fargo, ND. We all stepped up to compete and everyone was so wonderful. One of the first competitions I’ve entered and attended where the ladies were extremely classy and respectful. A special shout out to my opponent and fellow Mighty Dame who competed against me in 3 matches. Because of her and my other opponents, they made my competing experience a good one, and one that I will remember positively! I’m looking forward to the next time I meet them on mats again.

Who or what has inspired you this month?

Most of all, I have to shout out to my family. Both my side, and my husbands. They have supported us, and helped us so much in our life, and I’m feeling all the love lately and I am so so grateful and blessed to have the support and encouragement that we have.

I’ll be making a separate post about my competition, so stay tuned!

April recap

Hey guys!
It’s been a few weeks since my post about competing and I wanted to give you guys an update on the last month of progress and things I’ve been up to!

How I’m Feeling:
I feel a lot better this month than I have in a while. I’ve been on track with eating healthy, exercising and mental health. I have however been having more trouble than usual falling asleep and staying asleep. We’ve been in our new apartment for a little over a month now and I’m still struggling. I’ve been trying to limit screen time before bed, and I switched the brand of Melatonin I’ve been taking. So far after those changes I feel sleep is on the mend for May! I’ve seen my therapist a few times and am working on a lot of mental health things, and self love things.

Health and Diet:
This has been going the best it probably has been in a while! I’ve been keeping accountable with my good friend Julie Marie @bjjandselflove.
She and I text each other every day with updates on our training and what we’ve been eating. The good, the bad, and the ugly- aka me sending her gross sweaty selfies! Knowing that I am choosing to be honest with her and knowing she’ll call me out if I’m not on track helps me make healthier choices and it really showed this month. Down 12lbs! I also have been working with a teammate of mine, Brandis @bluebeltmommy.
We’ve been snapping each other pictures of our food ! It’s been fun doing this with a friend and teammate and seeing the unique foods each of us eat!

Training and Exercise:
I’ve been ramping up my training for an upcoming tournament in May and June. Pushing my cardio, rolls, and drilling during Jiu Jitsu and pushing myself during HIIT training. I’ve been more focused on my Jiu Jistu than I have been in a long time. I’m always ‘focused’ on BJJ, but this month I have really put forth more time and effort. I’ve been focusing on using my legs with my guard, and working on pulling my opponents to guard vs. allowing them to pass and working my guard retention, and using explosive movements during the right time, and also working on being more assertive and aggressive. My BJJ game is usually a passive, defensive, bait and attack game. However, that game might not be the best for tournament time. 😉

I also recently had an ultrasound on my left shin. I thought I possibly had a blood clot but luckily, that was not the case. Just a deep tissue bruise from all the training I’ve been doing.

What I’m reading:
I’ve been picking up and putting down “Girl, wash your face” by Rachel Hollis. Since we moved I put the book somewhere and haven’t found it yet, but have been wanting to pick it back up. I have quite a few other books I need / want to read!

What are some of your favorite books?

Who inspires me this month:
I have to give a shout out to my girl Julie Marie. April had some pretty bad downs in it, and Julie Marie helped me through a lot. Having a fellow lady in BJJ really helps, especially one whose husband is also her coach/ training partner. We’ve been able to chat and connect about some things we can’t really share with other people because they can’t relate, or don’t understand. It’s been awesome building a relationship and friendship with her, and I am truly grateful and blessed.

Who has inspired you this month?

This month’s hack:
Has changed my breakfast game. Yeah, I’ve had avocado toast… but have you had avocado toast with this seasoning? 100% Game.Changer.
You should be able to get this seasoning at Trader Joes, Walmart, or sometimes your local grocery store… depending on how big of a city you live in!

Bonus hack:
Great Value Southwest hot Mustard
I’ve been wanting to try this mustard for some time, but am kind of anti Walmart. But let me tell you… between EBTB seasoning listed above and this mustard… well worth your trip! IMO 😉

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! Special thinks to Julie Marie for the inspiration. You can see her post here!

This month has come and gone, and I’ve had a lot of physical and mental challenges. A lot of things happened that have opened my eyes to the things and people around me. I learned that when you decide to change, or push yourself, the universe pushes back at you in ways you’d never expect. People push back at you in ways you’d never expect. The universe is challenging me saying… “Are you sure you want to do this? Are you actually serious this time? ”
Yes B@#$%. Watch me.

Talk soon loves!

Taking the plunge.

Sink or swim. Fight or flight. I guess we’ll have to see.

I have been throwing around the idea of competing again. Competition season is starting with Spring here and Summer approaching so I decided to make a commitment.

Making this commitment terrifies me. My first experience competing in BJJ was not a good one. I know I’ve partially touched on it a few times in previous blog posts and a while ago I wrote about it in more detail  Here.

When I competed for the first time, I took gold. But the only way you would have known that is if you were physically there, or follow my gym/ teammates / my mother on social media. I posted one picture with my fellow teammate who took gold in a different weight bracket with no caption. And from what I remember, I made sure that the photo was quickly buried with other posts before anyone could really see. And when I got home, my medal hung up on my vision board for a short time, and then I ‘put it away’ where I couldn’t see it anymore.

I look back, and regret not celebrating my victory. I regret not really feeling proud of myself by how far I had come in that moment. At the time, I was a 2-stripe white belt and had been doing Jiu Jitsu for about a year, and wanted to see what competition would have been like.

Though my experience wasn’t positive, I never deter anyone else away from competing. Because competing is a great marker for testing your skill, and seeing where you measure up against other people your size.  My experience was unique and the things that lead after were unique.

My initial goal was to come back to compete after having lost a TON of weight. But life really doesn’t work the way we want it to, does it? Losing weight has been extremely difficult for me the last two years.

Now, almost 3 years later. I’ve been contemplating competing again, I actually have been for the past year or so. I want to re-write my story. I want to inspire other women like me to be comfortable competing. My mind plays all these tricks on me convincing me not to do it. That the same thing will happen like it did before. I want to push through those thoughts, and prove to myself that I can do it again. And that THIS TIME, it will be different, this time will be different because I AM different. I have significantly improved skill wise since then. My opponents will be different, and my support is different.

I am determined to make competing a more positive experience for me.
I want to inspire other women, so that when they hear my story and my triumph over my fears and negative self-talk, that they say
“Because of you, I didn’t give up.”

I’ll be competing in Fargo, ND May 18th and June 29th.
This is my written commitment.

Wish me luck!


New Year, New Game.

Roll out that red carpet of New Years resolutions! But, you don’t have to wait for it to be a new year to start new goals. But, many many people make new years resolutions.

I’m going to recap on my last year, and my resolutions from last year.

My last years resolutions:
1. Get back to my healthy eating habits and water intake
2. Put more effort back into my appearance… I used to do my hair and makeup almost daily. It’s rare I do it now, because my self-esteem is so low
3. Get back to pre Hubs weight
4. Goal weight by July
5. More patient, less emotional reaction.
7. Pay of diddly debt
8. Live off cash
9. live in the moment
10. Get endurance and stamina back up
11. Work Butterfly guard
12. Work Guard
13. Less passive Jiu Jitsu
14. Blue belt by end of year

How did I Do?
1. This could have improved, and I went up in down with it. Needs improvement. 2. This took a dive. 3. Nope 4. Nope 5. Improved, but needs more. 6. YEP!  7. YEP! 8. Not quite 9. Improved, but needs more.  10. Need more 11. YEP! 12. YEP! 13. Yes! 14. Nope
Okay, so looking at this I might say.. “Well, this year was an epic fail. I barely met any of my goals.”

Though, that was my initial thought. I also thought to myself, “Damn, Kayla you went through a shit storm this year.” I was diagnosed with Sinus Bradycardia (low resting heart rate), HBP, and I was put on Anti-anxieties. The two latter are more recent. I saw my doctor more than I ever have this year. I started seeing a dietician, and I dabbled in my repairing my mental health.

Weight loss was not my primary focus this year, it shows but that’s okay. Until I can repair my relationship with food and with myself, my weight loss will never be sustainable. I learned this year that I basically have two eating disorders. I’ll eat, but if I eat too much, or eat unhealthy I’ll restrict, and it’s a vicious cycle of up and down. My body can’t keep up, and it can’t handle the stress I mentally and physically put it under. So, my cortisol levels are almost always high, which makes losing weight extremely difficult. 

I’ve had more anxiety attacks and anxiousness this year than I ever have in my life. It’s to the point where I hate being in public, and I’m terrified of anyone seeing me. Pretty silly right? But that’s the story my mind makes up in my head along with quite a few others. The attacks happen during Jiu Jitsu, and that is the main place they happen. However, they’re not ’caused’ by Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu elicits the fight or flight response in me and ha well, my poor self has been choosing flight especially when under stress and lack of sleep. Sometimes I’m just fine, and others not so much. This has been a huge issue for me this year, and two weeks ago I decided enough was enough and saw my doctor. And honestly, I’m really glad I did. It’s only been 2 weeks, but I do feel much better and more under control. I’m excited to also see a more permanent therapist in February. I’m looking forward to building my mental health much stronger this year. But also really excited to get back on my weight loss train. I’m working my mental health with professionals, and I know how the weight loss thing goes, and I’m confident this year will be successful. It might be slow, but I’m going to do it right!
This last year was a year of mental health, and inside physical health which is a huge component of ourselves.

This upcoming year I’ll have a lot of the same goals. Some different.

1. Build healthy relationship with myself- keep promises to myself.
2. Healthier Food choices – back on track to weight loss
3. Read and meditate every day
4. Live in the moment- cut down screen time
5. Less emotional reactions – Response vs. Reaction
6. Pay off more debt-stick to budget
7. Build Savings – Down payment for new car
8. Improve Jiu Jitsu- Roll more and drill harder
9. Build Calligraphy side hustle
10. Build more confidence in all aspects of my life.
I feel like these are very obtainable goals, maybe some a bit hefty. But Obtainable. My over the moon goal is to loose half my body weight. 😉 It’s going to be really hard. But really rewarding. I was 2019 to be the best year yet for myself and my husband. And it will.

What are your goals for this coming year? Are they mental? physical? Spiritual?

Let me know.
Let’s kick 2019’s ass.

I saw a dietician today…

Okay, I have to take a moment and say this and share my experience.

I saw a dietician today, and it was such an amazing experience. I have always been overweight, and at one point I lost 60lbs. But I have gained most of it back over the last year and a half. For the most part I contributed it to slacking on my diet, eating poorly and lack of sleep. However, I have worked out at minimum 4 days a week for the last 3 years, not saying that exercise will out weigh a poor diet, because it certainly won’t, but I wasn’t being a complete slacker. The thing that has stumped me and my doctor was, how and why in the world did I gain THAT much weight back, that quickly, with maintaining a decent diet and daily exercise?

I have been anxious about this appointment with a dietician since the day my doctor suggested it. Because I have been fat shamed at just about any medical office I’ve been to. Yes, including the dentist. I was being told that my symptoms were that of obesity and that I needed to exercise more and eat less. (Insert eye-roll here) Because that was WHY I went in to be seen in the first place. I eat pretty healthy and exercise daily. I have been experiencing extreme fatigue for the last year, bouts of depression and just overall YUCK. And have not felt ‘myself’ in a very long time.  Is my diet perfect? Nope, but who’s is? I had quite a few blood tests done. ALL normal. I was stumped and so was my doctor to a point. I thought maybe…just maybe my body had had enough of the synthetic hormones I was getting from my IUD, even though it’s not known for that to happen. I had that removed this week. Because I thought to myself, I’m going to remove every foreign thing attributing to my body as possible to have the best outcomes of anything I try to do to improve my health. When I first lost my weight, I wasn’t on anything at all, no birth control, no anti depressants… nothing!

I went into my appointment nervous about shame, and having to have more tests done and having to try and prove to this person that I wasn’t lazy and didn’t constantly eat fast food. But to my surprise, I was met with a bright smile and friendly personality.  I felt respected, understood and most of all BELIEVED. This was the most relief I have ever felt, someone who BELIEVED me. When I told them I train 7 days a week, every doctor I’ve seen has judged me and never believed me saying I was overeating or not exercising long or hard enough.  I got answers from this dietitian and more concrete affirmations that I was on the right track and that I just needed to tweak some things. But I can’t begin to tell you how confident and excited I felt walking out that office of how much research I’ve done on my own, help I reached out for, therapy I went to, self development that I’ve done that it was finally acknowledged by a medical professional. Hearing, how healthy I really am based of of blood work and concrete facts vs. what they all saw on the outside. Having someone tell me, you are extremely healthy for the extra amount of weight you are carrying, vs. someone my weight and unhealthy. I was told I was HEALTHY.  For someone who has been obese their entire life and told how unhealthy they were, hearing that you are healthy is like the biggest validation I’ve had in a very long time.  This next step will be challenging but the most rewarding, this will be something will carry with me for the rest of my life. Building a healthy relationship with food is going to be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself (next to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of course !) and I’m so excited to see how my body is going to respond to me finally giving it what it needs and loving it vs. punishing it and shaming it.

Til next time friends,


Three years in on a lifetime journey


Three years ago, I stepped foot in a gym that is now my second home and met strangers who have become my family. Though, I’m a ‘newb’ in my Jiu Jitsu journey, this is the second most dedicated I’ve ever been to a sport since high school drill team. But the most dedicated to my physical and mental health I have ever been. High school drill team was a huge commitment, morning and afternoon practices, camps and workshops all year round. But with Jiu Jitsu, it is much more of an individual journey than it is a team one. You only get better by the amount of time and effort you put in to your training, in and outside the gym. Which then builds up your team. But you as an individual must make decisions in order to better yourself or else your game won’t grow. Where as in MY high school experience, camps and workshops were required to be part of the team vs you had the option to better yourself. Jiu jitsu you have to CHOOSE to be better rather than to skirt by.

Though I live in a larger city in North Dakota, Jiu Jitsu in ND is still a fairly new sport. The next closest gym we have is in Fargo, at the Academy of Combat Arts.  Where if you lived in California or even went to Minneapolis, MN; there are quite a few more gyms to choose from to train at. So living where I live takes a little more effort and money in order to travel to train with some more popular higher level Jiu Jiteiros and Jiu Jiteiras where in larger cities they might visit more frequently.  I am fortunate to have amazing instructors at my gym and am able to travel an hour to train at our sister gym. I have also been fortunate to have taken seminars from some of the most well known practitioners like Rafael Mendes and Tom DeBlass. I also have been so fortunate to have met the love of my life through Jiu Jitsu, my husband Josh. It has been a blessing to be part of his Jiu Jitsu journey. I have been lucky to be able to travel a little for Jiu Jitsu, I took a class at Pedro Sauer in Virginia. I hope to be able to travel more and drop into other gyms as well throughout my journey.

Everyone’s journey will be different. Some people advance slower or faster than others. In my personal journey, I have been doing Jiu Jitsu for 3 years, and I am currently a 4 stripe white belt.  For the past 2 years I have missed probably under 10 days of class. However, that definitely doen’t meant that my mental was 100% there. I struggled tremendously between 2 stripes and 3 which I sat a year in between. But during that year, I was planning a wedding, started a new job, and moved in with my husband, I had many many life changes. I learned so much mentally that year and I am thankful for that time in between. I still struggle mentally with my confidence, but it is something that I will always be working on to better. As we should always be working towards bettering our mental and physical health. I have been dabbling about competing again, and we will see what December has in store for me. If you’ve been reading with me before, you know that I have some hefty weight loss goals to meet the bracket weight for IBJJF. I believe their highest weight bracket is 180 lbs. Though, I know that I can compete at any weight…the last time I competed I was quite a bit larger than my opponents and a lot of people really didn’t like that. I can see where they would come from, having to compete against someone larger than them puts them at a disadvantage even though Jiu Jistu is meant for the smaller person… Anyway, I digress- I want to be within a weight bracket with the IBJJF so that no one can harass me about being larger. I know that this can be a tricky thing, because technically no matter what, I could always be larger than someone and them be upset about it if I beat them.. but anyway,  I could possibly make it there by December, we will see. ❤

Stay tuned loves, more to come!




What is a Jiu Jiteira?

Many people who I’ve shared my blog with are unfamiliar with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and have asked me “What is Jiu Jiteria ?” And yes, I even stumble when I say it sometimes.

Jiu Jiteira is the female noun derived from Jiu Jiteiro.
Jiu Jiteiro is is someone (male) who practices Jiu Jitsu. So, Jiu Jiteira is a female who practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

So what is The Jiu Jiteira Blog?

I started blogging about my lifestyle 4 years ago, after I graduated from college. I had to present a gallery exhibition of my graphic design work in order to graduate. It was a requirement to do something that was controversial. I struggled until about 3 weeks before my show to come up with content and my professor told me that I needed to really dig deep about what I wanted my show to be about. As I was researching about the obesity epidemic in the United States, I found out some deep things about myself. I discovered that I suffered from BED (Binge Eating Disorder) and food addiction. This led me to my gallery exhibition subject matter and to start my blog to help other people.

I started my lifestyle change 4 years ago the fall after I graduated college. I reached out to a local gym for help after I had dislocated my knee after a drunken night out. This was a re-occurring injury almost yearly since 8th grade. I had surgery on my right knee back in 2010 and gained around 60lbs while recovering. I decided I was done being unhealthy, done making stupid drunken decisions and refused to go through another surgery and risk gaining more weight. I was on the fast track to diabetes and possibly death at where my weight and health were.

I met my first trainer and slowly the birth and creation of The Jiu Jiteira was born.

I was blogging my lifestyle journey at the time was known as ”Barbells and Daydreams” but my blog slowly evolved more and more around MMA and Jiu Jitsu . I started kickboxing/ striking back in 2015 and fell in love with the fighter athlete aspect. I met another coach, who took over my trainer’s position as she returned to Australia. He is the person who pressured me into trying Jiu Jitsu at another gym and walking into the gym that changed my life. The gym that I now call home and help my husband and his dad manage. I was terrified to try Jiu Jitsu , but I wrestled with my brothers when I was younger and thought, it can’t be that bad.

I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu , and thus; my blog transformed from “Barbells and Daydreams” to “The Jiu Jiteira Blog”.

I moved toward a more targeted audience of women in jiu jitsu because there are so few of us. Jiu Jitsu is a male dominated sport that women are slowly coming into. It can be hard to find other women in the sport, especially in the Midwest where I’m from.

I want this blog to inspire other women like myself, women who struggle with weight loss, and confidence; women who struggle with trauma and abuse. I want to inspire women that they can do anything they put their mind to, even if it doesn’t include trying Jiu Jitsu . ( Though I think EVERYONE should at least give it a try! )


Choosing to better your health, mentally, physically and emotionally will be the best decision you will ever make for yourself. I promise you.

How prominent is women’s grappling in your area?

Okay, so I am reaching out to all the powers that be- hoping this reaches as many women/ people as possible in all areas.
I’m throwing around the idea of starting a community for women grapplers / strikers. I know there are other great pages out there; however the one thing that gets under my skin the most is the derogatory comments I’ve seen revolving around the women’s grappling community. I know that this could possibly be inevitable in a male dominated sport, but I want to build a community for women grapplers and strikers where they can feel safe to share photos, inspiration, competitions, ideas, struggles, seminars, weight cuts, meal prep ideas, recipe’s exercises, drills and ideas of recovery with fellow women. (Sorry for the long list I wanted to make sure I listed as much as possible)
I want to build a community where if you are a woman, who grapples or strikes in the midwest- or anywhere for that matter! -Cause we all travel to compete and train! This is the place for you. Somewhere positive.
I feel like there is a need for something like this, unless I’ve been blind I haven’t found anything like it, yet. I see a lot of individuals who are successful sharing their journey, but what if we all came together?

I think something that has been frustrating for any competitive woman, is going into a local competition, and not having someone in your bracket or enough women in your bracket and having to move up, or down or having to travel long distances to compete, or train. Women in grappling- especially the Midwest from my experience is few and far between. There are tons of women all shapes and sizes, why not band together and share and build a positive community and get many more on the mats to fill those brackets and build a larger presence of woman in grappling and striking!


Let me know your thoughts in the comments! or find me on instagram and send me a message @kayfit16

Stay tuned for more from me!

The Big Jiu Jiteira Stigma & Tayane Porfirio

I’ve been wanting to write this specific blog for a long time, and I feel after this recent article from it is the perfect time for me to share my thoughts.

Over the last two years I’ve been searching the internet for a woman in the limelight in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who was facing the same struggles and demons I was . I had an unpleasant experience my first competition that has sent me through some very mentally difficult hard times, and anxiety. I was grasping for someone who prevailed through similar experiences and uses their size and strengths in a different way.

Though Gabi Garcia has had her fair share of experiences on the issue of being a larger woman and how she pushes through the negativity, I’ve had a harder time personally relating to her. She is very accomplished, but her game relies more on strength, being pressure heavy and aggressive, which is not a game some larger jiu jiteiras want to have. There can be negativity associated with women who use strength and size, where for men it’s a bit less controversial. Size comparison of women in society and sports has, and will always be an issue.

I discovered Tayane Porfirio about two years ago. After reading as many articles as I could about her, I saw so much of myself and my own experiences in her. People are always comparing her to Gabi, when actually; the two of them are quite different. Tayane’s game is very technical,  she takes pride in that. She prefers to work from bottom using lasso guard to set up a sweep and then transition to a dominate position moving into a submission attack.  She is flexible for her size, and has a speed advantage as well, something you don’t see with larger BJJ practitioners. Tayane specifically tailored her game to prove to people that she could be successful without using strength and power.

Seeing someone like her make her way through the major competitions and dominate her weight class and in the absolute division, is such an inspiration. In the way she has inspired me me I hope that I can influence other women as well, to continue and even give jiu jitsu a try no matter their size.

Finding Tayane has helped me focus purely on technique, and working from bottom. I want my size and strength to be the last thing someone comments about me and my game ever again. This might be something me, and other women my size deal with for the rest of our lives, but priding ourselves on being technical will hopefully dim the stigma.

I could probably write for days about my experiences as a larger jiu jiteira and how difficult it can be to find positive role models or someone we can relate to because of our size, but I hope other women look up to what Tayane has done, and find inspiration in her like I did.

Til next time!



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