Day 1 of 365

Happy New Year, everyone!

How was your first day of 2020?

NYE

Hubby and I rang in the new year with a great group of people last night. We made some new friends and had plenty of laughs. It was a night filled with great food, beautiful views, and good conversation. I wore a beautiful solid black dress with a leopard print, white pointy heels, a black coat, red lipstick, red nails, and my hair in a slick back pony tail with a black scrunchie. I felt magical. I hope to be able to up my fashion sense this year. It’s always so hard when you live in the gi! But I promise to try.

ENTERTAINMENT

I watched some very interesting and entertaining shows in 2019. Some of my favorites included “You” and “Dirty John” from Netflix (both psychological thrillers/crime fiction series), 90 Day Fiancé from Hulu (reality TV), and one I didn’t get to but I was told was very good/interesting was “Game Changers” from Netflix (health documentary). What did you really enjoy watching in 2019?

HANDMADE BUSINESS

I worked very hard on my creative business, Wild Needle Co, this year. I thank every person who supported my business in some sort of way whether it was a like, share, or comment on social media, inquiry, word of mouth, or a purchase. I hope to come up with new designs this year and finally open my online store. I have primarily sold through my Instagram @wildneedleco. Sewing was such a highlight of 2019. Setting up my little work craft space was the best thing I could’ve asked for. I am so thankful to my husband who sacrificed a small part of our studio for my happy place. I know that I am just getting started and have lots to learn about doll making this new year. I am especially excited to have practiced my product photography this year and to get even better with it in 2020.

JIU-JITSU

Our first BJJ training session is tomorrow. Two back to back no gi classes and I couldn’t be more pumped. I definitely want to work on my control and wrestling these next couple of months. I am excited to really dissect my game. I want to work on everything I am not good at and strengthen everything I am comfortable with. I want to:

  • get out of my comfort zone and roll more with everyone.
  • Take care of my health so that I am less likely to get injured.
  • Get stronger.
  • Train smarter overall.
  • Get into spinning and yoga.

SELF LOVE

I learned how to get out of my comfort zone with clothing in 2019. I started to take better care of my skin and teeth. I sewed a lot which helped me to relax and caused me lots of happiness. But I want to do so much more in 2020! I want to drink more water, read more books, eat more vegetables and less processed foods, do more things that make me happy and expand my mind and skills. How about you?

What do you want MORE of in 2020?

Thanks for reading,

Jules

End of Year Update (3 min Read)

Hey everyone,

Didn’t time fly by so quickly this year? It seems that the older I get, the faster time goes by… or maybe that’s just my perspective. I hope you all had a wonderful year. I hope that it gave you some laughs, challenges that led to growth, and fun. Did anything new happen for you this year? I’d like to hear about it.

One thing is for certain, I did a lot of jiu-jitsu this year. This year I reached my first year at purple belt, competed for the first time at an IBJJF tournament, and taught more classes at our academy, Gomez Jiu-jitsu. I’m really starting to enjoy the teaching side of jiu-jitsu. It’s making me understand things a little differently and molding me into a more confident, observant, patient, and critically thinking individual.

There are times when a student can’t perform a certain technique 100% as expected for many reasons, and that’s completely okay. It’s not always about such cookie cutter techniques. Jiu-jitsu is for everyone, not just the young, athletic star. So I figure out a way to modify the techniques for different students and scenarios, and explain why or how they can work. I’m also teaching kids jiu-jitsu which is a fun challenge. I have to be the firm, “I mean business” instructor to ensure that these kids learn discipline and respect, but also the fun and down to earth coach that they can chat with about whatever crazy and silly things are on their mind.

I’ve seen both kids and adults grow in their jiu-jitsu so much this year. The other day a 5 year old did the most perfect technical get-up and my heart just about melted and burst at the same time. I love our team, and I love that we are growing together in all different ways. My goals this new year are to add more amazing individuals (kids and adults) to our team, compete again, and of course, improve my own game and increase my conditioning.

In other news…

I’ve also been working on my little creative side business, Wild Needle Co, Handmade Collectible Art Toys, which you can find by clicking here. I’ve been working on improving my products, marketing, and customer service. Creating and crafting brings me so much joy. It really feels like the perfect thing to be doing this time of the year. I am stacked with holiday orders at the moment and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am very grateful for all of the people who supported Wild Needle Co. this year.

This coming year I would like to improve my product photography, increase production lead time, make more stock products, and get WNC a bit more social. I am having such a good time creating. I’ve set up a nice little space in my studio to do my work and it finally feels like a true creative business I’ve got going on. If you want to see anything specific in my shop this coming year, let me know in an Instagram DM or a comment here.

What are you up to these days? I hope you have a happy holiday season! Talk to you in the new year. And as always, thanks for reading!

-Julie

My First Year at Purple Belt

2 min read:

Yesterday was my Purplebelt anniversary 💜 It’s been a whirlwind of a first year, that’s for sure. At first I felt deserving of it… or so I thought. More so the IDEA of it because I was rudely awakened when I got tapped by a lower belt. (DUN DUN DUN) News flash! You still have to work hard when you get promoted!!! I thought I could just sit back and relax and NOPE Bahahaha. So then I felt VERY UNDESERVING of it, and since then we have been working hard on our relationship and guys… I’m pretty sure she’s the one😍 I am all sorts of GROWING🌱 right now, especially here ❤️ and here 🧠

Thanks to Professor Carlos for his teachings, coaching, opinions, feedback, hard talks, motivation and everything else. You’ve helped me so much with my game and my mindset. God bless you. Also thank you to my training partners because I can’t learn without them.

My game has changed dramatically from day 1 of whitebelt and these are my favorite things about the way I train at purple:

•Initiate first. When rolling with someone larger, stronger or more skilled, be the one to make the first move or chances are you’ll have to defend first vs attack first.

•Be relentless. If you shoot for a takedown and the person sprawls, don’t turtle🐢 up, COMMIT and drive forward until you put them on their 🍑.

•Believe in yourself✨ Try not to overthink, just trust your jiu-jitsu. Trust that it WORKS. There were times where I didn’t do this certain move/defense because I was afraid so and so would counter with this move/defense so instead I didn’t do anything and I got stuck. Take the risk🤪 and own it! 🙌🏽

All in all, this year has taught me that I can do hard things. I am stronger than I think and all it takes is belief in myself. This has improved my self love immensely. This art continues to mold me into an indomitable martial artist. How awesome it is to learn an art that has so much to give its practitioners.

Do you remember what your first year was like after your promotion? Did you love it/hate it? What did you learn? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!

-Jules

Hi! It’s the First Day of Summer!

Good morning! Today is officially the first day of summer and half of the year has already gone by!

How are you feeling this month?

I am feeling refreshed. I took a couple sessions off from training to rest my knees. They were badly bruised and I had a hematoma on one of them from drilling a hard snap down. Although they are still bruised, the pain is tolerable enough to train hard again. I was hungry for it.

I couldn’t sleep last night due to some late night caffeine and training which had my brain all sorts of wired. Had a great training session last night. We drilled the anaconda choke from turtle to the darce choke from side control to mounted darce. I successfully executed the mounted darce during rolling so was pumped about that.

I woke up this morning in a good mood despite running on 3 hours of sleep. I will admit that I was listening to Christmas music on the way to training this morning. I’m not sure why I have been missing the Fall and Winter seasons lately. I am loving the summer weather but definitely missing the holiday spirit. I am hoping to hit up the beach some more this summer and do some drilling in the sand and good ‘ol relaxing. What are your favorite things to do or places to go in the summer? Let me know in the comments.

Just popping in to wish you a happy first day of summer! Put your sunscreen on and seize the day!

Thanks for reading!

-Jules

April: What I’m up to

5 min read

Hey everyone,

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post so I’ve decided to fill you in on some things that have been happening this month. Enjoy!

How I’m feeling:
I’ve noticed that I’ve been smiling a lot this month. Could it be the glimmer of summer approaching or perhaps the increase of water I’ve been drinking daily? Or maybe it’s my husband who is always making me laugh. Whatever it is, I’m feeling happy. I feel like I’m learning at a steady pace in BJJ and that is good enough for me! I’m getting a lot of vitamin D these days and it’s nice to be in social places in between training sessions. I’ve been smiling at every woman that passes, and they’re smiling back. It makes me feel fuzzy inside—like we’re part of an unspoken, powerful sisterhood. I’m feeling mentally strong, which is something I’ve always longed for. I know that any minute it could all change, but I am hopeful that these feelings of joy will always be with me, and if they are not, I’m confident that I will see better days because I’ve experienced this kind of joy. I hope you are happy wherever you are.

Health and Diet:
My good friend and fellow jiu-jitsu sister, Kayla, and I have been tracking our nutrition and training since the first of the month. For one week we tracked exactly what we ate—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was easy to see how our nutrient intake (or lack of healthy nutrients lol) did not line up with our goals. I was barely drinking any water at all and eating mostly carbs. As soon as the second week hit, we both cleaned up our nutrition. I ate healthier foods, added more vegetables to my diet, refrained from sugary snacks (which is a tough one for me), ate more frequently, and began drinking at least 70 oz of water daily. The only thing I’m struggling with at the moment is beer. There are just too many good sour beers to try and I’m having trouble saying no lol. It’s all about balance though, right?
Supplements: Nutrasumma Fermented Pea Protein Chocolate with BCAA’s which I take upon waking up and sometimes before bed. Enzyme Probiotic Complex, Joint support with glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin which I take twice daily with my largest meals.

Training and Exercise:
I am currently training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu daily and incorporating plyometric exercises into my warm ups and gym sessions. I usually lift at the gym 1-2 times per week but may start to increase those sessions.

My weekly sessions include: Mon/Fri: 8 classes in the GI. Tu: 2 classes of BJJ with strikes, self/weapon defense. Wed/Th 5 classes NO GI. 1 Open Mat on the weekend.
Favorite BJJ move this month: Clock choke, 1,2,3 boxing combo to double leg.
BJJ goal: Work on my set ups.
Favorite workout this month: Soft sand beach workout. Takedown drills to sprints.

Gym: Battle ropes, bosu-ball push ups, medicine ball wall throws, dumb bell shoulder press. Super set these 4 exercises. 3-4 sets, 10-15 reps. 2 mins rest in between sets.

What I’m reading:
The Microbiome Diet: The Scientifically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health and Achieve Permanent Weight Loss.

At first I was merely interested in bettering my health; so far 40 pages in it’s proven to be quite an interesting read! It turns out that balancing your microbiome is the “key to eliminating symptoms you might never have connected to your weight and the way you eat. Such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, brain fog, headaches, acne, eczema, congestion, frequent colds and infections, joint pain, and muscle pain.” It’s crazy to think that caring for our microbiome, the ecosystem of microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi) in our bodies, could be the answer to achieving good health.

Who inspires me this month:
My friend Kayla @keylock_kay on Instagram is a web and graphic designer by day and BJJ bad ass by night. We have been each other’s accountability partner’s for the past month keeping each other on track with our goals and venting about all things motivational, girly, and of course BJJ. She’ll send me motivational quotes, post-training selfies, and photos of her meals. This motivates me so much! Find yourself someone with similar goals and you may achieve them faster! Thanks for being an awesome friend, Kayla!

Where to go:
The Grove on 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles is one of my favorite places to hang out. There is so much to see and do. Watch a movie at the theatre, relax and read at Barnes and Noble, go shopping, have a drink at the Farmer’s Market Bar, or enjoy live music in the grass while enjoying a snack.

Events:
Carlos and I taught a self defense seminar for a non-profit organization called, A Place Called Home, a youth community center that keeps teens away from the dangers and temptations of the streets and provides a safe place for them to relax, do homework and hang out with friends. One of the most anticipated events hosted there is Girl Power Day where a group of over 35 teen girls get together at the facility and take part in a full day of presentations and activities that inspire and empower them; one of those activities is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Carlos and I are surrounded by a diverse group of girls—some timid and stand offish, others not at all. These girls come from different backgrounds but for this hour and half, jiu-jitsu is uniting them.

Carlos and I also help teach jiu-jitsu at a women’s shelter. This location is kept secret for the safety of these women and children who have sought refuge there from abusive relationships. Most of the women don’t even speak English but jiu-jitsu is its own language and the best part is that it’s universal. The transformation some have made from day 1 to leaving the shelter is incredible. We taught this woman her last class before she ended her time there and she thanked us and the other Instructor for teaching her. I bawled, guys… She was SO shy and bashful when she started taking classes and now she was putting some grit into her technique and even encouraging other women with the way they did the technique. It’s just an indescribable feeling to see that.

It’s like magic seeing a woman witness her power when she successfully executes a jiu-jitsu technique. It makes me very emotional. Jiu-jitsu has done so much for me, and I wish that all women could find the gentle art and let it work its magic in their lives.

Services:
I am available for Jiu-jitsu lessons for women. No experience required. Take private classes at my Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy in Downtown Los Angeles and even invite a friend to train with you. You don’t have to be really strong or athletic; anyone can do jiu-jitsu and be good at it by using the proper technique and leverage. Try your first class for free. Also, if you would like to book Carlos and I for a women’s or co-ed self defense seminar for your school,organization, or work, let me know. Email me at bjjandselflove@gmail.com with any inquiries.

Is there anything you want to hear more about? Let me know in the comments and I’ll include it in next month’s post.

Thanks for reading!

-Jules
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Email: bjjandselflove@gmail.com