Mastery 2017

On April 30, 2017 I started testing for my second degree black belt in mixed martial arts and tae kwon do at Freestyle Martial Arts in Reno, Nevada.

Read about my first-degree test here!

Martial Arts Profile

I got my first degree black belt in traditional martial arts and my Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) blue belt at Freestyle Martial Arts in 2015. In the past I’ve tried all sorts of sports in my quest for health and fitness, like yoga and long-distance running. It wasn’t until my partner Jordan got me into Freestyle that I found a sport that I utterly loved with a group of people who would become my very close friends.

I get particularly excited about women in BJJ! It’s a sport that I never imagined trying that has benefitted me in so many ways in my life. My favorite move in BJJ is basically any sweep, because they are just so gratifying! My favorite non-BJJ martial arts move is definitely throwing elbows in Thai boxing — also very gratifying!

For my second-degree black belt test, I anticipate time management becoming my primary struggle. My first degree test really taught me what I was capable of, and in the following years I found myself taking on more challenges outside of martial arts. However, my drive to succeed with my family and career goals pushed my martial arts training to what I see in retrospect as the minimum for advancement. In jiu jitsu, I’m sad to admit that my progress completely flatlined as I was only regularly attending one class per week. I’m excited to reprioritize my martial arts for the next four months, clean up the cool techniques and forms I’ve learned as a black belt in the past two years, and start progressing again in jiu jitsu.


Class requirements

  • 40 martial arts classes
  • 20 sparring classes
  • 30 BJJ classes

Physical requirements

  • 1:25 quarter mile
  • 7:45 mile
  • 27:00 minute three-mile
  • 50 pushups
  • 20 tricep pushups
  • 45 situps (in one minute)
  • 4:00 static abs
  • 5 pullups or chinups
  • 150 squats
  • Palms to the floor hamstring stretch
  • 160° center splits

Skill requirements

  • 90 techniques and combos in the following categories:
    • Forms
    • Kicking
    • Self defense
    • Wrestling
    • Grappling
    • Thai boxing
    • Sparring

Personal Goals

  • 1:20 quarter-mile
  • 7:00 mile
  • 26:30 3-mile
  • 60 pushups
  • 30 tricep pushups
  • 55 situps in 1:00
  • 5:00 plank
  • 2 pullups
  • 200+ bodyweight squats
  • Hit 365 straight days of daily meditation (I’m starting the test on Day 297!)
  • Drop to BJJ women’s middleweight class

Training Schedule

  • Sun: Forms
  • Mon: BJJ am, MMA pm
  • Tue: BJJ pm, Sparring -or- Open mat
  • Wed: MMA am, BJJ pm and Open Mat
  • Thu: BJJam (private) -or- BJJ pm and Open Mat
  • Fri: BJJ -or- MMA am, Luke’s lessons pm, Sparring
  • Sat: Special Training, BJJ
  • Every day: Mindfulness meditation
  • 3-miler or intervals on Tuesdays, 1-mi on Saturday, other conditioning at least 3x/week at home. Rowing machine equivalents of running distances if I can’t run that week


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