Teen Takes Jiu-Jitsu to the Highest Level - myfoxcarolinas.com

Teen Takes Jiu-Jitsu to the Highest Level

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Brittany Presson dresses like your typical 19-year old girl.

She wears designer clothes and compliments them with a handbag, jewelry and makeup. Growing up, she always considered herself to be just  your “typical girl.”

“I never played any sports growing up,” Presson says. “I wasn’t very sporty, I wasn’t fast. I was coordinated but I never tried any sports. I was more girly-girl.”

But when she was 15, she walked into Sparks Martial Arts in Stallings with her family to watch a relative train – and any thoughts of remaining your “typical-American girl” were kicked out the window.

Brittany discovers Jiu-Jitsu

It’s where she first discovered kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She began to make a name for herself in martial arts in just a few, quick, adolescent years.

She had her reservations.

“I was a little more hesitant,” Presson says. “I didn’t know if martial arts was really a “girly” thing to do…I was really small. I never had any muscle. I was very lightweight – but I tried it for that. I used to be scared to go out at night alone by myself.”

Her instructor, Kris Sparks, took an interest in the shy, home-schooled girl that walked into his studio.

“I thought we could help this girl,” Sparks says. “We could help this young lady – and the transformation has been unbelievable.”

It didn’t take long. Presson celebrated her 19 th birthday on April 8. She’s a black belt in kickboxing and a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. She is a four-time national champion as a teen and a five-time regional champion.

Since she turned 18 and began competing with adults, she has won five gold medals, two silver and one bronze through local, regional and national jiu-jitsu competitions.

Brittany Shows her Jiu-Jitsu Medals

It’s safe to say that martial arts has helped Presson come out of her shell.

“I was very, very shy,” she says. “I wasn’t one of those that would just come up and strike a conversation.”

Presson has turned her art into a career – teaching lessons, locally, at Sparks Martial Arts. She even showed My Fox Carolinas a few self-defense moves.

David gets a Jiu-Jitsu Choke Tutorial
David gets a Jiu-Jitsu Flip Tutorial

This week – she’s pressing forward to her biggest challenge yet – as she travels to New York to compete with the best-of-the-best.

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation is hosting the New York Spring International Open on April 12. It’s where the best come to compete.

It’s one more leap forward for the girl who used to have trouble approaching strangers – who is now dropping them on their backs.

“I’m not as shy now…still a little bit.”



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