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Meet Jayden T! Jayden is passionate about Jiu-jitsu, so we asked her to share her experience with us.

Do you see yourself still participating in Jiu-jitsu in five or 10 years from now?

I absolutely see myself participating in Jiu-jitsu in the future. I have goals such as achieving my black belt and competing at the highest levels possible amongst the greats in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community.

Are there any short-term goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years?

Over the next few years, some of the goals I will work to accomplish include receiving my blue belt, getting first place at some of the most prestigious Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournaments in the world, which include: the Pan American, World, and European Open Championships as well as Brazilian Nationals.

What do you believe to be one of your weaknesses and what are you doing to improve it?

One of my weaknesses is being extremely self-critical. I have always had high expectations for myself in everything that I do and when I do not meet those expectations, I feel extreme disappointment. To improve this, I have been working on changing my perspective when I am self-critical. Instead of being upset with myself, I do my best to think of what I did good and developing a plan to improve.

Do you have other hobbies or interests outside of Jiu-jitsu?

Outside of Jiu-jitsu, my other hobbies include drawing, painting, reading books, writing poetry, and baking.

Which strengths do you believe you have that make you good at Jiu-jitsu?

The strengths that contribute positively to my training include my determination, diligence, and leadership skills. Having determination allows me to constantly work towards my goals until I achieve and exceed them.

Being meticulous when learning new skills by breaking down each step to fully understand is also beneficial. Leadership skills are essential in giving back to the jiu-jitsu community. Teaching and sharing knowledge with one another is a significant factor in learning. If you are able to teach what you practice, it helps you understand the material better yourself.

What made you choose Jiu-jitsu?

When I was younger, I was not a confident person which influenced my life daily. My dad had driven by a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy and thought that enrolling me would help me build confidence. A few weeks later he took me to participate in my first class. I was so upset, so I cried and begged to leave. I finally stepped onto the mats and completed my first class. To my surprise I enjoyed the class and as I continued to participate in more classes I fell more in love with the sport. Jiu-jitsu is mentally and physically challenging, rough, and exhausting, but it is also rewarding, fulfilling, and fun.

Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to as a role model and why?

There are many people who have helped pave the way for me as an athlete. They have all inspired me to not only continue in my Jiu-jitsu journey but compete at the highest level. Professor Wes, who was my first professor, pushed me to my limit, taught me various techniques, and supported me through the first 7 years of my training. After his decision to take a different path in life, Professor Tussa has been an excellent supporter and teacher. His insight and knowledge have been and is going to continue to be a crucial aspect of my journey. I am also inspired by many female Jiu-jitsu practitioners such as Mackenzie Dern, Gabi Garcia, Beatriz Mesquita, and many others who have paved the road for female competitors.

Rank the top five priorities currently in your life.

My current top 5 priorities in life include:
1) Mental Health
2) Physical Health
3) Relationships (Family, friends, etc.)
4) School
5) Jiu-jitsu

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