Pellegrino’s Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Academy Purple belt Andrea Jordan recently won her Fight to Win Pro bout via arm bar on August 5th, but it wasn’t her first rodeo–she also took home a W earlier this year for the promotion.
Initially intrigued by Miesha Tate’s and Ronda Rousey’s fight, Jordan says, “After I watched them, I was interested in fighting MMA and a friend recommended starting in JiuJitsu. I fell in love with JiuJitsu and competing. In order to be the best competitor I could possibly be, I decided to focus just on grappling.”
While her sights are now set to transitioning to MMA, Jordan credits JiuJitsu with her life.
She says, “JiuJitsu has changed my life in such a positive way. I used to have really bad anxiety until I started training. I learned that I can apply what happens when I’m in bad positions in JiuJitsu to everyday life–if I freak out because I’m in a bad position I will get choked right away, but if I stay calm and problem-solve, I will be okay. I started to use this in my life and I became much more calm and happy. Still today, if something overwhelms me I imagine that I’m on the mat and it helps me.
It came to me in a time that I truly needed it the most. It helped my anxiety and gave me something to love so deeply that my depression would never get the best of me; it saved my life. It has been what has helped me fight my demons. It was my reason for being here when I felt like I had no other reason. I will always be so grateful for how JiuJitsu has helped me better myself and my life and for the people I’ve met along my journey so far. I will train for as long as I possibly can because of my love for JiuJitsu and to give back to the beautiful art that gave me another chance at life to become a better person. I’d also like to hopefully help other people along the way that may have felt the way that I used to feel.”
No stranger to being a woman in a highly male-dominated sport, Jordan found herself excelling at wrestling and ice hockey while she was growing up.
“It can be challenging being one of the few women on the mat and I’m usually the smallest,” she says. “But being a smaller woman made me become more technical as I haven’t been able to depend on size and strength. There can be times that you can have better technique than someone, but if they are a 200+lb man it can still be hard to finish a submission if they are using all of their strength. I see this challenge as a way to become even better at JiuJitsu. Another reason why I would never quit is because I feel I am able to inspire smaller people that they can beat larger opponents also.”
Photos courtesy of Shawna Rodgers (@shawnarodgers, shawnarodgersphoto.com)