At Atos HQ we also have a strong female team of athletes lead by the one and only Prof. Angelica Galvao. This week the spotlight is on one of our many tough female athletes, Kristiene Gong. Kristiene has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a little over a year, and she’s been at Atos for about six months.
What made you want to start BJJ?
“I actually started somewhat by accident. I’d always been interested in martial arts, partially for self-defense purposes, and a friend recommended muay thai. It just so happened that the gym also had bjj classes, and after a while I realized I preferred bjj, because I felt I had more opportunities to change or adapt techniques to my personal strengths and weaknesses. I also found that the intricacies of bjj techniques were fascinating – there was always something new to learn and it never felt too repetitive. The only regret I have is that I didn’t start earlier!”
What made you want to train at Atos?
“Initially I came to Atos because of its stellar reputation; even when I was overseas people would speak very highly of it. However, I stayed at Atos not just because of its reputation of creating world champions, but because of the caliber of the people here. Just about everyone that I’ve met, from white belt to black belt, has been extremely welcoming and I’ve made many great friends. All the professors and training partners whom I’ve had the honor of learning from have been super supportive. It feels like I’ve gained a second family.”
Why do you enjoy training BJJ?
“I enjoy training bjj, because it creates a unique environment where you can be very competitive and simultaneously learn to be humble and have good sportsmanship. It also doesn’t really matter how big or strong you are when you start, unlike in many other sports or workout programs, because everyone starts from scratch. I feel like for girls and women, this is especially important. Even though I’d been an athlete for much of my life, vying with bodybuilders for a spot at the squat rack was never appealing to me. With bjj, even when I’m the smallest person in the room (which happens often), I never feel as though this is a huge disadvantage. Finally, there are few other sports in which you can say you tried to choke your friends and still laugh and hug each other at the end of the day, and that’s one of the things I enjoy most about it.”
Professor Angelica Galvao teaches a women’s only class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:45pm. To learn more about our women’s program and how to get a FREE one week trial call us at 858-292-5040 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.