I am fortunate enough to train with some amazing people. Today I will be focusing on a woman who I admire as an athlete and as a role model. I don’t know what recent event I should start with because sadly there are so many. From child sexual abuse in the Nassar case to sexual abuse in the Weinstein case, it is seemingly a more dangerous time to be a woman. Or so some people feel. But violence and discrimination against women has always been a huge problem in the US. Apparently, it just took heartbreaking sexual assault cases to go viral and 3 million women to march for the injustices they face, for people to actually realize.. “Hey this might be a big problem.” Growing up in Juijitsu I was always one of the only little girls (in 2004 it was cooler if your mom took you to gymnastics.) I would spar with boys sometimes bigger and older but I never thought anything of it. I never thought it was unfair and none of the boys complained about my gender. But of course that was when I was 5 years old it wasn’t till much later I realized I didn’t quite fit in with the status quo. I was a tom boy to say the least and I grew more and more self conscious. I remember asking myself if loving jiujitsu made me less attractive because it would intimidate some boys. Looking back I now understand that society forces a feminine mindset on women because “thats how it should be” (lol) We need more women who are brave enough to step outside of the safe zone, the socially praised zone, and be who they are. Angela Yamashita is an incredibly accomplished Pro Bodybuilder from Hawaii! I had the privilege of rolling with her before returning to Utah over Christmas break. I was shook. Its so important to me that us girls never feel ashamed because of our accomplishments. You can be sexy, you can embrace your sexuality AND still kick a** and thats a motto that needs to be circulated. Angela is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. She trains hard and makes no excuses, she told me that starting jiujitsu was a big step for her and like all my jits fam know: Jiujitsu is life changing. In a conversation I had with her we talked about how change is hard especially realizing that a certain change needs to happen in your own life. Happiness isn’t an end goal it’s an active choice. A simple mindset change could make your life completely different. We can choose to be happy every day no matter the trials. I know that alot of women struggle with self confidence and self love so this is for you. Women supporting women rather than criticizing is probably my most favorite “trend” right now and I want it to be an everyday thing. We all have our own goals and dreams so why not  support each other instead of bash. Women are strong through everything we prevail, we often underestimate our strength and beauty but in the end we shine. Check out Angela’s Resume bellow and I’ll keep you guys updated on her journey this year! I wasn’t kidding when I said mad accomplished!!!

Angela Yamashita IG (@ifbb_pro_angelayamashita)

2011 Ikaika Bodybuilding Figure overall champ

2012 Paradise Cup 2nd place Figure

2013 NPC USA Top 5 figure

2014 Ikaika Bodybuilding  Figure Overall Champ

2014 NPC USA Figure overall champ (Beat 116 Women) New IFBB PRO

2015-2017 IFBB PRO Top 10 and top 5 IFBB Masters

2017 IFBB Pro Masters Winner and 4th Place Open

She holds 2 state overall titles, 1 national overall title, and 1 pro win.

Loyalty Is Everything

I was brought up by an old school jiujitsu junkie that trained in Relson’s garage, and as most of you probably know white Gi’s are a thing and more importantly that loyalty is everything. When my dad wanted to return to the mats he searched for 1. A Relson Gracie school, and 2. Relson’s approval. His loyalty never once wavered from day one in a small garage to finally achieving faixa preta (black belt). The most important lesson I have carried with me throughout my jiujitsu journey is that loyalty is an incredibly important yet forgotten value. Looking beyond the IBJJF tournaments, all the various branches and schools of BJJ, Jiujitsu is a martial art first and foremost. I think a lot of people have forgotten that. Remembering the true history of this martial art despite school spats, and disagreements, I think we can all agree that Jiujitsu has played a pretty significant part in our lives. To treat it’s history with anything less than the damn loyalty it deserves is ignorant and tactless. Train hard my friends, and let your actions reflect your art.

The Latest Addition

The Jiu-jitsu gi game is always changing and I’m picky to say the least, but my recent favorite is Daybyday, a brand by AJ Mendoza. AJ is a Relson Gracie black belt and a family friend, he started his business about three years ago and it took off. Hawaii started sporting Daybyday. I have one of the older versions the V.3 with black accents but that priceless tag on the inside saying, “Train, Wash, Repeat.” and the inside stitching saying, “Day By Day The Path To Black Belt.” makes for a subtle yet bad a** look. The gi is relatively light weight and I throw mine in the dryer with little to no change to size. This is an A0 but I think to be IBJJF legal I’m going to get an A1. I love the ripstop pants because its light weight and easy to move around in. I tried women’s cut gi’s but this regular adult size fits very nicely. They also make A1H and above for the wider men. Guys and girls if you’re looking for a stylish but durable gi to get your train on go check them out.