She currently studies BJJ, judo and Muay Thai, and has only been training since February of 2010…yet she’s competed in numerous tournaments and won several trophies and medals! No wonder she wants to make this her life - this girl’s a natural!
Courtney initially started out training with the Gracie Barra gym in Garden Grove, but she now divides her time between training in BJJ at Cleber Jiu-Jitsu in Huntington Beach and MMA and MuayThai with Evangelista and Cris Cyborg.
To say Courtney is dedicated is an understatement, she goes to the gym 5 days a week for between 1-3 hours a day – after school of course! And guess what? She gets good grades – so maybe the whole issue of out-of-school-time, adult-supervised, physically-active programs for youth, at least in this case, holds true?!
All this work has paid off, and she’s started to not just gain momentum – but a fan base as well! If you want to join in and become a fan like I am, please read my interview below, and then click “Like” on her Facebook Fan page to follow her career. You’ll be able to say “I knew her when…”!
Katrina: Courtney – how are you; I’m so excited to interview you! You know you have a lot of fans, right? Everyone is impressed by how tough you are and your BJJ skills and they all want to know more about you! So tell me a little bit about yourself – for example: How old are you?
Courtney: I’m 7 years old!
Katrina: What got you interested in BJJ?
Courtney: My dad took me to a dojo and I watched them doing BJJ, and I thought it looked like fun! So I told my mom and dad I wanted to do it and they signed me up for classes!
Katrina: Do you do any other kind of martial arts or do you want to?
Courtney: I do judo, a little bit of muay thai and MMA!
Katrina: When did you start competing against the boys?
Courtney: I started when I first started training. I like fighting the boys, because sometimes they are kind of afraid of me, and they’re easy to fight! I can beat them, and I also fight the other girls in class too.
Katrina: When you aren’t doing BJJ or going to school, what else do you like to do?
Courtney: like to play on my Wii. I play tennis, soccer, basketball, football and boxing on it.
Katrina: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Courtney: I want to be a BJJ coach and an MMA coach and trainer!
Katrina: What is your favorite subject in school?
Courtney: Well, I really like math and reading.
Katrina: Do you have any pets?
Courtney: I do – I have a cat and his name is Charlie!
Katrina: Who do you like training with more – boys or girls?
Courtney: I like them both, but sometimes the girls run away from me because they think I can hurt them, so I tell them “I’ll go easy on you!” – but then I still get them! (said with a giggle and a gleam in her eye!)
Katrina: So maybe it’s good for them, because if a person wants to improve at something, then they should work out with someone who’s better, ‘cause it makes you better, right?
Courtney: Yeah – that’s like what I tell them. And I like training with the boys too, because I can win when I fight them!
Katrina: Would you eventually like to fight in MMA?
Courtney: Oh yes – I would!
Katrina: Who is your favorite fighter – male or female?
Courtney: Well, I really like Cris "Cyborg" Santos and Tisha (Rodriguez)!
Courtney: Well, Cyborg was my trainer and she worked with me a lot and I really like her! And Tisha is real sweet and nice and they both tell me I do a good job!
Katrina: So has Cris Cyborg taught you any tricks?
Courtney: Yes! She taught me an uppercut, and a hook, and a knee!
Katrina: Oh – I like knees myself; do you like them now? And how about elbows?
Courtney: Haha – yes…I like doing knees and elbows!
Katrina: So what’s one of your favorite things to do when you’re fighting, like to you have a favorite submission hold or technique you like to use to get your opponent to tap out?
Courtney: Oh yes – I really like the arm bar!
Katrina: Ahhh – I can see that; it’s a basic move, and you’ve got long legs, right? So that would be a good technique for you, ‘cause with your long legs you could swing ‘em over, cinch up your opponent, post up and get them to tap pretty easy – is that your favorite then?
Courtney: YES! I really like the arm bar a lot, because it’s easy and I’m good at it!
Katrina: Do your parents support you in BJJ?
Courtney: Yes – my dad takes me to training part of the week and my mom takes me to training the other part, and she does a class while she’s waiting for me!
Katrina: Do your friends or teacher know what you do?
Courtney: Yes – my teacher and some of my friends know.
Katrina: What do they say about your fighting?
Courtney: My teacher tells me to do real good and beat all the boys! (laughing and giggling…) and my friends all kind of run from me and say “oh no – watch out…she’s going to get me!” And they run from me (she giggles!)
Katrina: But you wouldn’t hurt them, right? I mean, are they afraid you’ll hurt them or are they just playing? And does that bother you?
Courtney: Oh no – it doesn’t bother me. They’re just playing and so am I. I would never hurt them, they just tease me about chasing them!
Katrina: Have you been to a live MMA event yet? If not – do you want to go to one?
Courtney: I haven’t yet, but yes, I really want to go to one!
Katrina: Well, you don’t live that far from Las Vegas, so maybe your parents will take you there for the next UFC fight?!
Courtney: Oh – yeah…I would love that if they would take me! (grinning! And I’m sure her mom’s thinking: THANKS A LOT KATRINA! Sorry Veronica. Hahaha!)
Katrina: Is there anything you want your fans to know about you that they don’t know yet?
Courtney: Well…let’s see. Oh yeah – I can do a hand stand almost the whole way across the mat!
Katrina: Whoa – that’s amazing! I bet you could almost, if you’re not doing it now, do handstand pushups too, right? Seems to me you’d be good at that!
Courtney: Oh yes – I can almost do that now!
Katrina: Okay – well keep practicing and I’d like to see you do that next time; I’m sure if anyone can do it, you can! Do you have any sponsors yet?
Courtney: Oh yes – I have a LOT of sponsors I’d really like to thank them all! (Please take a look at the photo slide below to see their logos!) There's Slade Bittler of Tussle Fight Gear, GRiT Mouthguards, Housecat MMA, SubmissionGirl, ChuteBox with Cris Cyborg Santos, Fightergirls, Dragonlife Films (they made my website for me!), Cleber Jiu-Jitsu, MMA Most Wanted, and Diablo Blanco Fight Wear!
Katrina: It looks like you’re wearing your Housecat MMA t-shirt – I know that Eric Fontanez will be very pleased to see you wearing that for your interview! Well thank you so much, Courtney, for this interview. It’s been great chatting with you and getting to know you! I look forward to meeting you in person some day, and to watching you and your career blossom.
Courtney: Thank you – I had fun!
It’s been an honor interviewing Lil’ Courtney . She’s really a doll, and was such a pleasure to chat with. Truly she is a shining example of The New Face of Women’s MMA!
Be sure to watch the video of Courtney, created by our very own Lacey Neher of Realwomenandmensmma.