Following up with December’s BJJ Girl of the Month: Amy Alonso, I am excited to highlight another inspirational young lady that is kicking some serious butt in the world of Kids’ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This month, I would like to honor Anaya, a 9 year old phenom that is blowing through the competition in her brackets, and setting the stage for some serious success in BJJ before she has even gotten to middle-school.
Anaya has now been training for 3.5 years, and is more dedicated on the mat than many adults that compete. She is a Yellow Belt, and received her Yellow/White belt only 3 weeks before the Gray Belt was introduced, setting her up for some stiff competition. This didn’t phase Anaya though, as her competition triumphs have proven that she is one to rise to the challenge. As seen in her epic photograph to the right, she is well decorated with 23 medals and a champion’s belt from her podium finishes. Her wins include her recent 1st place finish at the 2015 Kids Pan Ams.
Hailing from Gracie Barra Anaheim Hills, Anaya trains regularly with her coaches Professor Nick Moghaddam, Coach Ian Alden, and Coach Steve Collier. While training, you can catch her working on her favorite move, the Rear Naked Choke, as she gears up for the next competition on her hit-list. When she’s not racking up tapouts or breaking a sweat on the mat, this BJJ Girl of the Month loves spending time with her family and watching her favorite episodes of the SpongeBob SquarePants (me too!).
Anaya shares some simple, but extremely wise advise that we all need to be reminded of, “Do your best, and never give up.” Her parents are a major source of support for her, and also shared the importance of being humble in the pursuit of glory, that goes especially for the parents of other young competitors, “Allow your children to have fun, learn from their mistakes and decide if they want to compete or not. Everyone will win and lose at some point in competition, but you are always learning… don’t worry about winning.” As Anaya has shown, when hard work is applied, the wins will come in plenty.
I would like to give a big thanks to Anaya’s parents for letting me share her story. Anaya, you are an inspiration to us all, and I will definitely be working a little harder this week while I train for Adult Pan Ams coming in up next week!