Sophia Nordeno, BJJ and no Gi competitor and practitioner, shares how training has helped her become mentally tough as she elevates her status in the competition arena. Read her story below and follow her on social media
“Martial arts has saved me so many times. Not in a physical way but mentally. I’ve been practicing BJJ and submission wrestling for almost 15 years and no matter what I’ve been going through in life, such as physiotherapy school, heartbreaks, work, drama, self doubt- training was always what kept me going forward and what helped me cope with all the mental ghosts. I am originally from Sweden and was the second female to train at the gym I started at. It was tough I wont lie, gym was full of testosterone and trying to prove myself- as the smallest and youngest – wasn’t easy. I kept training and only 6 months in I did my first competition and realized that this is my thing, I loved it! The preparation, the planning, the fight. After that day I’ve been actively competing every year, some more and some less. I won the Swedish nationals in BJJ and in no Gi multiple times, and was chosen to represent the Swedish national team 2014-2017. Some of my biggest achievements are winning gold at World Combat Games 2014, and I won the ADCC trials in 2015 that gave me the opportunity to compete in the biggest no Gi grappling tournament in the world. The preparation for that competition helped me to elevate my game and today I am known for attacks of the legs and feet. I’ve been traveling all over the world for competitions, tournaments and seminars and grown as a fighter but also as a human, helping me to deal with myself.
I now mostly have been focused on super-fights and just recently did submission on the shore. Now I’m preparing for Mat Warriors on November 22th in San Diego where I now live since 4 years back, teaching classes and private lessons in self defense and BJJ/submission wrestling. I’m now proudly representing Honu BJJ so if you are ever in town, hit me up on social media @missgrappling and let’s train!”