In this week’s RGLH member profile we feature our beloved Belinda Serrano. A brown belt with over 10 years of training, Belinda and her daughter Vicki joined us not too long after we opened, rejoining two former training partners (Prof. Mike & Mick) after visiting us during our grand opening with Master Renzo Gracie. She’s been an invaluable member of our team ever since, helping out as part of our coaches crew during kids classes and BJJ fundamentals.

You can catch Belinda being helpful at our academy on most nights, and we’re hopeful she will be part of our family at Renzo Gracie Lake Houston throughout the rest of her Jiu-Jitsu journey. With her passion for people and the amount of work she puts in, we can’t wait to see her with a black belt around her waist one day!

Thanks for talking to us Belinda. Tell us a little about yourself so your teammates can get to know more about you:

I am a 46-year-old Brown belt who has been training since 2008. I have been married for 29 years and I have two children, Vincent, a black belt and Vicki who is a brown belt. I also have 3 beautiful granddaughters. There is really not another hobby I do other than training. And if it is not training, it has to do with training. I try to live my life to the fullest. If I want to do something I do it. I like to be a all-around good person. I definitely try to treat others how I would like to be treated because I am a firm believer that energy matches energy. My goal in life is to leave as many happy memories behind as possible.

How did you get interested in training? Tell us about your history.

My children wanted to quit their electives in school, and I made a deal with them – they could quit if they picked up some other hobby. My son started in Muay Thai and soon after, my daughter in Boxing. I used to drive them all the way to Cypress so they could take class. When a jiujitsu gym moved to Baytown in 2008 we decided to enroll them there. After a couple of months of watching them I decided to join them. I felt I was there anyways and joining class was much more fun than sitting there waiting.  That’s how it really started; we have been training ever since.

What brought you to Renzo Gracie Lake Houston?

Two of the owners (Prof. Mike & Mick) and I use to be former training partners. In jiujitsu you become friends, and you never really stop being friends. you can be apart but there is always a bond made. I saw on social media they were having a grand opening and I decided to attend. The energy was awesome. I knew this place was for me, I didn’t make the decision yet but I kind of knew I was going to end up there. I couldn’t train because I had a knee injury but after watching a week of classes I knew that is where I wanted to continue my journey.  All the Professors and instructors bring their own style to teaching. They are each knowledgeable in their unique style and brings a lot to the table. I have seen a lot of jiujitsu, and I can honestly say I think Renzo Gracie Lake Houston has a lot to offer.

How has being a part of our school at Renzo Gracie Lake Houston impacted you so far?

In my personal life I have gone through a lot of losses. I don’t think I will ever be the same but every day I make it to the gym, the energy just takes over. And it is just about training.

What are some of your long-term goals?

My long-term goal is to keep working to be better each day. Training to me is a lifelong journey. There is always something to learn. And anyone can do it. I feel that some hold themselves back by their way of thinking because I most certainly did. I used to have 101 reasons not to do something. I still catch myself having doubts even now. It’s is a good thing I have awesome teammates and professors who support me and remind me what it is all about. They inspire me to keep moving forward. I hope to be the same example to someone else. It is always better to be a good example than a bad one. I want people to look at me and say if she can do it I most certainly can. I don’t lie to anyone and I don’t hide my setbacks. I want everyone to know it will be that way, that some days will be harder than most, but it is okay. All you do is keep going forward.  Sometimes thinking about how you are going to do if you return after a long hiatus and you not being at the same level as your teammates who stayed consistent gets in the way of training. I call that sabotage talk. Never sabotage talk.  Always keep positive and just train and everything else will fall into place. It is not a race it is a journey, and everyone is different.

You’re on the mats a lot. How do you feel about teaching and helping others?

With my teaching it has been quite an experience. I never thought it would be teaching children. Funny enough, I always made it a point to stay away from children because it made me nervous. I always thought, ‘what if I am not good enough.’

In training children, you are not just teaching them technique; you are also a part of molding their young minds, and I was nervous about that. It was a part of my sabotage talk. Well with the inspiration and support of my Professors, I have decided to help with the kids classes, and I love it. The children bring me a joy I never thought I would feel. They make me so proud and inspired with their eagerness to learn and their drive to become better. This in turn makes me better because I want to be the best possible person I can be because they are watching. I want the parents to know that for 1 hour a day their kids are in good hands with us. For that one hour, their kids will be looked after as if they were my own, and I will do all I can to teach them not only technique but to mold their minds and character into a positive direction. That is what I expected from the people who taught my kids, and I hold myself to the same standard.

What are your suggestions for someone who is just starting out in jiu-jitsu?

I know this is has been said many times but just start. Starting is the hard part, and then just keep going.

Why would you recommend Renzo Gracie Lake Houston?

Phenomenal instruction and the uplifting energy. All you must do is come by and one of those will definitely make you stay.

Anything else you would like to share with our community?

I am sure there is more, but I am not sure what to say right now other than I am thankful to be a part of the Renzo Gracie Lake Houston team.