Our fenomenal girls’ series continues with Maddie Sheng from Smithsburg, Maryland. She is 13 years old, loves art, animals, and jiu-jitsu. She is a straight A student and a great role model for teens. Everyone meet Maddie Sheng!
How did you get started in BJJ and how long have you been training?
My dad took me and my younger brother to try out a BJJ class as a summer activity five years ago. We liked it and have been training ever since. We train at Frederick Fight Club, under Vicente Junior, third degree De La Riva Black Belt. I train 6 days a week.
What is the best part of the training?
The best part of the training is learning crazy new moves, drilling them, and then putting them to use on the mat in sparring. I like to roll with different people, especially if they can help me work on my weaknesses.
You compete a lot. How many tournaments have you done so far and which one is your favorite?
Yes, I compete a lot. I have been competing since I was eight years old, so I’ve lost count of how many tournaments there have been. I usually do gi, no-gi, and girls’ open class so I get a lot of matches. I really liked flying to California to the Kids Pan Ams this year. I took bronze medal in teen 1 yellow belt division. However, my favorite tournaments are Junior Grappling Association events.
What is your favorite submission?
My favorite submission is the triangle!
Do you have any favorite BJJ ladies that you look up to?
I really look up to Emily Kwok. We try to go to Princeton BJJ any time we are visiting my grandparents in New Jersey, which is about 2-3 times a year.
Do you do any other sports or do you have hobbies?
I love to draw, and I love my pets! I have a dog named Abbey, a pot-bellied pig named Pugsley, and chickens. I also do judo and circuit conditioning training.
What do your friends think of jiu-jitsu?
They think it’s cool but I don’t think they really understand what I do.
What would you tell other girls who are not sure if they should try BJJ?
The best advice would be to try it! It definitely helps build your confidence. I see a lot more girls in jiu-jitsu now compared to 5 years ago.
How are you doing in school? What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m in Honors Classes and get straight A’s. After college I want to be either an artist or a veterinarian. I will still be doing jiu-jitsu, or course. 🙂
This is what Maddie’s coach Kendrick D. Stephens had to say:
Maddie is a very attentive and technical student, always eager to learn more. She has become increasingly more aggressive in the last few months, and is definitely a force to be reckoned with. After her next belt promotion, Maddie will be taking on a new responsibility to help guide new students with their BJJ development. Maddie has a bright future in BJJ!
This is what Maddie’s parents had to say:
Maddie is very humble. We have watched Maddie putting her opponent to sleep with the triangle choke but she doesn’t tell anyone that. After tournaments she does not call her friends to brag about how many boys she beat or how many matches she won. Her achievements are hers and she is content to keep it that way. We are very proud of the young lady she has become!