A Perspective Changing Photo


I just got done competing in my first open belt cash prize tournament. I had two wonderful photographer friends of mine come to take pictures and this is one of the first ones that has been edited so far. It kind of rocked my world.

It has always bothered me to some degree that I am not one of the cute, small, dainty looking girls. Sure, the majority of my psyche tells me that women come in different shapes and I shouldn’t let it bother me that I can’t fit my self into a particular mode… But I do have my moments when I mentally do just that.

When I saw this photo my first reaction was that I was going to just shove it away and pretend it didn’t exist. It definitely doesn’t fit into the mental model of what I should be.

Then I stopped myself.

I looked again.

It’s definitely NOT dainty.

But there is something else there. Something more important.

Actually there are two things. Both of which, I can thank the past two years of Jiu Jitsu training for.

1. Confidence
Seriously! I look at that picture and I see someone ready to take on whatever is thrown at her! Before Jiu Jitsu, I had trouble making eye contact and would get horrible anxiety when I had to be in crowds. Growing up, I always wished I could be this kind of confident!

2. Strength
Nothing little and dainty here! I look strong and fairly on the buff side.

This picture seriously brought me to tears. I’m an athlete, and I have a purpose. I realized “small, cute, and dainty” is not me, and that’s totally cool! My daily training has grown me into something different, and I kinda like it! Thank you so much to Janet Wohler for taking this photo!


That little tidbit aside, I had a good time at the tournament and won the cash prizes for Gi and No Gi. It is enough to pay for my plane ticket to Portugal in January for the European Championships! Yay!

My sponsors Raijin Fight Wear sent me a prototype of their Gi to test out for them, and it was a huge hit! Can’t wait for it to officially launch and for everyone to see the awesome detailing on it! I have to keep that under wraps for the time being, but it is worth the wait!

The Atlanta Open will be in a few weeks. I’m registering tomorrow, but there is no one in my division and they are at 70% capacity already. Plenty of feather weights, but no light weight love. I’m gonna hope someone is just waiting to see another name on the list!


4 thoughts on “A Perspective Changing Photo

  1. Jiu Jiu

    I’m very excited for you! I’m not sure which photo you’re referring to, though! Is it the one on the left, with the choke? or is it the one above, shown from behind, wearing the rashguard? They’re both lovely pictures, so I wasn’t sure.

    CONGRATULATIONS! This month I’ve been training in Virginia, and the school I’ve been training at will be heading to the Atlanta Open. I’ll be in Korea by that time, but good luck to you!

    • Nicholle

      Ha! That’s what I get for writing late at night! The photo I’m referring to is the one above, wearing the rashguard. I’ll change that photo on the side to help clear up confusion!

      Which school have you been training at?

      • Jiu Jiu

        I’ve been training at Jiu Jitsu Institute with Ben Eaton. It’s a Ribeiro affiliate in Yorktown, VA. Agreed–you are not small, cute, and delicate. For me, that looks frail. You look like someone strong and fit.

      • Nicholle

        Hmmm I haven’t been there before but the same rings a bell! Thank you for the kind words! It feels a bit weird since I didn’t expect a random blurb I scribbled out in a fit of insomnia to actually get read by anyone. That’s the internet for ya!

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