Our fenomenal woman this month is Margaret Aase. Friends call her Magga, she a Norwegian professional MMA fighter and 2012 purple belt light weight world champion. She just celebrated her first professional MMA victory over Lina Eklund at the Rumble of the Kings in Sweden. Everyone meet Margaret Aase!
You are a huge celebrity in Norway, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started in BJJ and MMA?
I’ve always trained a lot and been a competitor. I started training self-defense when I was 8 years old, by the time I was 14, I wanted to compete more and focused on soccer for couple of years. Soccer was fun but I missed the martial arts and decided to go into sport jujutsu, which is a mix between karate and judo, and became the junior world champion in 2007.
Judo part of the training was always my favorite, in fact, I hated the ground game. So when I went to college in Oslo, I began training with the national judo team. Unfortunately soon after that I got sick with mononucleosis and had to stay off the mats.
I didn’t really get into jiu-jitsu until I went to Leticia Ribeiro‘s seminar in Norway, in winter of 2010. I had gone to Brazil with a friend a year before the seminar for some training and relaxing but I got the BJJ bug after seeing the finesse of Leticia’s technique. I was so amazed at the possibility of being that good and it really motivated me. I began to understand the basics a little bit more, and now I feel that the more I learn, the more fun it is.
BJJ opened the door for me to MMA. I was invited to audition for Norges Beste Fighter, which is Norwegian version of the Ultimate Fighter. I won my three fights and earned my first professional MMA contract.
I train every day and I train a lot! I’m so happy to have the opportunity to live a life like this. Usually I wake up around 8:30, do some cardio for 30 minutes, then have a quick breakfast. From 10-11:30 I work on my striking and kicks, after that I have lunch and relax for couple of hours before the evening training sessions. In the evening I do an hour of drills, MMA from 5:30-6:30 and finish my day with BJJ training from 7:30-9:00. After that I rest and do it all over again the next day. 🙂
Before tournaments and fights my schedule is a little bit different, depending on if I need to cut weight or not. Sundays are usually my rest days, but if I need to cut weight, I go for a run or do some drilling.
You’ve traveled around the world thanks to BJJ and MMA. What is your favorite place?
San Diego! It’s my home now, I love it. Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful place to visit but for girls who are serious about BJJ, nothing compares to training with Leticia Ribeiro and all the amazing Gracie Humaitá girls. And of course, Norway is a special place for me, I try to spend summers and Christmas time there.
BJJ for sure! It’s my heart. I like MMA as well, it gives me opportunities to make a living fighting. Both BJJ and MMA amaze me because it does not matter if you are young, old, short, tall, flexible, inflexible, skinny or chubby. You can make it your own sport where you make adjustments, make your own positions. There is no right or wrong as long as you have an answer as to why you are doing it, and both BJJ and MMA keep developing more and more.
What is your favorite submission in BJJ and no-gi?
My favorite submissions are bow and arrow choke and triangle.
In MMA, in the final of Norway’s Best Fighter this year, I armbared the Muay Thai world champion Fatima Pinto.
In BJJ my most memorable matches were the semi-final and final at the 2012 Worlds. I had all my coaches and team mates cheering for me like crazy. Felt so good to win! And as a bonus, three out of the four girls on the podium where from Gracie Humaitá team!
Who are your role models?
My mom and Leticia Ribeiro! My mom is such a great lady, first she didn’t like MMA but when the Norwegian Best Fighter auditions started, she was the one pushing me to go. She even flew to Sweden to watch my first professional MMA fight! I wear a special patch on my gis to show the love for my mom.
Leticia is my coach, mentor and idol. She believes in me, she’s taught me so much and made me a world champion! Without her I would not be where I am now. She is a great instructor and friend!