On November 25th I was hired to go to the Gracie Barra Centennial Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dojo and do an action photo shoot with some female athletes. These ladies were of all ages, they came from different walks of life and various schools located here in Colorado. They came together that day to showcase unity amongst the women in BJJ in Colorado.
I arrived at 11:30 a.m. and stayed until 2 p.m. During that time I saw that camaraderie come to life. These ladies worked out “rolled” for 6 minute matches for almost 3 hours, with only taking a sixty second break in-between matches. No matter what the outcome of the matches, or the belt ranking they wore, these ladies were nothing but respectful, helpful, courteous and kind to one another. What makes me say all of those things? Well, it’s for the fact that I’ve always worked with fitness athletes that are bodybuilders and I love being around them, however I’ve met, and seen some that really aren’t kind at all. The first word that comes to mind whenever I see the words, “Diva”, or “Pro” on a sash, or a social media profile is, “narcissistic”. No, I’m not saying all of them are, however I’ve met quite a few that take that word, “Diva” a little too far. It’s kinda like being in the military and you meet people who can’t handle a title, or position…yes, it happens a lot unfortunately.
Now on the flip side, I’ve met a lot of amazing, “down to Mars” bodybuilding pros as well. Those are my people! Kendra Pearson is one of those amazing bodybuilding pros is the one who contacted and contracted me for this shoot. We spoke about why she doesn’t want to go back into the bodybuilding arena, and how much her life changed when she walked away and found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The egotistical negativity definitely was one factor. She and her entire family now attend BJJ classes and compete in various tournaments.
Now back to the subject… (I got a little side-tracked).
The energy was really amazing within the four walls. Thankfully they allowed me to be like a, “fly on the wall” and capture their workout. Watching them was like watching poetry in motion. They’re fast, fierce, funny, and most of all fierce! I say funny because of one of the photos below, they just let their hair down and got goofy. That’s always a good thing when you’re a photographer. Being around people that make you feel relaxed, and not tense up because they need to look in the mirror every 5 minutes is awesome. These ladies came here to work. No makeup, no fancy clothes, no attitudes… It was all blood, sweat and tears, mixed with some hard work and motivation. Now, “That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh…”. To be honest, it kinda felt like being in a den full of lionesses and they were gentle, but could go lethal any time they wanted to.
Here are the schools that they represented: Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu, Greenwood Jiu-Jitsu, Kompound Training Center, Portela Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Easton Training Center - Centennial, Flo Life Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mile High Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Wilson Brothers Grappling, High Altitude Martial Arts, Easton Training Center Boulder. The listed schools are among the best here in Colorado. Close to me is Easton Castle Rock, and I’m very familiar with them and their highly professional staff as well. They unfortunately didn’t have a representative, but I just had to give a shout out to them too.
Here are some of the photos of them in full swing…Enjoy!!!
Thank you for your time.
Mike - (Instagram @MikeConPhoto)