Her name is Andria, she started training in Albuquerque NM with Leo Urquides in August 2016. The first time she stepped on the mats, it was out of sheer necessity. She knows that the world we live in isn’t the safest and she wanted to learn to defend herself. Then she joined a regular class to continue her training with Ricardo Abreu.
She was terrified. This was her first experience with a full-contact sport. She had never been in a fight… She wasn’t even allowed to wrestle with her older brother or cousins when she was younger, so she had no experience with anything like jiu-jitsu. After training for about 6 months with Ricardo, he decided to open his own Academy in Plano Texas (@royalartbjj on Instagram) and I began training under Tito Valdez at ONE Jiu-Jitsu. She is grateful for all of her coaches and teammates – all of her coaches (Leo, Ricardo, Tito, Rudy, Ebi, Matt, Jerome, Nicco, Este and Jose), for everything that they have taught her and for all the time that they choose to invest in her, her teammates for sacrificing their time and comfort so she can practice something that she loves.
Somewhere in the process of learning to defend herself, she fell in love with jiu-jitsu. She is learning how to defend herself…but, not only that, she has found a passion in this art. She sees no end in sight.
She may not have our typical sports bio, but this is her story. She is just a girly-girl who fell in love with jiu-jitsu.
Q&A Session Between Andria Torrez and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ? MMA?
Answer:: I love everything about jiu-jitsu. I first started BJJ in order to learn self-defense, never expecting that I would love it as much as I do now.
I love the fact that it allows the small to show their technicality, it humbles all and exposes all weaknesses. It allows you to realize that everyone can learn something from everyone. Even if it’s the brand-new student who is just stepping on the mats for the first time.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer:: I am inspired by everyone who steps on the mats. It takes great courage and discipline to come for the first time and to continue coming.
High-level women in this sport inspire me because they are so rare. It shows me that with persistence and discipline, I can get there too. It also makes me proud to see a woman dominating a sport that is mostly populated by men.
My coaches inspire me. It is so amazing that they are taking time to share their passion and skill with me.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer:: This year, I hope to grow in my jiu-jitsu journey and gain enough knowledge to earn my blue-belt. I hope to inspire others to try jiu-jitsu and fall in love with it, just as I have.
I definitely still have a lot to learn, and aside from my blue belt goals, I simply want to learn. Gain as much knowledge as possible.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer:: I first stepped on the mats in August of 2016.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer:: 5-7 days per week.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer:: Medaled at 2 tournaments this year, taking double bronze at one and gold, silver and bronze at the other.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer:: My favorite is the arm-bar.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer:: I think that being a champion has less to do with winning and more to do with the following things: being a good sport, understanding that you are not better than anyone, being willing to learn, and even teach sometimes, having passion for your sport, working hard, and being patient and persistent.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?
Answer:: I generally have the same gear in my gym bag every training day: a Rashguard, a pair of spats, and a GI.