We took the time to catch up with Savannah, one of VHTS sponsored ninjas, to see what's she's been up to and to know more about her.
So Savannah tell us about yourself and how you got into BJJ.
My name is Savannah Alonso, I am a four stripe, yellow-black belt who has been training for 3.5 years. I started BJJ by accident! I signed up for what my mother thought was a self-defense class at our local YMCA.
"A woman in a man's world", in a martial art and sport like BJJ with mostly male participants did you find it hard to start training? did you get much support at the start?
Occasionally, I find it challenging to be a girl in a male dominated sport. When I first started training, it was really hard because there weren't many other girls or women who trained with me. I was the only girl in my YMCA class, and the first girl in the academy I joined shortly thereafter. Luckily, I got a lot of support from my family and my professors. Sometimes, I come across men who don't think women should be a part of this sport. It used to hurt my feelings, now it just inspires me to be even better.
So tell us what was it like when you first started to step on the mat and started to train. Scared? Excited?
My very first time training was scary! I was so nervous that I was going to get hurt and squished. I did get squished, not hurt, but I wanted to learn more. I was hooked after my first class. (aren't we all?)
And how about your first competition? did you still feel scared?
The first time I competed, I was terrified! I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, couldn't talk! I didn't want to grapple in front of a crowd and I doubted my abilities to win against another girl since it was the first time I rolled against another girl! I won that competition, and I've won since then, but I still get as nervous as I did that first time.
Do you have a favorite submission or sweep you like to pull?
My favorite submission is triangle. Longer legs make it an easy submission for me to hit. My favorite sweep is the double ankle pick.
How about that KRYPTONITE move, be it a sweep or submission, in which you find yourself getting caugh in?
Unfortunately, arm bar submission is my kryptonite. I have a bad habit of leaving my arms open when I roll. Luckily, I have gotten good at escaping arm bar and I don't leave my arms open as much, but it's still something I have to work on. Double leg takedown is also a weak spot for me. I get stuck in them more than any other takedown.
So what do you like about being sponsored by VHTS?
I am honored to be sponsored by VHTS. I was stoked when I got my first VHTS gi! First of all, the name "Very Hard To Submit" is probably the most clever name in all of the BJJ gear world. Everyone wants to be VHTS! Also, VHTS kimonos are hands down, the best gis I have ever trained in. They are comfortable, extremely well made, great fitting and stylish. Their spats and rash guards are great too! They don't roll up OR down and they always make a bold statement. I am proud to be sponsored by VHTS and am excited to represent them any way I can
Somethng else you'd like people to know about you or VHTS?
Something else I think people should know about VHTS is that Gi Tak is inspired by high fashion, and it shows in the quality of his kimono and no-gi gear designs. They are designed thoughtfully, with attention to detail and functionality. VHTS is the best bjj gear out there.
Something else that people might not know about me is that my family moves around a lot and I have trained with 6 professors in 4 different states in the 3.5 years of my training.