Student Spotlight: Nicci

How long have you been with Lightning Kicks and what made you decide to start?

  • I started Jan 2020. My interest in martial arts started 5-6 yrs prior to that when a friend suggested BJJ as a means to protect myself. It took me that long to get up the courage to go by myself.

What do you do when you’re not at Lightning Kicks?

  • I train/ride my horse several days a week

  • I hunt and fish year round here and out of state

  • I’m a big DIY-er around the house and a furniture/decor “flipper”- I love taking old things and turning them into something new.

  • I have 3 sons who think I’m cool sometimes and from a distance…and maybe only when friends aren’t around. “Stay in your lane, mom.”

When did you realize that Jiujitsu/MMA is right for you?

  • The first class- I was immediately hooked. And it just keeps getting better. It’s the mental challenge coupled with the physical part for me. It doesn’t take a lot of mental skill to squat 200# (dedication and motivation, yes), mostly strength. Sweeping a 200# man takes a little strength but mostly mental skill- patience… wait for it…he’s gonna slip up…..and now he’s off balance, GO! (Imma a buck forty and 5’2”, I thought it was pretty cool.)

What were your thoughts after your first class?


What is your favorite or least move jiujitsu/MMA?

  • Chokes are probably my favorite. The look of surprise when a dude realizes they may have to tap from my choke will never get old for me.

  • I think take downs in MMA are my least favorite. I’ve had several falls from a horse with subsequent concussions. I’m head shy now. And I’m old. It hurts. :)

What is the one thing you have done at Lightning Kicks that you never thought you would do?

  • Look forward to rolling on the mats with sweaty strangers I’ve never met. And it’s never been weird, lol.

What motivates you during a tough workout?

  • My other teammates. No one gives up and everyone is crazy supportive of everyone else.

What’s your favorite thing about Jiujitsu/MMA?

  • It’s life changing. Physically and mentally.

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

  • I’d like to compete at least once in the next year or two

  • I love pad work in MMA- I have no plans to compete but would love to learn to be a legit training partner for someone who was

How have you seen yourself change - mentally and physically since joining Lightning Kicks?

  • Absolutely. Physically, I am much better conditioned and BJJ/MMA has been a good compliment to my regular gym lifting routine. Mentally, I am able to push through uncomfortable situations (in a physical and mental space, if that makes sense) that I would not previously have done. (Two incidents that come to mind are a hunting trip out west and a recent fishing trip down south. I didn’t give in or give up.)

What impact has Lightning Kicks had on you in and out of the school? I have more confidence in myself. My “inside voice” is starting to match my “outside voice”. Do you have any advice for people just getting started at Lightning Kicks? Keep showing up!!

Southwest Michigan’s home for the martial arts since 2001 || #lightningKICKS || • #BJJ #bjjlifestyle #bjjlife #kalamazoo #kalamazoobjj #portage #portagebjj #jiujitsu #kalamazoojiujitsu #mma #mmafighter #mmatraining #womensselfdefense #mmalifestyle #kalamazooMMA #taekwondo #selfdefense

60 views0 comments