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Our fenomenal woman this month happens to be our sponsored athlete Hana Fisher. Her coach calls her The Cheetah, her opponents say she is one of the nicest and toughest blue belts out there. She is strong, talented, and beautiful. Everyone meet Hana Fisher!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I was born and raised in New York City. Two years ago I moved to Memphis, TN to finish my BFA at Memphis College of Art. I am a 4th degree blue belt at Memphis Judo & Jiu-Jitsu / Marcelo Garcia, and I also work at my gym, I do a little bit of everything, managing, graphic design, sales, etc. We have a great team and family here at Memphis Judo & Jiu-Jitsu, and I get to go to New York every few months to see my family and train with Marcelo Garcia. I love it!

How did you get started in BJJ?

I actually started training in San Da and Muay Thai Kickboxing about 8 years ago, and watched the Jiu-Jitsu guys train everyday, and I was never interested in ground work. But one day my coach told me I had to try Jiu-Jitsu, and from that day on I was hooked! I trained for about 2 years of no-gi before I was forced to start training in the Gi. At first the training was miserable, it wasn’t until I moved to Memphis that I fell in love with the gi.  Now I love both gi and no-gi. I think I dream more about the GI, but I am told that my no-gi game has a lot more confidence.

We recently received this beautiful artwork from you. Thank you! Tell us more about your passion for art.

Both of my parents are artists. I grew up in SOHO, a really artsy part of New York, and my dad had a studio space in our apartment filled with huge paintings he was working on. My mother is a photographer, but she studied children’s fashion design. I was naturally attracted to super bright colors and patterns. Anything that appeared loud, I loved! I went to the “FAME” school for high school and studied art, and then in college I studied graphic design, and a variety of other arts. It has been hard to balance training and artwork.

I used to try to keep my two passions separate but now I have given in and my art is heavily inspired by BJJ. I spend my days training and my nights sketching, illustrating, painting, and touching up photographs. I think I have found my mental and physical balance.

Does anyone else in your family train, and what do they think of BJJ?

No one in my family is really athletic. My parents are artists and my brother is a scientist. My family was not too excited about my love for BJJ, but now that I have been doing it for while they are accepting it. I let them come to watch me compete for the first time last March for the Abu Dhabi WPJJC trials. I think they were shocked, but my mother says she sees how much I love the sport.

You are a fierce competitor. What is  your biggest achievement so far, and what do you want to accomplish in the future?

My biggest achievement so far, I would say, was winning the WPJJC trials and going to Abu Dhabi. I went to the trials confident, and telling myself that I had to win because I would be sent to Abu Dhabi on my 30th birthday. On that day, I was the most confident I have ever been on the mats. I had my teammate from Memphis, and my whole Marcelo Garcia family cheering me on. If it wasn’t for their support, I don’t think I could have done it. This year, I have set a goal to win no-gi Pan Ams and Worlds, win the WPJJC Trials and go back to Abu Dhabi, and of course next year first place at 2013 Worlds!

What is your favorite submission?

Triangle! Triangle! Triangle! It is my absolute favorite submission. I drill it every day, I even dream about it. 🙂 The head and arm triangle is also a SUPER SUPER favorite of mine.

Who is your role model? 

My role models are my coaches Alexandre Meadows, Joel Gingery, Marcelo Garcia, and of course his wife Tatiana. She has been a mentor for me both on and off the mats. I learn more about life, and about myself everyday from these guys. They are the superheros of my life.

What do you think of the women’s open mats and seminars? Do you have many women who you train with, and who helps you to get ready for tournaments?

I wish I could participate in more women’s seminars! My friends always send me the information, but I think living in Memphis makes it really hard to travel to the seminar locations, unless I happen to be in New York or California at the same time of a seminar or an open mat.

We have a lot of women now that have recently started training, almost all of them are competing as well, and are completely in love with BJJ! It’s awesome to see other women with the same passion.

When I’m getting ready for a tournament I train with my entire team. I train mainly with the guys,  because they are bigger and the more experienced grapplers. I do privates almost every morning with my coach Alex Meadows, a black belt under Marcelo Garcia, and he pushes me harder than my mind and body can stand. I sweat, cry, sometimes bleed, but I am stronger after every training session! He is my best friend, and the greatest coach. He helps me take my BJJ game to another level.

I also go to New York to train at Marcelo’s gym a week or two before I compete. Nothing prepares me like being in my hometown training with the best in the world. There are some awesome women as well who teach me a lot!

Is there anything else interesting you want our readers to know about you?

BJJ changed my life! I lost 80 lbs doing what I love, and I owe every bit of my happiness to the mats!