Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Sierra Brown is a 25-year-old veteran, radiography student, and mother to a 3-year-old boy. "Oh, he loves that I train MMA," she said, "he'll definitely be training here when he turns 5!" Sierra joined Pura Vida in early January 2021 and dove right in. "I've been interested in MMA since I saw [UFC Fighter] Dominick Cruz on the Joe Rogan podcast. I started watching fights and thought, "yeah, I want to do that.'" After her cousin, Dre, a member of the Pura Vida BJJ fight team, invited her to try a class, she was hooked. "I actually ended up in one of the advanced BJJ classes by accident, but no one made me feel embarrassed or out of place. They just helped me with the drills and made me feel welcomed. That same evening, someone put me in a triangle choke just so I could see what it felt like. It was intense! I wasn't expecting it to be that intense but it was actually pretty awesome to experience it right away." Since then, she's been training regularly and advancing in her skills quickly; Mixed Martial Arts has become a real passion for her. "If I don't get to make it to a class, I get super crabby," she laughed, "so I make it to class as often as I can." She also recognizes how important her training is in terms of her future. "I certainly can see fighting as a career. I want to fight a LOT. Women have a lot of opportunities in this space." Her membership here has also greatly helped her further her general health and fitness goals and the community and atmosphere are a big reason that she's loved attending classes. "Everyone is really positive, they all give pointers, and I haven't met anyone who has a chip on their shoulder or a mean-spirited attitude. The coaches are really great - you get a lot of individual attention and instruction and they meet you at your level." It's been especially refreshing for her, as a woman, to find this kind of environment in an MMA gym. "I had read reviews on other gyms and was a little nervous about it," she said, "but there's a lot of professionalism here and a lot of respect in general. I don't feel like I’m treated any different because I'm a woman. And the other women who train here are all awesome - everyone's just cool." What would be her words of advice to someone considering the gym? "Definitely come in and give it a shot! The coaches will help you and guide you; I didn't even know how to throw a punch in January and now I can't see my life without this!"