Rising Jiu Jitsu star Katyanne Klitz locks a GOLD medal at this year's Honolulu Open under her blue belt after just 8 months of training. We stopped in for a quick chat with Katyanne to find out more about her, and how she focuses her training to keep her skills polished:
What first interested you about the sport of Jiu Jitsu?
I love sports, and I love staying active. I like to challenge myself in sport, life, work...whatever it is that I do. And once I get started in something and take real interest, I never go half way. I study it, drill it, perfect it. I do not get discourage when things don't work -- I push it, fix it, and move on to the next challenge.
What other sports have you been involved with?
I played soccer my entire life, since I was 4 years old all the way through college. I also enjoy snowboarding and water sports. I am not sure any of these sports necessarily translate into Jiu Jitsu skills, but I think knowing how to train, focus, eat well, and be a team player, help in many aspects of training and preparation.
Would you consider Jiu Jitsu to be a more challenging sport than others?
Jiu Jitsu is definitely physically demanding in a different way than other sports. I think particularly in soccer, I could get away with more mistakes and still play a spectacular game, whereas in Jiu Jitsu each and every mistake is an opportunity for your opponent to capitalize and end the match. Learning to recognize holes and closing the gaps seems like it will be a never ending process, which is why the sport is so addicting.
What do you find most challenging about Jiu Jitsu?
I think the politics of Jiu Jitsu is the most challenging aspect, especially as a newcomer. Also, as a female in the sport, there are additional challenges that you may face with extremes on either side of the spectrum.
Katyanne trains at American Top Team in Florida, and plans to compete as much as possible in local tournaments and upcoming monster tournaments like Mundials and Pan Ams in California. We look forward to catching up with her later on to check in on her progress. Good luck! And happy training.