About seven years ago at the dojo, when my husband and I were teaching an “introduction to martial arts” class for kids ages 3-7, one of our students was a girl who also trained Judo. A couple of years later, I was filming matches at a Judo tournament, and the girl’s dad asked me to film her, which is how I became friends with Tim and his daughter Brooklynn.
Last year, Brooklynn was the first student in the ages 10-15 class at Lincoln BJJ Center. She was the only kid when she started, and one day Tim commented on Facebook that she had to work with Conan, who is much bigger than her, so I offered to go to class and be her partner, which is how I ended up helping out with the kids’ classes.
Now Brooklynn will be entering her first BJJ tournament next weekend, and I’ve been trying to help her prepare for it. She and her dad asked me to roll with her during open mat tomorrow, and I plan to be a little harder on her than normal! Even when she was a little girl competing in Judo, she was always a calm and focused competitor, and she’s going into this upcoming tournament with a solid game plan, so unless she faces an unfair mismatch, I expect she’s going to do well.
It’s been awesome to see Brooklynn grow and evolve through the years, and now that we have a bunch of kids in class at LBJJC, she really seems to be enjoying it (but she takes her training seriously!). Since my own daughter doesn’t share my same passion for Jiu-Jitsu, it’s nice to be able to work with Brooklynn, and all of the other girls at Lincoln BJJ. I also like working with the boys, but there are plenty of males in Jiu-Jitsu, so I really want to be part of a support system for the females. I won’t be competing myself this time around, but I’ll be at the tournament, to lend whatever help I can!
“Brooklyn we go hard, we go hard!!!!” -Jay Z
(Brooklynn is the one in braided pigtails.)