Valentine’s Day, a long-awaited holiday for lovers, is here! It’s a feared day for single people who feel the pressure to have a significant other as their Facebook feed is blowing up with pictures of flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and the cheesiest messages between the most “amazing” couples.
The roots of Valentine’s Day date back to ancient Roman times, to a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia. Later the church chose mid-February for St. Valentine’s Day in order to Christianize the celebration. It wasn’t until the 1300s that the holiday became definitively associated with love and romance. By the 17th century the people in Great Britain had begun the tradition of exchanging cards and letters.
Modern Valentine’s Day cards bear little resemblance to the intricate paper confections made out of hand cut lace paper, decorated with ribbons, cupids, hearts, flowers, and calligraphy. Handwritten notes that were replaced with mass-produced cards in 1900s are slowly being taken over by e-cards and text messages. Red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and jewelry are the most popular gifts among couples. Kids in school give out valentines to everyone in order not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Teachers are now the number one group of people receiving valentines.
What started as exchanging of cards has become a commercial holiday of epic proportions. Chase Blueprint Valentine’s Day survey concludes that women will spend around $ 71.00 and men around $ 100.00 on gifts this year. The survey also concludes that 2/3 of men would like to have sex instead of receiving a gift on Valentine’s Day. However, an independent study challenged the results, and determined that number to be 10 out of 10.
We are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a gi giveaway, and are inviting all husbands, fiancés, boyfriends, and partners to tell us about the great lady in their life. Tell us three good things about the love of your life, tell us why she rocks your world. Tell us why she is special and should win a Fenom gi. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that is okay too. What’s better than a gift from a secret admirer? Are you single? No problem, have your best friend submit an entry. Be creative! The best entry wins a free gi!
David Smith said:
I fell in love with my wife over 20 years ago. She is the love of my life and my best friend. For the last 20 I have been at her side sharing the good time and the bad, laughing and crying, growing and learning.
She has always stood beside me in the choices and I have made and has been the voice of reason when I loose my head.
She is my back up she is my cover. In times of crisis I know she will be there. I don’t have to worry when facing the day because I know I have someone that will go through it with me.
She is my rock. I watch her everyday wake the kids for school, feed them, dress them and take them to catch the bus. She then goes to work and does what she does. I could not even imagine doing her job. She then comes home and immediately goes with me to take the kids to bjj practice. When we return home she does homework with the kids. After dinner she helps them bath and brushes Eve’s hair, which is a huge job. She then tucks them into bed and then she the household chores.
She is an excellent mother to our kids. She places herself second to them and the things they do. She is there for every BJJ tournament, play, school open house, teacher conference or what ever may come up.
If we win or not I just really want her to know I love her and that I am grateful for all that she does.
I love you Alli!!!!
Thomas Torres said:
Let me start off by saying I definitely don’t deserve to be married to my wife. I have put her through hell and back and she stuck by me through it all. She deals with my random purchases (mostly gis) and supports my training probably more than she’d like to. I’m glad she’s finally joined me on the mats and she loves her first gi which is a Fenom. She would be freaking stoked to have another one and even though she hates gifts and surprises (she would rather just have a day to relax) I know she would appreciate it probably more than anything else I could get her. Please help me show my wife how much I appreciate her by being able to support her on her journey the way she has supported me. Plus she really looks hot in a gi!
Nathan Roberts said:
She is kind & thoughtful, supporting me & our dreams every day.
She makes everyone happier just by being near her because she radiates joy.
She is a white belt so she struggles every class but she keeps trying and her face when something clicks could light up a room.
Hi all, thanks for the opportunity to enter this contest!
It would be easy to talk about how beautiful she is, or how smart, funny, etc…but I’d rather talk about the things that make me deeply reapect her:
1. The thing I admire most about my wife is the single minded focus and drive that she brings to everything she pursues. When she started training Bjj, she knew exactly what it would take to get good at it and decided she was going to do it. She works hard, she doesn’t make excuses and she pursues skill with a relentless confidence. She has her bad days training, like anyone else, but she knows she loves training and dives head first onto the mats every day she can.
2. She’s the most humble person I know. She is extremely confident in many ways, but she has this rare sort of humility that allows her to look at herself, question herself and change what needs to change. She is confident enough to know that she’s not perfect. She’s perfect because she knows she’s not but always does what she needs to do to improve herself. If there’s something we argue about, she’s strong and humble enough to look at herself honestly and change what needs to change. Frankly, this inspires me to be less childish and follow her example and it is a big reason that our relationship is so wonderful after 11 years of being together.
3. She doesn’t let the world push her around. She spent 13 years working in professional kitchens which is a male dominated industry not for the faint of heart. She has dealt with all the kinds of b.s. that come along with that and she chose to use that to make her stronger. She brings that mentality to Jiujitsu. She doesn’t make excuses about size, strength, gender or belt level when she rolls. She’s there to train and get better like everyone else. She doesn’t accept that she might not be able to make a technique work because she’s a blue belt rolling with a black belt. She doesn’t accept that someone might be stronger than her, or bigger and heavier, or faster. She just sees a problem and works hard to fix it. I admire her will.
All this and she still manages to be beautiful, sexy, smart and the most warm hearted, funny person I’ve ever met I’m a lucky man indeed!
-Josh Vogel (email is firstname.lastname@example.org)
Website is http://www.theslothreport.com
Johnny Woodrow said:
The strongest, determined, most inspirational Woman I have ever met. My wife Kimberly Woodrow. Kim and I met in junior high. At the very young age of fifteen, (yes 15) Kim gave birth to our first daughter. Kim devoted her whole life to our little girl and our relationship.
At 17 Kim became pregnant with our second daughter. It was time for me to take some responsibility, we got married. Two more beautiful boy’s were born all before her 22 birthday. We have been married now for 13 years. Kim has raised our children as I have pursued better carriers to provide for my family. I was away training for 6 months and Kim was brave enough to take in her 2 nieces,(ages 2 and 1 month.) So 6 kids at home, no husband around to help and having a full time job, Kim did it alone. Fast forward 5 years and I’m home again working in the area. Our kids began the awesome art of jiu-jitsu We watched on the benches for 1.5 years then Kim took the plunge. First Muay Thai then came jiu-jitsu. Kim trains weekly and also helps with the kids class. What a wonderful role model for our children. She has given me 4 beautiful, bright children. Being together for over 16 years now(more than half our lives), Kim is more than my wife. She is my mentor, workout partner, training partner, counselor and my best friend. Kim has given so much of her childhood and adult life for our family. Always putting her dreams on hold and making sacrifices for us. Kim has fallen in love with training jiu-jitsu. I have never seen Kim so excited and eager to learn anything that makes her this happy. All of this is why Kim is so special to me and COME-ON 4 kids before 22. That is totally rocking my world! It’s now her turn to chase those dreams. So heads up on the MAT, she’s coming!!!
shon foreman said:
Well, I’m 40 years old now and my wife and I have been together since she was in the 6th grade and I was in the 8th. We have been together so long she has literally become a part of me I couldn’t live without. She is the air I breathe and the light that brightens my life. We have had tough times like everyone else but we always fix whats broken and move forward. I’m lucky to have found my soul mate so early in my life because it has given me just that much more time to spend with her. It feels so good to be in love every day of your life.
Raul Giraldo said:
my wife is (a) My best friend, she makes me laugh and gets all my dumb jokes no mater how crude. (b) My hero, she gave birth to my three children and no matter how outnumbered I am when she gets home she saves the day with a kiss a hug and a soothing word( I needed all three of those because the three young cannibals whom are my beautiful children smelled weakness in the air and I was not sure I could hold out against another round of ” Daddy why?”) And last but not least (c) My wife is beautiful mentally, physically and spiritually. Furthermore she is an ardent practitioner of bjj which is an interest I share. To put it plainly she is an epic BAMF!!!
Torrence Pfatenhauer said:
My wife Emma and I have been married almost two years now and have welcomed a wonderful baby boy Everett into our lives about a year ago. Like most newlyweds we have our struggles and are fighting to establish our family in a tough economy. Despite money being tight Emma was ok with me enrolling in bjj classes because she knew how badly I wanted to train. That’s just one example of her selfless nature. Emma gives and gives and hardly asks for anything for herself.
At the beginning of our marriage we discussed her desire to be a stay at home mom and agreed that that was what we wanted to do. Unfortunately circumstances have made that financially impossible. Emma without hesitation has began driving 45 minutes away to work and staying at her parents house out by where she works just to save on gas. I miss her terribly every time she’s gone.
Emma is an athlete by nature playing softball and basketball for Southern Virginia University in her college years. She has never ceased to stay active and takes on any physical challenges she can. To my surprise she has begun training in bjj with me. Each morning that we can we pack up the portable crib and our gear and head to the gym where we get to roll and drill with eachother while out baby boy watches from the sidelines. Bjj is our family time and Emma has gotten pretty serious about it.
Watching her train and try a sport that is so drastically different from anything she’s ever done before has really opened my eyes to her other great quality: determination. Emma gets frustrated at times with techniques and injuries and yet she jumps out of bed at 5am the next day to try again every single time. Emma doesn’t know what quit means and she’s shown that through her struggle to graduate from college, to support me, to provide for our family, and in every aspect of her life.
Although there is so much more I could say I will end by saying that Emma is the most loving person I know. She loves me deeply despite my flaws. She loves our son and devotes countless days and sleepless nights to raising him. Without her my life would be utterly miserable.
I actually just got her a Fenom kimono for Valentine’s day that I am going to surprise her with because she only has one gi to train in right now but I would be so grateful to be able to get her one more so that she could train comfortably. Please consider her as she is so deserving of it. Thank you
To me my wife is strong, loyal and dedicated (in addition to many other great attributes) to our family and to whatever she puts her mind to. I met my wife when she was 13 and I was 15. We went out all through junior high and high school getting married in 97. Her 10th grade year she got pregnant with our first child. Becoming a teenage parent did not prevent her from graduating high school. Since then we’ve stayed together and have 4 kids (19, 14, 9 & 5) For 22 years she’s always been supportive even during times when most would walk away. She’s stuck by me during times of addiction and alcoholism and has motivated me to clean myself up for the better. I’ve been clean for 15 years and there is nothing I could ever do to repay her for sticking by me and helping me become healthy. She did this all while still being able to maintain our home and kids making things look like there was never a bump in the road in the eyes of our children. There’s some people who go through life and aren’t as lucky to find that person who makes them complete. My wife not only makes me complete but she’s helped me become a better husband, father and person. Truly feel like the luckiest man in the world.
Michael Okeeffe said:
Catherine OKeeffe. I could write for days. In following with the rules here goes:
1. She is a dedicated wife and mother who works tirelessly to make sure our family is loved and stays strong.
2. She works as hard at the gym as she does at home. She will roll with people twice her size. And she will roll with kids that look up to her.
3. This may seem odd but the biggest reason she should get the GI is for me flooring in the living room she choose 2″ flex mats so we have a place to always roll even at a moments notice. That is what I call a perfect bjj wife and mom.
To have someone who constantly motivates you in life is a reward all into itself, but to have that person also share one of your passions in life, is a blessing. She is a role model both in and out of the gym and inspires everyone that comes across her path. Her path has taken her to Worlds where she competed as a blue belt. She worked so hard for this and was excited that she could compete at the highest level. She won her first match and was taking the whole atmosphere in, who wouldn’t at Worlds. She waited and waited for her next opponent, and it never came. Due to a event mishap, she was never notified and they moved ahead without her. For many this would be a heartbreaking,if not life altering moment. Obviously feeling some pain and frustration, she smiled and said’ At least I’m undefeated at Worlds”. That’s when you notice that smile and passion for this sport and realize its a way of life for her. It’s this passion that she brings to each and every day, her devotion to developing the women she trains with. I will admit this passion has allowed me to find my place and love for BJJ again. Hearing the excitement in the challenges she faces, makes me realize that we are never truly alone in facing our obstacles.Words alone will never be enough to thank her for that, it’s just one more example of why she inspires so many around her. With all of this talk of passion , it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention , she also brings a sense of family to those around her and the journey she has undertaken. She reaches out and organizes road trips for seminars, helping people raise money for entrance fees to compete, and posts pics on just about every social media outlet she can. So many days and weekends, she spends hours upon hours to help everybody out, and never questions it or asks for anything in return. There are so many reasons to admire her and so many more to be thankful for the way she chooses to live. I hope my words can offer her a small bit of praise, or recognition, just the same as her smile or perfectly time jokes. Jess, these three small examples only show the amazing choices you have made in life, Thank you for being you, please don’t ever change.
Russell Melmed said:
1. My wife challenges me to be a better person every day, inspiring growth in me that I never dreamed of even when we were walking down the aisle together so many years ago.
2. She loves hard, with a passion that I admit I could never match but continually seek to achieve so she can feel something close to how she makes me feel.
3. And WOW can she cook! Certainly another route straight to my heart.
Gabriel Martinez said:
Although I know there are many women who are very deserving of the Fenom Gi, I would love the opportunity to help my wife win the giveaway. We have been married for almost 9 years and my love for my wife has only grown with each year.
The number 1 “good thing” about my wife is her selflessness. Perla epitomizes what it means to put others before yourself. Nothing demonstrates this more than her commitment to become a stay-at-home mom. In a culture that really pushes prestige, career success, etc. she has set her personal ambitions and goals aside to devote 100% of her time to our kids. Some people may say this is a sacrifice, but she has never seen it that way. Becoming a 1 income family may mean she is not able to get that pedi/mani as frequent as she would like or that she is able to wear designer clothes, but she sincerely would have it no other way. She embraces the opportunity to take my daughter to school and hang out with my son during the day. It is not unusual to get home from work and find her on the floor with our son playing with his trains and cars. Although she does miss the regular adult conversation, she cherishes the play time with the kids.
Everyone with kids knows they can take so much energy and time, but the above does not even do justice for how she serves me. I work nights and she has this magical way of serving me while I sleep during the days. Just an example, she will check my car to see how much gas I have and go fill my car if needed so that I don’t have to leave to work earlier than necessary so I can spend a little more time at home with her and the kids before leaving for the night. This is just one of the many things she does for that make my life so much easier so I can focus on work and my role has a husband and dad.
It is difficult to narrow down 3 good things about my wife, but I think it’s only fitting to speak about her Jiu JItsu given the nature of the giveaway. We just started about 3 months ago at the encouragement of some friends, but we were excited because it was something we could do together. I am so proud of my wife. When people ask me what my wife does, it is with great pride that I say she is a stay-at-home mom (despite having a degree and having a successful career before we had kids). My wife is also an exceptional baker and I love taking some of her baked goods to work because I beam with pride when co-workers compliment what she has made. But, these do not compare to the sense of pride I feel when I watch my wife roll. We’ve just started so there is still a lot to learn, but her favorite technique is the armbar, and it is something she is getting good at it. I watch her sometimes and when she is able to get an armbar I can see her sense of accomplishment, but inside my thoughts are, “my wife is a badass.” I don’t let that show, but it so fun watching her excel.
Again, I know there are so many deserving women of this gi, but my wife really deserves something for all the things she has set aside for the good of others. I love you Perla so much and I hope Powered by She does too.
I met my wife back in 2008 when I first started training Jiu-Jitsu. She ironically also had trained prior to me starting so that was something we were able to share together. She eventually started training at the same gym with me. She has always been super supportive of my goals, traveling with me to out of town tournaments, giving me the extra training time and tending to our kids when I can’t be there, helping me nurse my injuries (plenty of those), the list really goes on. We attended Girls in Gi’s a couple times and a Hillary Williams seminar. She and I were able to connect with lots of other great people as a result and built some lasting friendships. She received her blue belt in 2011 and decided to take a backseat for me to train more and has been incredibly missed on the mat. We got married in February 2012 with a good group of Jiu-Jitsu friends in attendance. Even with her reduced training and role at the gym she hosted a Girls in Gi’s event in May 2012 at our facility that was well attended. I’ve been hoping for some time now that she would return to training so we could regain that connection on the mats that we once shared together. I think a new gi would be a great surprise for her and help motivate her to come back to regular training.
I have been married to my wife since 2007, when I started to train in BJJ. After having our last child she has decided to have a lifestyle change. On that list is to start training in BJJ. Winning a gi for her would be another way to help introduce her to the sport. At this time she has lost over 20 pounds with changing her diet and short workouts at the house. The three reasons that I love her is simple. She is caring of everyone and is willing to go above and beyond to help others. She is a fighter and has a fighter mindset, as she battles back from significant loses over the past six months. Lastly, she is wonderful mother and wife often taking a back seat to meet our needs. Thank you for this contest as a way to assist others in showing their love and appreciation for the one that they love. Ossu!!!!
Valerie Buchite. Aspiring stormtrooper, Marine and Bjj champion. But currently has to settle for being a geeksquad agent and my bestie. When I met her, for some odd reason she liked to run marathons, play soccer and wear ZTA shirts. I introduced her to BJJ, the Gracies, bruises and mat burn. Way more awesome, right?
We hit it off pretty well and she helped me through all my technological challenges. And I helped her become a serious mat rat. It’s truly a great thing to pass on the love of jiu jitsu and gis. She has always been a giving person.She goes on habitat for humanity trips to other countries, helped me with charity events and puts up with me.
Seriously though, Val always gives everything she has for anyone without expecting anything back. I think she deserves to have a little something special. If I write anything else I may embarrass her…happy valentine’s day. Even if you don’t win Val, you’re still special to us!
She does jiu jitsu
And is an awsome partner
A gi or no gi
Lisa G said:
Just wanted to give a shout out and contest entry to my friend, your fan, and BJJ enthusiast, Danielle W.
I met Danielle while I was training at Spa City Jiu Jitsu during one of my business trips. Her enthusiasm for BJJ and getting fit is truly contagious! When I met her, she’d recently made the commited decision to get fit, and enjoy the whole process. She is an incredibly positive training partner, and jiu jitsu is turning her into an athlete.
Danielle is a great example of somebody who is willing to take the bull by the horns and do all the work to reach her goals with a smile on her face.
Happy Training Danielle!
Lisa is my very first Jiu Jitsu female training partner and friend! Here in the northeast it isn’t easy to find any female faces on the Jiu Jitsu mats and Lisa was the first girl I saw when I started training seriously. The reasons she should win the gi? Easy….
1) She instantly shot me a smile and an introduction and made me feel completely welcome at a school that was dominated by men. She went way out of her comfort zone at being a welcoming wagon for me and I can’t begin to tell you how much it means. This woman who I outweigh by probably 50 pounds never flinched or worried about training with me. She left our school to move back to Oregon not long after we met but we stay in touch and I honestly don’t know if I’d have made it through that first class without her!
2) She’s an inspiration and a motivation to women everywhere! She’s a woman out there dominating in typically male dominated areas of life. She’s an athlete (Parkour, Jiu Jitsu, Cross Fit….you name it she’s done it and done it well!!) She’s an engineer. She’s a globe trotter. She white water rafts and takes risks to see things that most people will never in their lifetime see! She’s unapologetic in her independence and fierceness. She does it herself. She doesn’t require a prince or a knight in shining armor. She values the people who touch her life, but she’s in control and isn’t sorry for not being a weak woman. She truly is a fierce female.
3) She entered this contest for me. She read a comment I made on the fenom facebook page and entered to win me a gi. There’s absolutely no reason in the world that she would need to do that, and yet she did. To thank me for making her smile in Jiu Jitsu. She stepped up in true friendship and I can’t thank her enough. Maybe if she wins the gi, that would be a start in telling her how much of a wonderful friend and inspiration she’s been and will be.
Frank Risler said:
I’m having trouble limiting my partner in life Megan’s good qualities to only three to mention. Megan decided to go back to school for sonography after being laid off in her original field of graphic design. Because of her hard work and dedication, she earned a 4.0 her first semester. She has sacrificed so much to do this, yet still remains a supportive and understanding partner in life. Megan is honestly the most giving person I have ever met. She is always willing to help others. She actually does me a favor every day that she is with me. Remaining positive during stressful times is not something everyone can do, especially when they are having health issues. Megan has a large uterine fibroid tumor that has caused her a lot of stress, pain, and discomfort that interrupted her Jiu Jitsu training, not to mention the threat of losing her uterus at only 30, and having no children yet. Over the summer we drove from Philadelphia to Virginia four times for her to participate in a clinical study on a new method to get rid of the tumor and save her uterus. So far, thankfully things have seemed to work after the treatment. These are just three of the many reasons I feel she deserves the Fenom Gi. I know that once she is done school she will proudly wear it when she hits the mats again.
Sean Foster said:
My wife, Sarah Jane Foster has never ceased to amaze me. Cliche and overused, I hope that my words can do justice to who she is and what she stands for.
1)Sarah is selfless. She uses vacation time to fly to south america to help premature babies in Guyana as a NICU Nurse. This cuts into her life in more ways than can be listed. She also opened up our first home together, willingly to my younger brother. Our parents just recently passed and Sarah never hesitated when they’re dying wish was that we take guardianship of my brother. She has never complained and treats him as her own. She rolls with everyone and never lets her ego distract from rolling or learning.
2)Sarah embodies courage. She started Martial Arts to lose weight and has shed over 50 lbs! Not only that but she has grown as a pillar of our school at Columbus MMA for her work ethic and commitment to not only bettering herself but everyone else as well. When she was diagnosed with asthma, she picked up her inhaler on the way to the gym for Muay Thai Conditioning. When one of the younger girls had a very rough match at the Arnold Classic, Sarah Jane comforted her and lead by example. She was terrified of BJJ because of a horrific personal experience and not only conquered those fears, but has since earned her blue belt in and actively brings home medals when competing. She recently competed in her first Submission only tournament and injured her back and hip in the Nogi portion. I was convinced she would sit out and cheer the rest of the CMMA Team on. However, I came back from my match to find her limping onto the mat for her gi match. She won by triangle and took second.
3)Sarah inspires through perseverance and work ethic. She has always made me drive to be a better man but to see what she inspires in others is the true treasure. She challenges and pushes people to find something greater than themselves, personally and professionally. It’s hard to put into words and accurately describe something so intangible as her passion but truly, to witness it, is a thing of beauty. From her dedication to Muay Thai even though her asthma steals air from her lungs, to the investment she has in the kids when they compete; She ALWAYS finds a way to turn negatives into positives.
Sarah already proudly wears your gis and patches and has been a driving force along with the other girls at our gym(Sarah S, Niki, Reagan, Marissa, Erica, Liz, Jamie, Raven I’m speaking fondly of you gals) for female BJJ in Columbus and Ohio. Any one of these women are considered some of the very best BJJ practitioners of our gym and FENOM would not go wrong with any of them. Thanks for the opportunity to brag and keep up the stellar work, Your stuff is great!
Rikki R said:
Without any doubt, my best friend in the whole world, Katie Egan, is the first person I think of for this contest! She loves BJJ, and does she rock it! It’s impossible to pick just three reasons for why she should win this gi, but the three I think of immediately are these. 1.) She exemplifies the strength that is inherent in all women. She’s been through it all; college, relationships, moving across the country – and she’s done it all with a beautiful daughter, my god-daughter. I can’t think of another woman in my life that could take every lemon that life throws, and make the sweetest tasting lemonade in the world. 2.) She’s the most caring person I know. She always puts others before herself, even if it means putting herself absolutely last. I hate when she does; it actually infuriates me, because seeing her hurt is painful. But she does it, and she does it with a smile, and she has never once let me hurt without being there for me. 3.) She is fierce. Everything that she does in life, including BGG, she does fiercely, proudly, and flawlessly. What better way to put a gi to use than with a woman who will use it to promote her true nature? I love you, Katie!
Blaize Artigue said:
I first met my girlfriend, Claire David, whenever I was helping my dad teach his Judo class. She was a student in that class, (the only girl, I might add), and she looked adorable in her little gi! I immediately knew that I wanted to get to know this girl better. We were dating three months later 🙂
As I got to know her better, I realized how lucky I was to have her not only as a girlfriend but as a Judo/BJJ training partner as well.
1) She is very serious and passionate about training– on days when I am being lazy, she motivates me to get on the mats and train.
2) “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” It is inspiring to watch her train, because even though she is often the smallest person on the mat, she tries her best to refrain from getting discouraged and keeps at it anyway.
3) She has a great attitude about the sport. I love helping her learn new techniques, and she often reminds me of why I fell in love with the sport in the first place.
My girlfriend and I agreed not to get each other Valentine’s Day presents this year to save money and because neither of us are very into the stereotypical “lovey-dovey” Valentine’s Day gifts. However, whenever I saw this special offer, I knew that this would be the perfect gift for her, and I would love to surprise her with it.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Sean Dawson said:
Thank you for the opportunity to express my love and adoration for my amazing wife of 13 years. My wife Adrien is a wife, mother, friend, Episcopal priest and fierce BJJ practitioner. Her capacity for love and compassion towards humanity leaves me humbled and awed. Whether she is with parishioners for the life defining moments of their lives, assisting the less fortunate in seeking a better life or expressing her faith to our community, she embraces everyone in a loving, open and authentic manner; it is humbling to see such a genuine person. My wife also has an amazing capacity to embrace life and seek out new experiences. I am of a cautious and conservative nature, she is risk taker. Many of the most memorable and precious moments of my life would not have happened had she not taken the first steps and then held out her hand for me to join her on the adventure; of that I am sure. I love her for helping me be more that I was, and helping me see who I can become. Finally, the totality of who she is just does it for me; corny I know but true… Her abilities as a mother, her sense of humor, her smile and the way the skin around her eyes scrunches when she smiles, her physical nature (mean guard, wicked arm bars), that she likes to hold my hand when we drive together and many other things all make me wake up in the morning knowing that I am the luckiest man alive.
Love you honey!
Rachel is, simply, awesome.
Without her I wouldn’t be where I am – professionally, emotionally, in Jiu Jitsu, and in life in general.
She’s driven – she had her first amateur MMA fight after 12 weeks of MMA training (although she’d been training BJJ for 18 months or so before that).
She’s beautiful – looks awesome in a gi, in her work clothes, and first thing in the morning
She’s smart – she likes to read about crazy things like string theory and other sciency stuff that I can’t comprehend just for fun.
She’s funny – she has a quick wit and can make up a hilarious story on the spot
She’s so much more… she’s the best person I’ve ever known.
Jini, the Ninja, my in-house martial arts specialist. The list would be endless if I have to put down everything about her. Anyway, here is the top of list.
1. She is a woman of exemplary strength and character. Never have I encountered a person who is such a blend of talent and qualities. I constantly look up to her in times of desperation and gloom. She always has uplifting words for me, has a never say never spirit, the only kind of energy drink Im used to now.
2. She is unbelievable when it comes to commitment. I get personally inspired by her everyday looking at how much she is committed to the art she loves. Rain or shine, she is ready for her BJJ session everyday. She has taught me what it means to be hardworking and sincere to an activity. She is the only reason I have learned to be regular with my own physical exercises. I see the same excitement she had on her face as the the first day of BJJ.
3. She has this uncanny knack of being playful and responsible at the same time. I constantly admire how she is able to mix the two sides of her personalities so well and be liked by everyone she comes across. She can go to her sweet kiddish playful nature and swing back to a mature responsible person in no time.
P.S: BTW, she is a big fanatic of Fenom products and owns multiple gis from you. She ll be extremely delighted to get a Valentine’s day gift from Fenom.
george castansa said:
Well I can’t really compete against 20 years of marriage or raising six kids which to say are amazing and wonderful feats would be a complete understatement. But let me tell you about my girlfriend anyway, because I think she is pretty phenomenal. First, where I am an immovable object she is water, and can flow in, through and around problems that I find nearly impossible to overcome with ease. She shows me a different way to do things almost effortlessly it seems, helping and at times forcing me to grow. Since we have been together her tenacity and drive for the art that we both love has helped me find an even greater commitment to Jiu jitsu. This has brought its own rewards and continues to help me grow in our art. Not that I’m gonna be some kind of phenom or anything. But for most of us it is our journey in this art that counts and mine is definitely fuller thanks to her being a part of it. Finally she is a bit of a phenom at blue belt winning most of what you can win in the Midwest in gi and No gi. On top of that she has put other opportunities on hold to dedicate herself to training and is making ends meet with the free time that she has. I find her pretty amazing and am simply glad she is now part of my life.
Good luck to everyone. It was nice to read some positive and joyful comments on a discussion board. Sounds like we can all agree we’re lucky to have found someone special.
These are some of the most beautiful comments one can wish for. Outstanding!
Sandra McNairn said:
My beautiful daughter Anne McNairn is an inspiration to many people. As a teenager she made some really stupid choices but she has turned her life around and has become an amazing young woman. Anne has travelled the world extensively, working along the way. A couple of years ago she came home in August, applied, was accepted and started school in Ottawa. She has been on the Dean’s list every since. She also started training at the gym at school. She has worked very hard and she is very strong. She has fallen in love with Jujitsu and trains at least 3 times a week. Jujitsu has helped her focus on what she really wants from life. She doesn’t have a boyfriend or partner so right now, no one loves her more that her momma – and probably no one will ever love her more than her momma!
Tammy Rivera said:
I highly enjoyed reading these. Kudos to the men recognizing their ladies. Beautiful.
Mat S. said:
She is heart, she is love. She makes us all that much better.
I first met Kate when she was a Krav Maga student of mine. It was immediately noticeable that she was something, different than most students I’d had, though it was hard to pin down. She had immense heart, was driven to train like a mad-woman, and was game for near anything I threw at her. But that wasn’t it, really. A lot of great students bring that. There was something else.
She called me her Obi-wan, which I guess made her my Skywalker (Luke, never Anakin). Having her in class made me a better instructor – the sheer joy of teaching her was palpable, and watching her grow in skill level was always exciting. Though she’s later shared her moments of trepidation, when working on a certain technique, or with a certain training partner, watching her train you would never know it. She is always grit and determination.
When she started to train BJJ, I noticed her “something” even more. Often the only woman training with a bunch of “bros” and “dudes,” she is still so much heart. She will train with everyone. She is exactly what you want in a training partner – she is there to make you better, to sacrifice her body for your training (and so you always do the same for her). You can tell when she is having trouble with a technique – it’s the one she’s working on even harder.
But what really accentuates that “something,” that ineffable quality she possesses, is on the rare occasion she is absent from training. “Where’s Kate?” echoes through the somehow greyer gym.
She is a beautiful person, inside an out. She is a fantastic martial artist. But more than anything else, she makes us all better – that’s what I think is so amazing about her.
Joy Honeycutt said:
My training partner Lori.
She is dedicated. She opens our club up every Friday night so that people can drill and train. Even when she’s sick, she makes sure someone can open or she’ll come to open the doors then offer encouragement to the people on the mat.
She is a consistent and reliable training partner. That takes a special kind of strength you can’t get lifting kettlebells. We’ve been to many tournaments together. Laughed and cried at defeats and triumphs. Gone swimming in the ocean and eaten our way down the boardwalk to celebrate not a triumph or medal, but that we finished something we put in front of ourselves. No matter what happened on the mat, we crushed it. We’ve spent countless hours on the mat, at the diner down the street and in the car going to open mats and tournaments together. She doesn’t complain about how tired she is or how she’s hurt but listens when I do. I know I can count on her to be there for me as a friend and training partner.
She is compassionate. In her other life she is a social worker. She worked her way through school and then through one of the best, and hardest, grad schools out there. The population she works with is a challenging one, but she steps up over and over again to help people better themselves. She shares her wisdom and heart with her clients and her friends over and over.
I believe Lori deserves to be recognized for her dedication, strength of character, consistency and compassion on the mat and in all of her life.
I would like to say a few things about my girlfriend….her name is Deb. First off, I could really cheese-ball this up, feel awkward in telling you strangers about how I feel about her, how wonderful I think she is and all the incredible things she does, but I really would rather just tell you a little about her.
I will say this, we have been together for 12 years and although they may have not been the easiest 12 years of my life (lol) they have been everything I’ve ever wanted.
I live with a woman who gives her all to me, to her children and grand-children. We have always been her first. She would give anything up to make us happy and I’ve never heard her complain about any of the things she’s ever had to do, for anyone. She has gone without a lot of things to make us happy. That in itself is a lot of strength.
I’m always amazed at some of the things she takes on….working full time, going back to school full time, taking our grand-kids on the weekends, never missing a beat on what needs to be done. And now adding in BJJ. I always remind her of how smart she is and how much I love her.
I will tell you, when she started BJJ, I honestly thought there is no way she is going to be able to do this. I’m in no way being mean about it. But not being in our 20’s anymore and not being a real athletic person to start with…….I was thinking more she’s going to get hurt and that she must be going thru a life-cycle and just trying it out. I couldn’t have been more wrong. She loves it and I’m so happy she does. She gets so excited about the things she learns and the people she trains with. In the short time since she has started BJJ she has gained so much more confidence in herself. And a different kind of confidence that I didn’t see her have before. It makes me happy to see her finally doing something for herself, that she enjoys and is excelling so much physically and personally from it. There is a lot to be said about BJJ.
Deb is a wonderful person, inside and out and the backbone of our family. I could go on and on about her but honestly, I can’t pin it down to 3 good things about her or what would make her the most deserving of a Gi or anything else. My feelings are that you just have to know her and if you don’t, I’m sorry you really are missing out on one of life’s gifts.
John Ebanks said:
I met my wife 10 years ago in college. It was the happiest day of my life . We are both respiratory therapist and took all the same classes together and graduated on the same day. Nine years ago I began my Bjj journey. Like many of us Bjj became my addiction and my wife supported me every step of the way . Through injuries and mental blocks she has always supported my passion for jiu jitsu . Four years ago she decided to give Bjj a chance . Since then we share the same addiction and it has made our relationship / marriage stronger than ever . Erica is a blue belt 3 stripes, Multiple naga and ibjjf winner I am proud to hang my medals next to hers. She works full time , takes care of her husband in every way , she is beautiful and still aspires to be a Bjj world champion one day. I am the luckiest man in the world . Happy valentines day Erica I love you!!!!
Several years ago, I stumbled across a website for a BJJ studio that was only 10 minutes from my house. Only weeks prior, I had moved in with my fiancé. I mentioned it to her and she was all over it – practically more so than I was. I didn’t give it a second thought because my wife (we’re now married) has always been such a focused individual. However, I did question how long her interest would last. I felt that all of the other things we have to do in life would be too much of a pull and lure her away from BJJ.
Boy was I wrong! I became extremely proud of her as she showed a dedication, genuine interest, and even a bit of grit in her training. My proudest moment came when watching her, and keep in mind this is a woman who had never competed in anything in life, go to a state wide competition and dominate. She ended up bringing the gold home that day. I competed the same day and ended up getting sixth, but there was no way in the world I would let that interfere with her, and eventually our, celebration. It was days like that where I learned I had the best training partner one could ask for.
I’m also extremely proud of my loving wife for bringing a woman’s touch to the studio. My wife has the ability to get anyone, even the socially withdrawn, to engage in a conversation. A bunch of tough, grizzly guys will spend an hour talking to her. It amazes me how I can go for one extra roll at the end of training, and she can be sitting with a handful of students and make each one laugh. You can tell when someone’s had a bad day, yet somehow she can converse with people and they literally look like a new person. I’ve always been envious of her ability to do that….as well as her two medals that rest on our bedroom dresser!
Jiu Jitsu has clearly brought my wife and I together. Besides having a roll every night to see who does the dishes, my wife’s personality has allowed me to make a lot of good friends from my training. I’m too much of an introvert to open up to people, but her delicate yet strong nature allows me to feel more comfortable in my own skin. Many of these training partners were at our wedding!
My wife still has the strength to practice Jiu Jitsu while I finish my graduate schooling and try to open my business. All of these things in our life sure are stressful, but she keeps training strong. And better….because she’s starting to catch me more and more!
I thought she would last a couple of months, and here we are two and half years later, still going at it. Writing these words has made me realize what a strong, caring, and loving wife I have. Perhaps now I should tell her this in person.
Lori Latimer said:
I am honored to nominate my ace and training partner, Joy. Here are my three reasons:
1. Her willingness to try the unknown: Joy did not grow up playing sports. As an adult, she decided to take up jiu jitsu to learn some self-defense. She’s had to push away any doubt she’s felt about what her body can do. She will try anything. I’ve seen her confidence and ability grow and grow, and it’s been inspiring for me in my times of insecurity.
2. Her diligence: Joy treats jiu jitsu with the studious care it deserves. Her learning does not stop once she steps off the mat. Joy spends time studying techniques at home and takes care to develop strategies that may work.
3. Her ability to be a part of a team: Sure we compete alone, but we don’t train alone. We need our partners to make us the best we can be. Joy is one of those partners you can always count on. She will always be in class to do the work with you. More than that, Joy is an essential part of my club’s women’s team. She makes sure all us girls feel included and empowered. Joy is always the one to make sure all the girls know about the next open mat, organizes the rides to the tournament, and is always brainstorming about what we can do outside of class to make ourselves better.
I primarily train in judo, and when I started BJJ, I had lukewarm feelings about it. Since I began working consistently with Joy, my whole attitude about jiu jitsu changed. She showed me how to love the sport since she loves jiu jitsu so openly. Just that in itself makes me believe she deserves that gi!
Thomas Baxter said:
A Paean to Juliet
In life as on the mat, you set your hooks in tight,
And weather furious storms of life’s spastic might.
You fight for grips and breathing room from customers whose
Actions terrify the biggest four-stripe blues.
Yet gentleness is the base of your touch and smile,
Bestowed upon me when I tap to life most vile.
Sweet be your kiss, soft your eyes, with nose in books.
Tenacious your drive when fighting hard for underhooks.
Some times seem overwhelming when your belt is white
But I want Juliet beside me in this lifelong fight.
Thomas Torres said:
Damn not that I thought I was in the running, but if I was this would definitely knock me out of it. Haha great post sir!
Thank you for providing this opportunity.
Reading all of these post are very inspiring and well written. I now know for sure being a BJJ couple is as special as it feels.
Congrats to all the couples. We have all already won.
Your unwavering loyalty to motherhood, your ferocious care as a clinical provider, and deep desire to give all you can to the world around you (with a near reckless abandon) – are all easy targets for me to highlight as winning characteristics. Yet, it is in watching your Jiu Jitsu that sums your wonder and wild beauty the best.
You are the grace of a gale wind
The stalking patience of all the dreams and nightmares that circle waiting in the sea
You are the storm, the waves, and the ripples
The reflecting colors cast at rise and fall of the sun
As the moon is high, and the stars are set – you are the awe of the tide deep in those who wish to contain you, drowning in their last breath
You are feared.
With equal respect.
Only as a wild thing could.
Madeline Holden said:
My twin sister is one of the greatest ladies in my life. I am single and have never been married but having been born a twin I feel is the closest relationship to that of marriage. 1. My twin sister is the only one who knows the skeletons in my closet and my darkest confessions and yet she has never held judgement over me. 2. My twin sister has never stopped encouraging me to pursue my dreams and when I fall short or loose spirit she is the first to help me back up and start again. 3. My twin sister is the only who with whom I can truly BE my FENOMINAL, silly, outrageous self without fear of being laughed at or discredited for sharing my vulnerabilities. My twin sister, Adrienne Bradley (nee Holden) rocks my world!
Stay a while and let me tell you a story of love, laughter, and Jiu Jitsu. Vanessa and her boyfriend met in seventh grade and she was annoyed when she overheard him bragging to another boy about how high he could ollie on his skateboard. Fast-forward one year later and they’re best friends, until they inevitably hit it off in 10th grade. Vanessa was a tough girl, raised by loving parents and the only girl of three siblings. She was smart, funny, easy to laugh with, stunningly beautiful, thick shelled; naturally, it was not easy to break this shell, but once she let him in, their love flourished like a verdant valley. The two finished high school and college together, and eight years later, they discover this beautiful art called Jiu Jitsu. Well, Vanessa discovers it actually, and convinces her reluctant man to try a class. As an ex-wrestler, it caught like wild fire. On July 10th, 2012, a Jiu Jitsu couple was born! Vanessa’s first gi was a black Fenom kimono. Her expression was a mixture of pride, excitement, and utter cuteness. The star-crossed lovers received their blue belts later that summer, but sadly, Vanessa suffered an untimely and debilitating knee injury. Her boyfriend was nearby when he heard the loud snap that was the sound of his love’s knee bending in a direction no knee should bend. He looked to her lying on the mat, gripping her crippled limb, an expression of pain painted across her face. His heart dropped and his head swooned. He ran to her side and comforted her for the many moments she lay there. She didn’t shed a tear. When he carried her to the car, only then, in the quiet dark, did she cry. And it broke his heart. Vanessa and her boyfriend had been planning and saving for the last year to drop their lives and move 1800 miles to the Jiu Jitsu Capital: southern California. Having a heart made of the stuff most human hearts are not, she wasn’t going to let a knee injury slow her down. So the two moved to California, with nothing to their names, save for a couple of bachelor’s degrees and their undying love for each other. Unable to work for the last five months due to her injury, her boyfriend supports their dream by waiting tables in Hollywood while they both train day in and day out; he sharpens his Jiu Jitsu and she strengthens her knee every day for hours. Vanessa is teetering on the edge of recovery, and her boyfriend can think of no gift better to welcome her back on the mats than a brand new Fenom kimono.
With all the love in his heart,
Tony Tellez said:
I’ve only known my girlfriend Julia a little over seven months and she has already completed changed my world. So much so that I was willing to be away from my family in the U.S. for another year by extending my Army contract to stay in South Korea. Even after the Army said it wasn’t possible for me to stay she remained amazingly positive and supportive. She has been a real inspiration for me; she makes me want to be a better man, a better son, a better brother and a better father. She is beautiful, intelligent, funny, kind and caring. She teaches English in Seoul, she keeps up a blog, she trains BJJ four times a week and still manages to find to time to chat with me on Skype and make me feel like the luckiest man alive. She has worked hard to make where she is today in BJJ and I don’t know of anyone who is more deserving of a Fenom gi. Julia you are utterly amazing, I feel incredibly luck to have you in my life and hope to have you by my side for the rest of my life.
Alex Kennedy said:
Honestly if it weren’t for my wife I would die alone. I am a complete mess and my wife accepts be for who I am and that is 100% why I love her. It is very rare to meet someone who is not trying to change you. she will even often adopt the “if you can’t beat them join them” philosophy.
I started training 5 years ago and became completely obsessed with it. After four years she finally agreed to try a class. It took a while but after a few weeks she got caught by the bug, she even blogs about her experience.
so in a nutshell here are my three reasons of my hopeless devotion to her.
1. devotion to family…once we were married I quickly realized my wife was not interested in what I could do for her but what we could do for the family.
2. tolerance towards me…I will admit I am kind of a nerd. She puts up with me and my BJJ friends.
3. She is the smartest woman I have ever met.
4. surprise…nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition our key element is surprise and our hopeless devotion to the pope…our TWO key….ooops wrong sketch…and not for something completely different.
Frank Risler said:
Has a winner been announced?
Yes, it was announced on our Facebook page. Thomas Baxter was the lucky winner.